Ham Devils (Deviled Eggs)

 Ham Devils are a great variation on traditional deviled eggs, and are perfect to take along on your holiday cook outs. My last post showed you how to cook perfect hard boiled eggs, and now we are ready to turn them into Ham Devils.
Ham Devils is an old classic twist on deviled eggs that I found in the food section of my local paper. It will have everyone fighting for seconds and asking how you made it.

Ham Devils:

Makes enough for 12 deviled eggs:

6 hard boiled eggs
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Mustard
2 Tablespoons softened Cream Cheese
4 TablespoonsFinely diced/ground ham (Deli ham is fine)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

optional: (I left the first two out)
3/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
paprika for dusting the tops

Slice the hard boiled eggs in half length wise and gently pop out the yolks into a mixing bowl. Set egg whites aside for now.

with the back of a fork, gently break up the yolks, till they are in a fine crumbly stage:
Add in all remaining ingredients (except paprika) and mix well to combine:

Spoon or pipe filling into the empty egg white shells:

Dust tops with a sprinkle of paprika. (my paprika got a little out of hand!)
Keep refrigerated till ready to serve.

Jan's tip: Need to transport them and don't have a fancy deviled egg carrier? You can fill the bottom of an airtight container with shredded lettuce, cabbage or alfalfa sprouts and "nest" the eggs in them for a nice secure ride to our party.

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs. Seems so easy, but there maybe a few tricks your mother forgot to show you that will give you the perfect hard boiled egg.

I will also  show you some tips for easy peeling, and to avoid that green ring around the yokes. (Ever wonder what that was?)

The green ring you see around the yolk sometimes when you slice open a hard boiled egg is due to overcooking.  Did you ever wonder exactly how long to cook them? I'll share the time old secrets with you.

Jan's Tip: If you desire to try to get the yolks centered as close to center as possible for deviled eggs, it is more successful when cooking eggs that are at room temperature rather than straight from the refrigerator, so pull the eggs out a half hour or so before cooking.

Eggs should be cooked in a single layer, so choose a larger pan so all eggs fit on the bottom of the pan.
Place eggs into the bottom of the empty pan.
Cover eggs with 1-2 inches of cold tap water. (Cold water will help reduce the chance of eggs cracking)
(You can also pour about 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar in water to stop any egg "guts" from leaking out into the water if an egg does crack, but I usually skip this step)
Bring eggs to a boil, and let boil for no longer than 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat:
Place lid on pan and let eggs sit for 10-12 minutes. During this time prepare a bowl of ice water, set aside.
after 10-12 minutes immediately remove eggs and place into ice water
Jan's Tip : because the eggs are removed from the heat source, and due to the fact that the water cools as the time goes on, you may find that you can leave them in there 15-20 minutes and still not over cook them, so if you get distracted and they are in the pan longer than the 10-12 min. you will probably be just fine!
Let eggs sit (don't rush into this step!) till completely cooled.
Jan's Tip: As eggs cool, they pull away slightly from the shell,making peeling them alot easier! So go take a time out and wait for the eggs to completely before starting to peel!

To peel egg:
Lightly tap egg on all sides on counter to create inital cracks in the shell:
Do NOT start peeling the shell off with your fingers! I know you want to, but I have an easier trick for you.
Place the egg on the palm of one hand and place the palm of the other hand over the egg, and roll the egg between your palms, breaking up the shell even further:
Now, under running water gently let the peel practically just fall off! In fact mine usually come off all in one piece!

 Here are 6 eggs and 6 very intact egg shells that just fell right off the eggs:

Now lets slice these in half and see if we avoided the dreaded green "overcooked" ring around the yolk:
(I promise it basically never happens with this method)

Its' a thing of beauty!

Next Post will be a recipe for Ham Devils. an old classic variation of deviled eggs. 

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