Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Deviled Tomatoes

I must have said, "It's a hickory smoked yard egg, spiced with a BBQ dry rub, served inside of a tomato, and garnished with purple cabbage from Chris's own backyard. We call them deviled tomatoes" about 150 times at the GrowMemphis Garden Party this past Saturday night. As strange as it sounds, this dish seemed to be a hit even among those who don't typically like deviled eggs. 
The original idea was to do deviled eggs, but the eggs that GrowMemphis provided were so fresh that they wouldn't peel easily. Food that's just too fresh: a terrible problem to have, right? So we improvised in a delicious way. We made an egg salad and served it inside of a hollowed-out Roma tomato. I thought I made it up, and if you don't search the internet for "deviled tomato," you can believe that, too. The overall point is that they are really, really great!

We were so happy to be a part of the 

GrowMemphis event along with our friends Michael Hughes of Big River Bitters, cookbook author Jennifer Chandler, and many others. Thanks to everyone who came out to support this organization that helps turn blighted and abandoned properties into gardens for growing food all around Memphis. 

Deviled Tomatoes

6 large eggs
2 teaspoons Creole mustard (like Zatarain's)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (like Spectrum Olive Oil Mayonnaise)
1 teaspoon Memphis BBQ Dry Rub
1/4 cup chopped celery (1 rib)
1/4 cup chopped chives (more to garnish)

cracked black pepper (to taste)
hot sauce (to taste)
6 small, ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage (to garnish)

Start by cooking the eggs.  You may boil them, or for more flavor, you may smoke them. To hard-boil the eggs, add them to a cold, medium pot. Next, pour in a cup of white vinegar, and then add 1/4 cup iodized salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Over high heat, bring the contents to a boil. Once it is boiling rapidly, turn the heat off and cover. Leave the eggs in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs to an ice bath and allow them to chill completely. 

To smoke the eggs, place them into an electric smoker loaded with hickory chips and set it to 225 degrees. Smoke for one hour and then allow eggs to cool in a covered container in the fridge. (Hint: The temperature of a smoker is not as accurate as an oven, so check one egg after an hour to make sure they are done all the way through.)

Roll the egg under your palm on a cutting board in order to fracture the shell completely. Under cold running water, pick the shell off one piece at a time until the egg slips out of the shell. 

Roughly chop the eggs and place into a large bowl along with the mustard, mayonnaise, Memphis BBQ Dry Rub, celery, chives, salt and pepper to taste, and hot sauce to taste. Place into the fridge until ready to serve.

Cut each of the Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and flesh using a spoon. Reserve the insides for another use, like salsa. Set aside, cut-side-down, until ready to serve. 

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into the center of each tomato half. Garnish with chives and slices purple cabbage. Serve at your next party, potluck or gathering. (Makes 1 dozen Deviled Tomatoes.)

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