Devilled Eggs with Avocado and Bacon

Devilled eggs are considered rather retro nowadays, but like prawn cocktails, cheeseballs and vol-au-vents, the old recipes are all still really nice and deserve to be dusted off once in a while.

Devilled Eggs

These ones are very simple and have bacon and avocado, but there are many variations to try. The eggs would be perfect for an Easter table, but I think they are good any time of year.

I have a special devilled egg plate that I just bought. I needed to replace my nice egg-shaped one that my husband smashed (allegedly) by accident! He does think I have too many plates though, as if you can have too many plates!

Devilled Eggs1

Ingredients:
6 Eggs – I used extra large
1-2tbs Mayonnaise
1tsp Dijon mustard
1tsp smoked paprika plus extra for garnish
Pinch of salt and pepper
3 slices of smoked streaky bacon, cooked until crisp, cooled and chopped finely
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
Half an avocado, cut into small chunks
A little lemon juice to stop the avocado from discolouring

Method:
I have tried various ways of ensuring the yolks are centred, including laying the eggs on their sides overnight, but it doesn’t always work. I find the easiest way is to give each egg a little shake before placing it in the water. Just enough to move the yolk inside the egg – not enough to break it!

I use this method to hard boil my eggs:
Place the eggs in water and bring up to the boil. As soon as the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat, put a lid on and time for 17 minutes. This is for extra-large eggs, I find any less time and the yolks are still a little waxy in the middle. As soon as the time is up, plunge them into iced water and peel the shells off, taking care not to pull chunks of egg white off.

Devilled Egg1

Cut the eggs in half length-ways and scoop out the yolks into a bowl. Place the egg halves onto a plate.

Add enough mayonnaise and mash with a fork to make a smooth consistency. Then add the mustard, salt, pepper and paprika and mix thoroughly. Some people like to pass the yolks through a sieve, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

You can either use a piping bag with a small star tip to pipe pretty stars, or just place the yolk mixture into a plastic bag, cut off the corner and squeeze little mounds into the waiting egg halves.

Stud each egg with a little chunk of avocado and sprinkle over the chopped bacon and chives and finish with a little more of the smoked paprika. You could also heat things up and use cayenne pepper.

Devilled Egg

These are perfect little snacks for a buffet table, picnic or canapé with drinks.

Mini Cheddleton & Chive Scones

These little bite-sized scones are made with Cheddleton from the Staffordshire Cheese Company, which is a creamy and quite crumbly cheese with a nice tang. It goes perfectly with the freshly snipped chives that are in these little scones. These are very nice, served warm with proper butter.

Cheese chive scones

Ingredients:
250g of self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1tsp English mustard powder
125g cold butter – cut into small cubes
150g grated Cheddleton Cheese plus extra for topping with
2tbs finely chopped chives
120ml whole/full fat milk
1 egg beaten and a little milk to make an egg wash

Method:
Sieve the flour, baking powder, mustard and salt in a bowl with the paddle attachment fitted. Add the cold, diced butter and mix until the butter is mixed into the flour but still visible.

Add the cheese and milk and mix until just combined.

Form a flattish disc and wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F

When you are ready to back, turn onto a floured board and roll out to around 2.5cm thick and use a small round cutter – around 2cm.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicon mat and brush the tops with a little egg wash and more of the grated cheese.

cheese and chive scones

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and well risen.

Best served warm from the oven with salted butter and perhaps a glass of wine.

Cheese scone butter

Roasted Salmon and Broccoli Quiche

Roasted hot-smoked salmon, fresh green broccoli with cream cheese and studded with little juicy tomberries. This is absolutely delicious, decadent and full of rich flavours. It’s perfect for a summer lunch or supper, but so good to take on a picnic and any leftovers make for extra special packed lunch.

Quiche

Crust:
300g/10.5oz plain/all-purpose flour
1tsp salt
227g/8oz butter cut into cubes and chilled
1 large egg, beaten
1-2tbs iced water

Filling:
5 extra large eggs
½ pint of double/heavy cream
453g/16oz Hot smoked roasted salmon – broken into large bite sized chunks. You can either cook your own, or buy any of the ready-cooked salmon in the chilled section of the supermarket.
One 180g/6.5oz pack of full fat cream cheese
Small bunch of chives, chopped
1 bunch of broccoli, separated into small bite-sized florets
1 pack of tomberries (125g/4 ½oz). If you can’t get these, you can top the quiche with slices of regular sized tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
Pinch of salt
½ tsp black pepper

Method:
Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas and add the egg and pulse once or twice. Add the iced water a little a time until the dough just comes together. You might not need all of the water.

Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Leave to chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and, without stretching, line the base and sides of a 10inch/25cm tin. Return to the fridge and chill for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F

Line the pastry with parchment paper or foil, leaving plenty to come up the sides. Fill with baking beans and place in the oven to blind bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the pastry shell out of the oven, remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for further 5 minutes or until the pastry feels dry. Leave to cool a little before adding the filling.

While the crust is baking, place the broccoli into boiling, salted water for 2 minutes and then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking and set the bright green colour. Drain thoroughly and place onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess water.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the cream, chives, salt and pepper.

Arrange the salmon and broccoli over the crust, ensuring an even distribution and pour the eggs and cream in and around the filling, filling the pastry base. Using a teaspoon, drop little blobs of cream cheese in the quiche and finally scatter over the tomberries

Carefully return to the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the centre has just set. It will carry on cooking a little after you take it out, so you don’t want to overcook and end up with a dry quiche.

quiche close up

You can serve this warm, but the quiche is at its best cold or room temperature and served simply with a salad and some chilled wine.

slice