Greggory Hill has a mild obsession with bacon – really, all things pig. The snub-nosed swine adorns his Washington, D.C., restaurant, called David Greggory, in subtle ways: a piggy planter here, a tissue dispenser there. The chef-owner even hosts an Aphrodisiac Bacon Dinner once a month, designing an entire menu – including dessert – around the beast.
Bacon may seem a humble ingredient, but Hill elevates it to new realms, creating concoctions you’d never dream of (bacon fat ice cream drizzled with bittersweet chocolate sauce, anyone?). But he also knows when to rein in his boundless enthusiasm for bold flavors. His appetizer of deviled eggs uses the humble ovals as a mellow backdrop to highlight other taste notes – often including his beloved bacon.
The assortment of eggs varies on occasion, but for my visit, the featured flavors were arugula-lemon (bright and clean), caper-red onion (briny and earthy) and smoked paprika-bacon (rich and deep).
“There are many more ideas for fillings than these,” said Hill, an inexplicably trim man considering his love of pork fat. “You could play with smoked salmon, roasted mushrooms, truffle oil, chopped parsley, chives, blue cheese or crabmeat.
“Remember the recipe is only a road map. You can always take a different route. Just have fun!”
These eggs are surprisingly simple to make and easily transport to potlucks: Keep the cooked whites separate from the yolk mixture, which can be stored in a resealable plastic bag. Upon arrival, snip the corner off, and fill the whites.
2tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/2teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
Smoked paprika-bacon filling:
1/2teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
2tablespoons crumbled bacon
1/4teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2tablespoons blanched, drained and finely chopped arugula
1teaspoon lemon juice
Caper-red onion filling:
2tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
1tablespoon finely chopped red onion
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with an inch of cold water over high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Cover for 10 to 12 minutes, then transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool completely, about 10 minutes. Peel them under running water, cut them in half horizontally and transfer the hard-cooked yolks to the bowl of a food processor. Place the hard-cooked whites on a platter and set aside. To the yolks, add the mayonnaise, mustard and hot pepper sauce and process until smooth.
For the fillings, divide the yolk mixture among three small bowls. To each bowl, add one of the ingredients for the three variations and stir to combine. Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a large tip, fill the halves with the deviled mixtures. Serve immediately.
Note: Smoked Spanish paprika has a more robust flavor. It is available at specialty food markets. To blanch arugula, add the leaves to a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds.
Per serving (based on a half egg with plain filling): 71 calories, 3 g protein, trace carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 107 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 93 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber.