I’ve been a subscriber to Gourmet magazine for longer than I can remember. When I heard of their demise, I wasn’t shocked; rumors had been swirling for a bit. That said, there is still something downright unfair about a pillar in the world of food journalism disappearing. I’ve read banter, opinions, cries, and whines about the magazine over the past few weeks. My favorite was a quote from someone who was responding to a complaint that the magazine had grown too high-brow for the average cook. The reply? “Well, the name of the magazine is Gourmet!” Ha! For more positive, and eloquent, memories, I love reading the website Thank You Gourmet.
I am one to go through my food magazines every month and clip the recipes I like. I used to keep full issues around but they took over my house and broke every rule of feng shui (frankly, it was just a cluttered mess). The November issue of Gourmet, however, is staying in tact. I just couldn’t bring myself to go at it with my scissors, feeling little pangs of guilt every time I turned the pages.
I taught a Thanksgiving cooking class yesterday and paid my respects to Gourmet by adapting a recipe from that last issue, Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs. The stuffed eggs with the magenta hue caught my eye on the page and reminded me of the eggs my Noni used to cook with red onion skins. Throw a few beets in there and the red is turned up in a big way. I changed the seasoning a bit and added in my favorite method for hard boiling eggs (thank you Julia) to make sure they’d be perfect. The result was stunning and oh so tasty. I love the idea of doing these for Thanksgiving. Not only do they look incredible but they can be made the day before. And, when you’re sitting around being thankful for your turkey dinner, say a little “thanks” to the folks at Gourmet too. They certainly deserve it.
Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs (adapted from Gourmet 11/09)
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 small red beet, peeled and sliced
1 small shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
Bring water, vinegar, beet, shallot, sugar, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, then simmer, covered, until beet is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, uncovered.
Meanwhile, place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Put the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 14 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and, when cool enough to handle, peel and transfer to a shallow dish.
When beet mixture is cool, pour it over the eggs and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, up to 3 days.
Remove the eggs from the beat mixture and pat dry, discarding the beet mixture (or, see below). Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Mash the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and half the fennel. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the egg whites and sprinkle with remaining fennel. Eggs can be filled up to 2 hours in advance, covered and chilled.
The beet mixture is actually pretty tasty on its own. Try finely chopping the beets to garnish your eggs, coarsely chopping the beets and using them for a salad, or hard boil some more eggs and use the pickling liquid again. Seems a shame to toss it right away.
(lovely photo above taken by Nicole, one of the two amazing students who made the eggs yesterday)