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The devil is in the details

Posted by Sheryl Julian  December 16, 2009 04:10 PM

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It's fun -- at least I think it is -- to get up early on a day when you're expected to bring something to a pot luck party and see what's in the fridge and start cooking. Mine was a little on the bare side (we were away last weekend), but there are always eggs and tuna, of course, and seasonings. So deviled eggs it was.

I started cooking from an Oleana restaurant recipe in "The New Boston Globe Cookbook" and alas, no softened butter (lots of butter, but it was mostly in the freezer awaiting this weekend's big baking bash). So I substituted mayonnaise, ran the filling in the food processor to make it smooth, and used a pastry bag and plain round tip to mound the filling in the eggs. Then sprinkled them with smoked Spanish paprika and scallions (no parsley around).

The eggs, by the way, are sliced horizontally, which makes them stand higher. They won't fit into a classic deviled egg dish, made popular in 50s, but they look nice packed tightly into other dishes.

And if you make these and discover you're out of an ingredient, please do substitute anything. As long as the eggs are cooked properly and the filling is loaded with flavor, you'll succeed.

Eggs stuffed with tuna
Serves 6

6 eggs
1 can (6 1/2 to 7 ounces) tuna in olive oil, drained
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (for sprinkling)
1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped (for garnish)

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and set the timer for 10 minutes. During the first minute of cooking, stir the water in one direction so the yolks set in the center.
2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a bowl of very cold water, peel a strip of shell off each one, and return eggs to the water. When cool, peel the eggs.
3. Drain the eggs and pat them dry. Halve them horizontally and scoop the yolks into a food processor.
4. Add the tuna, mayonnaise, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or cayenne, if you like.
5. Use a pastry bag and plain round tip or a small spoon to stuff the filling into the eggs. Set them tightly on a plate.
6. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and scallion. Adapted from "The New Boston Globe Cookbook"
About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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