COLUMBUS — Just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) and Ohio’s egg farmers are sharing favorite deviled egg recipes and reminding Ohioans that eggs should be carefully handled, prepared and stored to ensure freshness and safety, especially in the summer heat.
“Cooking outside on the Fourth of July is a holiday tradition for many Ohioans,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “In the summer heat, it’s important to keep a few simple food safety practices in mind to prevent foodborne illnesses and keep guests healthy.”
Whether hosting guests or heading to a cookout, deviled eggs are sure to be a hit at any Fourth of July celebration. After making easy-peel hard boiled eggs, try one of these irresistible deviled egg recipes:
Classic Deviled Eggs – Make this picnic classic in just five easy steps using a handful of household ingredients. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks to small bowl. Reserve whites. Mash yolks with fork. Add cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and green onions; mix well. Spoon one heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each egg white half. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors. Garnish eggs with copped chives or minced green onions.
Bacon & Cheddar Deviled Eggs – Combine savory bacon and cheddar for a delicious appetizer. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks to medium bowl. Reserve 24 white halves. Finely chop remaining 4 white halves. Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and pepper; mix well. Add chopped egg whites, bacon, cheese and chives; mix well. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
Avocado Deviled Eggs – This creative twist on the traditional deviled egg recipe adds avocado to the mix for an extra creamy filling. Slice eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks; place in a medium mixing bowl. Mash avocados with yolks. Stir in mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic salt and paprika until well blended. Spoon filling into egg whites. Garnish each with paprika, cilantro leaves or chopped green onion.
Deviled eggs can be made up to 12 hours ahead. Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
To hard-cook eggs: Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra-large) cool completely under cold running water and peel.
Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.
To peel a hard-cooked egg: Gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Starting peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.
Before packing the eggs to head to Fourth of July celebrations, consider these key food safety tips to ensure deviled eggs are kept fresh:
• Pack cold egg dishes, like deviled eggs, in an insulated bag or cooler that can be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Keep coolers in the shade and open them as infrequently as possible.
• Transport coolers in the back seat of an air-conditioned car where eggs can be kept cool. Never transport eggs in the trunk of a car where the temperature can’t be controlled.
• Ohio is hot in July, and eggs sweat too. Deviled eggs should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 85 degrees, eggs should not be left out of refrigeration for more than one hour.
“With these food safety tips and yummy deviled egg recipes, Ohioans are sure to impress guests while keeping them safe and healthy during Fourth of July celebrations,” said Chakeres.
Ohio is ranked second in the nation for egg production with about 9 billion eggs produced on Ohio egg farms each year. Egg safety is a top priority for Ohio egg farmers who work hard year-round to provide Ohioans with high-quality, wholesome eggs.
For more information and nutritious egg recipes, visit www.ohioeggs.com.