I was recently asked to cater hors d’œuvres for a 1960’s themed party for 80 people and it got me thinking about what to make that was typical of the time and still would be popular today. I came up with numerous ideas, mini sausage rolls (always a crowd pleaser), tuna and sun dried tomato mousse on little toasts, mini quiche, (who can resist), stuffed button mushrooms, spinach dip, butternut and rosemary dip, blue cheese dip, crudité platter, chips and mini crackers and of course, Deviled eggs. Was there ever a more classic 60’s hors d’oeuvre? Do not worry, I did not forget about the shrimp cocktail but that was going to be the starter to the dinner so I could not add that to the canapé selection. Wow, I was going to have fun making all these and you bet I did.
I wanted to give the eggs a slight twist from the classic Deviled egg which is basically egg yolk with mayo and mustard and I tried several variations before settling on Madras Deviled eggs. These have an Indian twist with curry powder, cayenne pepper and chutney. You can vary the heat according to your taste and the strength of your curry powder. Mine is a mix made up with 3 types of hot curry powder so 1 teaspoon is sufficient unless you want to see smoke coming out of your guest’s nostrils – mind you it does clear the sinuses. I used my all time favourite chutney, Mrs Ball’s. It is a South African favorite and in my mind the best chutney ever, but if you do not have it handy, then feel free to use your favourite brand. A mango or peach based one works best. The addition of the cream cheese (I used Philadelphia light) makes the filling very creamy but also gives you much more filling than is actually needed to fill the egg whites, so you will have a nice quantity of madras egg mix to use on sandwiches. It is delicious and you can even use this recipe to make a sandwich filling instead of deviled eggs if you wish. Simply mash the entire egg, white and yolk with the rest of your ingredients and spread on your favorite bread, your family will love it and you might never go back to plain egg mayonnaise, ever again. An added bonus is that the mix will keep a few days in the refrigerator.
The best way to cook hard boiled eggs – tried and tested method:
Place the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan and cover with enough cold water to about 1 inch above eggs. Heat on heat until water begins to boil, then cover, turn off the heat and allow to leave, covered for 12 minutes. Rinse under cold water or place in a dish of very cold water for a few minutes. Your eggs are now ready for use or you can place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Do not leave for more than a few hours or it will be more difficult to peel them.
12 hard boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
2/3 cup / 170 g cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder (depends on strength)
Pinch cayenne pepper
8 to 10 drops Tabasco sauce
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup chutney
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish
Parsley, finely chopped
Carefully remove the yolks from your eggs and place in a medium bowl
Place the whites on a serving platter
Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork
Add the cream cheese and mash well
Add the Worcester sauce, curry powder, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, mayonnaise, chutney, salt and black pepper
Fill the whites with heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture
Sprinkle with paprika and parsley