When the weather is hot enough to bake cookies on the dashboard of a car, it might be too scorchy to turn on the oven. I don’t get excited about those no-bake cookie or cake recipes so let’s move on to something more interesting and savory, like deviled eggs. If they’re prepared early in the day and chilled before serving, that’s a nice way to beat back the oppressive heat at dinner time.
There are a few tricks to making the eggs taste ridiculously delicious, and it could not be simpler. First, you want to boil the eggs just enough, but not more than necessary and certainly not plenty, or you’ll end up with green eggs and something.
And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting Gelson’s egg salad, you will marvel at what a little fresh tarragon can do for an egg.
To begin with, let’s boil some eggs. You don’t have to devil all of them, but since you’re doing the work, boil up a bunch and save some for snacks. Take a dozen large or extra-large eggs and make sure there are no cracks or holes in them, and set them in a large saucepan that comes with a lid. Pour enough cool water into the pan just to cover the eggs, but not way over their heads.
Place the saucepan on the stove, turn on the burner to medium-high heat and don’t go anywhere. The second that water starts to simmer and begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer that keeps the water bubbling. Quickly cover the pan and time it for 2.5 minutes. Just 2.5 minutes. No more than that. You should be able to hear the gurgling sound of the water simmering even with the lid on the pan. Don’t peek.
The second the timer goes off (don’t lift that lid), turn the flame off. Set the timer for 14 minutes exactly. Leave the lid where it is. No flame, lid on tight, don’t touch the saucepan. At 14 minutes, lift the lid and get that pan into the sink and run cold-cold water into it. Once you’ve done that for a couple of minutes, take a bunch of ice and toss it into the saucepan full of cold water and just let the eggs sit in that chilled bath for a few minutes until each one is just about shivering. Drain the water and gently place the eggs in a Ziploc bag or bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to proceed with the recipe.
If you stuck to the plan outlined above, you shouldn’t see any green rings around the yolks. If you do – then you probably waited just a bit too long – tighten it up next time, and it’ll work. The yolk should look creamy yellow all the way to the edges.
A little tarragon goes a long way – and the longer the deviled eggs sit while chilling, the better the flavor. Sure, you can add tons more seasoning, but there isn’t any need for that with these. They’re best when chilled and served alongside a nice cold white whine wine or rosé – and that certainly beats the heat.
Don’t worry. Chocolate awaits.
Tarragon Deviled Eggs
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 3-4 tablespoons of good quality mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- Boil eggs and chill as directed. Peel. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Take a tiny slice from the bottom side of the egg so it sits flat – if you are using an egg plate, just leave it as is.
- Scoop out yolks into a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper (if using), and tarragon. Stir or whisk until fully mixed and smooth. Scoop or pipe back into eggs and place on a serving plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.