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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Bacon-deviled eggs ‘mystically wonderful’

 It is nice sometimes to take a step backwards and reacquaint oneself with skillsets that seem to have eluded us. Truth be told, chefs work hard, but as has been noted by aging chefs such as Anthony Bourdain, you just get to the point where the body doesn’t recover like it used to.
Even so, chefs still spend a great deal of time on their feet and the mental anguish of being the social worker, hirer, firer, disciplinarian, food order and receiving personnel and kitchen maintenance only adds to the tiresome nature of the job.
Regardless, most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. We know what the business is about: long hours, working weekends and holidays, great customers and guests and rewards that are hard to explain. And all of this in a mere 55-80 hours per week.
Known to take management positions in the summertime over the past seven summers, I decided not to take that route this season, instead opting to shuck for an amazing little restaurant in Bethany for the next eight weeks – Bluecoast Seafood, Grill & Raw Bar on Route 1 just north of town.
What a comfortable, lively place, and one that many of you will recognize right away. Tucked into the bayside reeds of Route 1, the restaurant has been many things over the years, including a fish market. It hosts the perfect setting as you peer out over the osprey nest a mere 100 yards from your table.
The raw bar shucker, a position I have not officially held since 1986 at Hemenway’s Providence (I kept telling people it was 1984 McGarvey’s, but I forgot about Hemenway’s), is responsible for the rotation and service of raw oysters and clams, and at present there are five on the board. We are also responsible for the cold appetizers, a simple task that can bog anyone down, but that’s the joy of shucking.
Among my favorite appetizers is the Indian River Inlet Bluefish Dip, a smoked fish pate fit for royalty. It’s creamy, unctuous and amazing served with the pickled onions, fresh toast points and gherkins. But I’m not here to write about the toast points.
I’m here for the deviled eggs, those mystically wonderful creations known at church picnics and rustic kitchens around the globe. With a simple addition of mayonnaise and/or sour cream and a pinch of crispy bacon, nothing can beat a deviled egg, or at least until they’ve been sitting out on the picnic table for the past three hours, but I digress.
These are garnished with tart apple, scrapple crisps (reference the prosciutto crisps of which I’ve written before) and pickled mustard seeds. The latter are reminiscent of the garlic puree that I’ve shared over the years. The result of blanching, draining and blanching removes so much of the unfavorable flavors, and makes the finished dish all that much better.
This recipe is a variation on the Bluecoast theme, but I can assure you that when you’re done, it will open a new world of possibilities in making your own devilled eggs this summer. It’s always good to take a step back.
Bacon-Deviled Eggs
Makes 24 deviled eggs
1 doz. Large eggs
1/4 c. Mayonnaise
1/4 c. Crème fraiche
1/2 tsp. Dry mustard
1/4 c. Fine bacon lardons, crispy
Salt & pepper to taste

For garnish:
Tart apple
Scrapple chips (recipe follows)
Pickled mustard seed (recipe follows)

1. Place eggs in cold water and place on high heat, bringing water to a full boil.
2. Once at a full boil, remove from heat and allow to sit for 13 minutes.
3. Immediately drain and run cold water on the eggs to stop the cooking process. This will leave your yolks nice and yellow without that green ring around the edges, the telltale sign of overcooking.
4. When cool enough to work with, trim to small end off the eggs. You will be cutting the eggs differently than you usually do, is my guess.
5. Carefully run the knife through the white until you feel it hit the yolk, rolling the eggs so as to not cut through the yolk.
6. Carefully pull the two halves apart and separate the yolk from the white.
7. For the filling, place the yolks in a bowl and mash with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, mustard, bacon season with salt and pepper
8. When ready to serve, pipe the filling into the egg halves and garnish with the apple, scrapple chip and pickled mustard seed.
9. Serve cold
Scrapple Chips
Makes a bunch
1/4 lb. Scrapple
1. Shave the scrapple paper-thin and bake in a low oven until they are dehydrated and crispy.
2. Keep in an airtight container.
Pickled Mustard Seed
Makes about 1 cup
3/4 c. Mustard seed
1/2 c. Champagne vinegar
1/3 c. Sugar
Salt to taste

1. Years ago, I wrote about blanching, draining and blanching garlic to remove the heat. This is a similar technique here. Place the mustard seeds in water and bring to a boil
2. Remove once they hit the boil, strain, top with water and repeat.
3. Do this at least six times to remove bitter tannins and on the last turn, set aside strained.
4. Top off with the vinegar, sugar and salt, mixing well.
Let sit in the icebox for at least a day. This gets better with time!