When food52 called out for recipes with horseradish, it made me think of my long-ago boyfriend Mark, or rather his mother’s deviled eggs. Until I tasted Pat’s deviled eggs, I wasn’t much of a fan—plain boiled eggs with mayo just wasn’t enough. But after trying Pat’s version at Easter, I became an instant devotee.
Around that same time, I decided I wanted to be a professional cook. I took a six-month basic course and jumped into the fray. Somehow I managed to convince the then-popular Washington Square Bar & Grill to hire me as a pantry cook. I had little experience cooking and even less know-how about working in a kitchen dominated by good ‘ol boys and wisecracking waiters.
One of my weekly tasks was to peel a fresh horseradish root and grate it in the food processor. The cap that fit in the top was long gone so I’d stuff a napkin in there in an effort to diffuse the pungent odor of the horseradish. Even with the napkin, it was so strong it would make my eyes water and nose burn so I’d also wrap a towel around my face, bandit-style, and inevitably someone would walk by and pull it off, leaving me gasping for air. I swore I’d never touch horseradish again once I quit working there.
If it hadn’t been for Pat’s deviled eggs, I might have kept that promise to myself. But, I loved Pat’s recipe so much I’ve not only made it a gazillion times, I’ve also converted it to egg salad, which is heavenly on toasted bread. This recipe is especially handy around Easter with all the hard-boiled eggs. And thankfully, it does not require fresh horseradish, an ingredient I still approach with trepidation.
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions, whites and greens sliced thin
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place the eggs in small saucepan large enough to fit the eggs in a single layer. Add a heaping pinch of salt and cover with water by an extra inch. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the eggs begin to boil, cook for 10 minutes for large eggs, 1 minute longer for extra large eggs. (I always err on the under cooking.)
Immediately remove from the heat and carefully pour out as much hot water as possible. Set the pan in the sink and fill with cold water. Let sit a minute, then pour out the water and refill with cold water. Repeat this until the eggs can sit for a few minutes without warming the water. (At this point you can let them sit overnight if you keep them in the water.)
Gently, break the shells and peel the eggs. Cut in half and set the whites aside.
Put the yolks in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, green onions, horseradish, dry mustard, paprika and Worcestershire. Mash with a fork until creamy. Season to taste with salt. Fill each egg white with a tablespoon of the yolk mixture. Arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve or cover with plastic and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
What to drink. Sparkling wine. What could be more festive than sparkling wine for brunch? Splurge: Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($36). The bubbles and acid quickly make friends with the complementary rich, spicy eggs. Everyday wine: Presto Prosecco Brut ($12). From it’s bright orange label to its zingy flavors, this is a fun wine perfect for before dinner or with brunch.