Monday, March 21, 2016

Jalapeno Bacon Deviled Eggs

Our friends recently decided to host a throwback 50s style cocktail party, and it was SERIOUSLY fun.  We got a babysitter for the evening so we could live it up like some wild & crazy kids! 
As part of the plan, all attendees were required to dress in their 50s finery, bring an appetizer, and a bottle of booze so we could craft classic cocktails (more on that later...probably on a Thursday?) 
I'm so proud of my group of friends--we went all out with the period-appropriate appetizers.  There was a pineapple-shaped cheese ball, puffed pastries, a crock full of meatballs, even a seafood aspic terrine (aka "meat jello").  
One of the tastiest cheeseballs I've ever had.

We were all a bit intimidated by the terrine--myself because I'd sworn off aspic after working with them at Martin's in New Orleans.  However, I decided to be brave--and I'm glad I did because it was a truly tasty work of art.
Be brave, H & C!

For our part, I used my mom as inspiration--and deviled eggs are always her go-to.  But, we decided to mix it up a bit, and make jalapeno bacon deviled eggs.  NOTE: We have a few friends who are vegetarian, so I made half the batch sans bacon, and topped these with sliced pickled okra to separate them from the bacon-laden ones.

Seriously wish I had one of those old-skool deviled egg trays!  Might have to see if I can track one down at the thrift shop.
We got a ton of compliments on these, so I'm thinking it might now my MY go-to gathering fare.  Our recipe was "pinspired" by this recipe, but I tweaked it a fair bit so my recipe is below.

1 dozen large eggs, hard-boiled, cut in half
3/4 cup Light Miracle Whip
1/4 cup yellow mustard
8-10 pickled jalapeno rings, seeds removed, minced
1-2 tsp brine from pickled jalapeno jar
1/2 tsp sugar
6 pieces bacon, cooked (I used thick cut applewood smoked bacon) NOTE: If you decide to make half your batch vegetarian friendly, only use 3 slices of bacon.
1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for decoration
1 thin/young green onion, minced for decoration (I used a young shoot from my windowsill green onion jar)
2 pickled okra, sliced (optional, use for decoration if you're making half the batch vegetarian)

Remove the yolks from the halved eggs, and place into a small bowl.  Then add the Miracle Whip, mustard, brine, sugar, and paprika, and whip until smooth. Tweak spices to taste--I like my deviled eggs to have a good "twang" from the mustard.  Now add in the minced jalapenos and stir until well combined.

Cook the bacon, pat off any excess grease, and then crumble, saving 12-24 larger crumbles for decoration (depending on whether you make the full batch with bacon or not).

If you're making only half with bacon, then at this point, scoop half of your mixture into a ziploc bag, and then snip off the end to use it as a piping bag.  Pipe the mix into half your egg halves.  If there's any leftover in the bag, place it back in the bowl.

Now add in the crumbled bacon (except what's reserved for decoration) and mix well.  Place all of the remaining mix into the piping bag, and finish filling the rest of the eggs.

Now top the bacony eggs with a piece of bacon (you could also add an extra slice of pickled jalapeno if you like), and top the non-bacon eggs with the slices of pickled okra.  Dust the entire tray with paprika and minced green onions.

If you don't have a fancy deviled egg tray, you can use a 8x8 or 9x11 pan and place paper towels in the bottom.  The towels will absorb any excess moisture and keep them from slipping around in the pan.

P.S. A bonus shot of that seafood aspic...because I know you wanted a close up. ;P
Crab, shrimp, corn, tomato, avocado and cilantro.  It tasted similar to ceviche so I actually loved it.

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