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Deviled Eggs with Country Ham and Pickled Celery
Deviled Eggs with Country Ham and Pickled Celery Photo courtesy of Tuan Huynh

You know that beautiful scalloped serving tray you haven’t used in two years? Now’s the time to break it out, because it’s the perfect platter for serving deviled eggs, particularly this countrified version from Ford Fry’s new Atlanta restaurant, King + Duke. At the hearth-focused spot, executive chef Joe Schafer blends country ham into the creamy filling and finishes the dish with pickled celery to keep things perfectly casual and downright American. We can’t think of a better appetizer to kick off your celebration come July 4th.

Makes 6 servings (12 deviled eggs)

Pickled Celery and Ham Garnish

½ cup sugar

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias

2 thin slices country ham

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives

 

Deviled Eggs

6 eggs

¼ pound cooked country ham, finely chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the garnish: In a small saucepan set over high heat, combine the sugar with the vinegar and ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves. Place the celery in a small bowl, then pour the liquid over the celery. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the ham on the baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your ham. Remove the ham from the oven, cool completely on the baking sheet, then break into small pieces. Transfer the ham to a small bowl and set aside.

3. Make the eggs: An hour before the pickled celery is ready, place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath.

4. Transfer the eggs to the ice-water bath to cool completely, then peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and arrange the egg whites, cut side up, on a platter.

5. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the egg yolks with the ham, mayonnaise and mustard and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, mound the filling into each egg-white half, dividing it evenly among the halves. (You may have some leftover filling.)

6. Drain the pickled celery, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid. In a small bowl, combine the pickled celery with the olive oil and reserved pickling liquid. Spoon the pickled celery mixture over the eggs to taste, then sprinkle with the reserved ham bits and chives. Serve immediately.

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