Once a dreary necessity, pickling has turned into a culinary art form. A long time picnic or party favorites, pickled eggs are often the first thing to fly off the table. The flavor potential of pickling allows us to get creative and explore dozens of possibilities. Here are 5 ways to prepare delicious pickled eggs and create you own gourmet preserved condiments.
Mom’s Pickled Eggs: In a large pot, combine 2 cups vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 2 tablespoons pickling spice, 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Divide a dozen hard-boiled eggs in jars (2 jars are fine). Pour the hot brine over the eggs. Put lid on tightly and let rest for a least 4 days in the refrigerator.
Spicy pickled eggs: Peel about 2 dozens cold hard-boiled eggs, then start layering ingredients into your jar: eggs, 1 sliced onion, garlic, canned hot chili pepper and their juice, peppercorns, and pickling spice. Cover with 1 liter white vinegar. Make sure you have enough liquid to cover the eggs. These eggs will start to taste “pickled” in about 3 days. Store them tightly sealed on your counter.
Irish pickled eggs: In a large saucepan, heat apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar in equal quantities. Add sherry, water, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Divide the eggs with halved garlic cloves, onions, herbs, mustard seeds and peppercorns among the sterilized canning jars. Pour the hot brine into the jars, seal tightly and place in the refrigerator. The more you let these eggs sit, the stronger the flavor.
Beet pickled eggs: Hard boil the eggs and get rid of the shells. Prepare the brine by mixing 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 can of beets (diced or sliced) with its juice, 1/3 cup brown sugar, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay, fresh dill. Mix well. Divide the eggs in jars and cover with the brine for 12 hours, or up to 3 days. The longer you leave them to sit, the more pink and stronger the flavor.
Pickle Deviled Eggs: Use the same process as the beet pickled eggs above. When brining time is finished, cut each egg in half and scoop out yolks. Combine yolks with mustard, mayonnaise, curry, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add few drops of water if the texture is too thick. Pipe the yolk mixture back into the eggs, top with rosemary, salt and pepper.
(Photography: Marshall Astor)