Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Western Deviled Eggs with Pickled Mustard Seeds

A fun twist on classic deviled eggs  -  Western style with diced ham, onion and green peppers and topped with sweet pickled mustard seeds. 

When I was a kid I couldn't get enough of deviled eggs. I loved making them as much as I loved eating them, so my mom bought me a deviled egg serving platter. It was a fancy white plate with grooves to hold about 16 deviled eggs. Every time we went to a party I'd have to make my eggs to bring. I was only 8 or 9 years old - how cute is that?

I don't know if I got burnt out on them, but I haven't had deviled eggs in years. But lately I've been making a lot of hard boiled eggs to have in for a quick breakfast on the go, so last weekend I decided to turn some of them into a fun appetizer for dinner with family.

Ham and eggs are such a classic combination, and add in peppers and onions and you have one of the most popular omelette recipes ever - the Western. No need to buy a whole ham, either. Just ask your deli counter for one sliced of cooked ham sliced approximately 1/4 inch thick.

The first step to getting a good deviled egg is to make the perfect hard boiled egg. There are so many tips and tricks out there - boiling, adding vinegar, baking, etc. I keep it simple and my eggs peel perfectly every time and the yolks are bright yellow - no green ring.

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water until they are submerged. Bring the water to a boil for one minute, remove from the heat and cover. Set your timer for 13 minutes and as soon as the 13 minutes are up, run cold water into the pot. I do this for several minutes and even add ice. You really want to shock the eggs so they peel comes off clean. By using this method, that thin skin between the egg and the shell sticks to the shell, not the egg, and makes it super easy to peel the eggs.

These pickled mustard seeds were a find at a recent cooking demonstration. I had never had them before, but love the texture and the touch of sweetness they add. What a perfect topping for a deviled egg!

These were so yummy - sweet, creamy, and salty - that I have made them twice in the past 3 days!

Western Deviled Eggs with Pickled Mustard Seeds
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations


  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/4 of a green pepper, diced (2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp minced white onion
  • 2 Tbsp diced ham (see my tip above about buying deli ham)
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 3-4 Tbsp mayonnaise (I prefer Hellmann's)
  • Pickled mustard seeds to topping
  • Slice the eggs in half and gently remove the yolk (they should pop right out if cooked properly). 
  • In a bowl, mash the yolks using the back of a fork. Add the green pepper, onion, ham, salt, pepper, Dijon and mayo. Mix until creamy. Taste and adjust any seasoning. 
  • Spoon the mixture evenly between the 16 halves and top with the pickled mustard seeds. 
  • Chill until ready to serve. 

Western style deviled eggs - diced ham, onion and green pepper mixed with yolks and topped with sweet pickled mustard seeds. Deviled eggs make the perfect one-bite party appetizer!

Western style deviled eggs - diced ham, onion and green pepper mixed with yolks and topped with sweet pickled mustard seeds. Deviled eggs make the perfect one-bite party appetizer!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Weeknight Chicken Marsala

You can have rich, delicious, juicy Chicken Marsala on the table in 25 minutes! This is a great weeknight meal that will make your family think you cooked for an hour.

To save even more time, dice your onions, slice your mushrooms, and trim and pound your chicken ahead of time. I love having the prep done so when I get home I can just grab my ingredients and get cooking. Some mornings I'll even put my pots/pans on the stove and get out my tongs and cooking utensils. Every little bit helps.

I love the semi-sweet but earthy sauce that coats the chicken. Although this is a chicken dish, I prefer to use beef broth for a richer sauce.

Chicken Marsala doesn't have to be something you order in restaurants or something you spend an hour making. Try this weeknight Chicken Marsala the next time you need a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Weeknight Chicken Marsala
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

Ingredients (to serve 3-4 people)

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded to 1/4-1/2 inch thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour in a Ziploc bag. 
  • 3 Tbsp butter, separated
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1 c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 sm white onion, diced
  • 1/4 Marsala wine or Marsala cooking wine
  • 3/4 c beef broth 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Season your chicken with salt, pepper and sage. Add the chicken to the flour bag and shake until coated. 
  • Heat 1 Tbsp butter and half of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Shake the excess flour from the chicken and add it to the pan. 
  • Cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and put in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees (probably 7-10 minutes depending on your thickness).
  • Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan the chicken cooked in. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute 6 minutes. 
  • Add the Marsala wine and stir; let simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol and reduce the wine. 
  • Add the beef broth and stir. Taste and adjust s&p. 
  • Return the cooked chicken to the pan and let simmer 1 minutes. 
  • Serve with pasta, noodles, mashed potatoes, rice, or roasted potatoes (or whatever you prefer!).