One way to boil eggs

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many ways to devil them

Book has fun facts, tips and recipes

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April 07, 2004|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

If nothing else, Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes From Simple to Sassy by Debbie Moose (Harvard, 2004, $12.95) tells you how to hard-cook eggs the right way: Set them in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil, then immediately remove eggs from heat and "slap on the lid," Moose writes. "Let the eggs sit, covered, for 15 minutes," and cool under running water.

But Moose's book is also filled with helpful hints aplenty about a kitchen staple easily taken for granted despite its fragile nature. Who knew, for example, that you can center an egg yoke by shaking an egg before boiling it?

Who knew, as well, that to devil means "to add something spicy and/or hot to the dish"?

Although I'm not sure I can agree with the author's assessment that "deviled eggs are the perfect food," they are definitely the perfect remedy for leftover, hard-boiled Easter eggs. (That is, the ones hidden in the refrigerator, not the back yard.)

This cookbook, like many others, belabors the obvious with directions on how to peel eggs, how to slice them and other tips. At the same time, though, Deviled Eggs has a light, good-natured tone, and its chatty introductions to "cousin Judy's deviled eggs," "spinach-bacon deviled eggs," and other finger-friendly offerings, evoke over-the-fence recipe trades and a certain old-fashioned approach to the domestic arts.

The book's appeal also lies in its recognition of the countless regional variations on this American mainstay of picnics and dinner parties as well as the classics. And for hard-core eggies, there are decorating suggestions.

Moose entertains as well with "eggstraordinary" fun facts. Sample: "The New York soda fountain favorite egg cream contains no eggs at all." She also provides a recipe for "devil's food eggs," which calls for cocoa powder, brown sugar and creme fraiche. Pretty daring.

I stuck to safer territory by trying a deviled-egg recipe called Springtime Herb Delights. We gobbled them up with some smoked fish and salad on a recent Sunday night. Just right.

Springtime Herb Delights

Makes 12

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half, and yolks mashed in a bowl

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives

salt and black pepper to taste

fresh Italian parsley leaves for garnish

Combine the thoroughly mashed yolks with the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Stir in the finely chopped herbs. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

Fill the whites evenly with the mixture and garnish each egg half with a whole parsley leaf.

Per serving: 202 calories; 14 grams protein; 15 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 1 gram carbohydrate; 0 grams fiber; 461 milligrams cholesterol; 160 milligrams sodium

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