Simple, Basic Deviled Eggs: What I've Learned So Far
Here's the dilemma with eggs: how do make sure the eggs you're getting meet your ethical standards? Assuming you're a vegetarian because you want to avoid cruelty, this is a critical question.
If you haven't already heard, the terms "free-range" and "cage-free" are pretty much BS. They don't mean much, and they certainly don't mean the chickens are treated humanely. For me, I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where neighbors have chickens and I can buy eggs from them. In fact, the neighbor I buy my eggs from has some rescue chickens, so I'm pretty happy about that.
However, there are plenty of arguments to be made against eating eggs at all. I won't go into them here, but what I will say is if you do eat eggs, PLEASE do your research and don't buy eggs from a conventional industrial farm. The cruelty to those chickens is beyond what you can imagine.
As an example, chickens and chicks that won't be profitable are "destroyed." Think about that word for a minute. Chickens are kept in quarters so close they can't move, they begin to attack each other and go crazy. They're kept in artificial light, in cages with wire bottoms that cut their feet. There's so much more, but it's so bad I don't feel comfortable going into it on my blog. Educate yourself - don't just believe the hype, be sure to dig deep and consider the source.
If you have to buy eggs in the store, that's o.k. There are a few brands that you can feel good about buying. Keep in mind that if you're only paying $3-$4 (or less) for a dozen eggs from the store, there's pretty much no way those chickens are being treated humanely. It's pricy to raise hens humanely, and if you're looking for organic eggs it's even pricier.
My favorite store brand is Backyard Eggs (non-organic from Vital Farms) or Vital Farms (organic). I'm not gonna lie - they're expensive. But when you consider the alternative it's really worth it. You don't have to dance with the Devil for a few deviled eggs!
Putting together your Simple, Basic Deviled Eggs
• To make the eggs easier to peel, don't use just-laid eggs (if you purchase eggs in a store this isn't an issue). You want to use eggs that are at least a week or two old.• Once the eggs are cooked, crack the shells slightly and put them in a bowl of water and ice. This prevents the yolk from turning green (overcooking), and makes them easier to peel. • You can use white vinegar or even sweet pickle juice. I'm guessing you can even try flavored vinegars. • Using Dijon mustard instead of yellow gives the eggs a bit more kick. • Experience with different types of Paprika to give your eggs a smokey or hot edge.