I’m excited to announce that Mod Meal is in print today in the Greensboro News & Record! I’ll be submitting to the Savor Section every third Wednesday of the month reporting on local food sources with complimenting recipes. I’m excited about this opportunity and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Which came first, the chicken or the pink deviled eggs? August 23, 2011 Greensboro News & Record
The Gate City Cluckers is an online group of Greensboro’s urban chicken owners. I am one of the 157 members of the group — although I don’t have my own birds on Mendenhall. I was referred to the group by my poultry-owning friends about a year ago, and I couldn’t resist joining a group that used witty banter like “Cluck you” and “Hatch that!” Plus their stories about those who think you need a rooster to make an egg always make for a good laugh. My friend Stephanie, who owns six chickens, also known as “the girls,” finds that her chickens’ best value is as pets. She is also the only girlfriend of mine that included her chickens in her wedding photos.
Being a member of this group allows me to have all the perks of owning chickens without all the coop and poop dilemmas. Understanding their lingo has, on more than one occasion, scored me some fresh eggs from my chicken-owning friends. Their eggs are such a treat – arriving in wonderful, colored shells of vibrant blues to rich browns and encompass dynamic yellow yolks – setting them apart from your average grocery store egg.
This past weekend, I had
several friends over to Mendenhall to celebrate the second anniversary of my blog, Mod Meals on Mendenhall. I set out to create a menu that would highlight North Carolina’s freshest produce. The menu ranged from my family’s traditional fried chicken to a variety of quick pickled seasonal vegetables and a blue cheese and organic honeycomb display.
My mother, who grew up in eastern North Carolina, said the menu wasn’t complete without deviled eggs. I responded, in typical daughter fashion, saying that they would only make my modern menu seem boring and dated.Then I discovered a recipe for bright pink beet pickled deviled eggs. While beet pickled eggs are traditionally a Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy made around Easter, I set out to put my own spin on the recipe and make it both sophisticated and Southern. I researched a variety of methods for brining and recipes for Southern deviled eggs (don’t hate me for the butter) and came up with my own twist on the deviled egg using Greensboro’s finest and freshest eggs. They were not only strikingly beautiful but rounded off my menu in a delicious and fashionable way. (Maybe Moms are always right).
If you don’t have friends with backyard birds, the Greensboro Curb Market has several farms that sell fresh, inexpensive farm-raised eggs in abundance. Chickens tend to lay more often in the sun and warm days of summer so take advantage while they are aplenty. These Sophisticated Southern Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs will be the hit of your next cocktail party or picnic.
Southern Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs
• 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 can sliced beets
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 cup mayo
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon old bay seasoning
• fresh basil, minced for garnish
Combine vinegar, beets, brown sugar, peppercorn and salt in a large bowl. Stir the brine mixture to combine. Soak eggs in the brine for 16 to 20 hours. I found that 17 hours was a good time frame for a light brine taste and good pink color. After brining, remove the eggs and cut in half. Scoop out the yolks to make the filling. In a stand up mixer or hand mixer, whip together the egg yolks, mayo, mustard, butter and seasonings. Taste for seasoning. Pipe the yolk mixture into the pink egg whites using a pastry bag or plastic bag. Top with minced fresh basil (optional).
** Urban Chicken Farmers recommended chilling fresh eggs for a few days (or up to a week) before hard boiling them. Super fresh eggs tend to not peel easily. You want your eggs to be as beautiful as possible!