For many, dying eggs is the true beginning of the Easter Season, a time of family and joy. With Easter just a few short weeks away you can get a jump-start this spring holiday by using nature’s own pretty hues from fruits, vegetables and spices. DEAN & DELUCA has tested new natural ways in which you can create a beautiful Easter Eggstravaganza – perfect for all your decorating and hiding needs this holiday.
Generally, there are two methods used when dyeing eggs: cold dipping and hot boiling.
Cold dipping produces subtler shades and is usually the preferred method for using multiple colors on the same egg.
Hot boiling produces much more intense shades, but these eggs are for decoration only, not eating, if you choose not to “blow out” the insides of the egg. We prefer being able to eat our delicious creations, so we blow out our eggs (instructions below).
For Naturally Dyed Eggs try using turmeric, blueberries or beets.
• 2 cups roughly chopped, raw beets (for pink/red), OR
• 2 cups blueberries, crushed (for blue/purple), OR
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (for yellow/gold)
• 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
• Hard-boiled egg shells (insides removed)
1. To empty a raw egg, begin by using the tip of a sharp utility knife to pierce both ends of the egg; turn the knife in one of the holes to widen it slightly. Then, poke a straightened paper clip through the larger hole to pierce and “stir” the yolk. Hold the egg, larger hole down, over a bowl, and then blow the contents out with a rubber syringe or small drinking straw.
2. Put your choice of coloring ingredient (beets, blueberries or turmeric) into a small pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, discarding any solids, and then stir in vinegar. Set aside to let cool until warm or room temperature.
To color eggs, submerge in dye, turning often for even coating, until desired color is reached. For more colors, dye eggs first in one color, then wipe dry and dye in a second color.
You can even glue a thin piece of wheatgrass to your eggs, enhancing the “natural” beauty of this year’s Easter collection.
We wouldn’t want the insides of the eggs to go to waste, our preferred recipe this season is the Scrambled Egg with Salmon Roe Smorrebrod.
This luscious sandwich is great wtith any form of caviar or fish roe, but we prefer Salmon Roe.
12 extra-large eggs
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 2 teaspoons lightly salted butter
6 slices dark bread, cut in half
24 thin slices of cucumber
3 ounces salmon roe or other fish roe
sprigs of fresh dill for garnish
1. Beat the eggs well in a large bowl. In a heavy sauté pan, about 8 inches in diameter, melt 2 teaspoons of butter over extremely low heat. Add the beaten eggs, and cook over the lowest possible heat for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. The eggs will thicken very slowly. When they begin to thicken, stir gently with a large spoon to create large flaps in the scrambled eggs. (If no flaps have formed after 45 minutes, raise the heat slightly to finish the thickening. The eggs will be darker in color and thicker than normal scrambled eggs and should fall into large folds or flaps.)
2. Spread 1 teaspoon of butter on each of the bread halves. For each smorrebrod, at 2 corners that face each other diagonally place 2 slices of cucumber. At the other 2 corners, place about 1/4 teaspoon of salmon roe. Cover the rest of the bread with about one twelfth of the egg mixture. Repeat until all smorrebrod are done. Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.
Variation: If you prefer, you may eliminate the salmon roe and substitute smoked salmon. Simply lay a thin slice of smoked salmon on top of the bread and under the scrambled eggs.
Salmon roe tastes best on this luscious sandwich, but any form of caviar or fish roe will work well. Makes 12 smorrebrod