I wouldn’t say that Easter is my most favorite holiday. When I was a kid, it seemed bizarre that hard boiled eggs were treated so well. I mean, hard boiled eggs. Not that tasty in comparison to jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. I mean, the idea of finding a hard boiled egg when I was told that there was something delicious hidden in the yard seemed like a rip off. I would have rather found a full size Snickers hidden behind a tree than an egg. Now that would have been a treat!
My tastes have changed since I’ve grown up and now hard boiled eggs are a lot tastier to me because I can season them up so many different ways. I also no longer hard boil them, but hard cook them so the egg yolks stay fluffy and there’s no nasty grey ring around the yolk. When I found the method on Martha Stewart’s website of letting the eggs steep in hot water rather than rapidly boiling them, it was a game changer! I personally let them sit for 12 minutes instead of 13 to get my favorite HBE texture.
One thing I do look forward to during the Easter holiday is deviled eggs. Why is it that mixing a little mayo and mustard into egg yolk and stuffing it back where it came from tastes so darn delicious? I’m not alone in thinking deviled eggs are like crack, either. I’ve upped the ante here by adding smoked salmon. When I think smoked salmon, I think cream cheese. I’ve used soft, mild goat cheese here because it’s a little more elegant, in my opinion, and because a lot of people can tolerate goat milk dairy than cow milk.
When searching for smoked salmon, you might find two different kinds. There is the cured or brined tender slices of salmon called lox or Gravlax, which haven’t been smoked. An additional step of cold smoking is required to turn the lox into actual smoked salmon. The aforementioned versions of salmon commonly go on bagels. The other version consists of a fillet of salmon that has been smoked under heat, which is called smoke roasted or hot roasted salmon. I used smoke roasted salmon in this recipe, which is a little firmer than a cooked piece of salmon, but you could use cured smoked salmon as well.
Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Deviled Eggs
6 eggs, hard cooked and cooled
3 tbsp mild soft goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp flaked or chopped smoked salmon, divided
1 tbsp each minced fresh dill, parsley, and chives, plus more for garnish
Dash cayenne pepper or hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut eggs in half. Scoop out yolks. I like to mash everything in a zip-top bag, but you can use a bowl and fork as well.
- Add yolk, goat cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, 2 tbsp smoked salmon, fresh herbs, cayenne, salt, and pepper (season more heavily than you would since this will also be seasoning the bland egg whites). Mash in the bag or with the back of a fork until homogenous.
- If using a bag, cut one corner off and pipe into each egg white cavity. Or scoop the mixture in with a spoon. Top each egg half with a few flakes of smoked salmon and sprinkle over plenty of fresh herbs to garnish.