Don't let Easter eggs linger long in fridge
IF THE Easter Bunny left a batch of hard-boiled eggs in your fridge, be advised that you're only supposed to keep them around for a week. So, depending on how early you started decorating eggs this year, you could be coming up fast on the food-safety limit recommended by both the USDA and the American Egg Board.
Fresh, uncooked eggs actually keep much longer, four to five weeks, but when you hard-boil, the egg's protective coating is removed and the porous shell can no longer keep bacteria out.
If you've already turned some of that Easter bounty into deviled eggs or egg salad, be advised that those items keep only about three days. And if your eggs were left out for more than two hours (for a particularly long egg hunt, for example), I hope you didn't eat them. If they're still around, throw them out. Same advice if the shells are cracked.
Now, as for those perfectly good (for now) eggs: If you can't eat them fast enough, consider pickling. No one asked me for this recipe, but I figure that's just because no one thought of it. Pickling extends the shelf life another week or so and provides a whole other taste experience.
THE SIMPLEST way to do this is to buy a couple jars of pickled beets, remove the beets and put your eggs in the jars. This will turn them a lovely shade of pink.
Many more formal recipes have you start with fresh beets, boil them, then pickle eggs and beets together with the beet juice, vinegar and seasonings.
I decided to go simpler and beet-free with the very adaptable recipe that follows. You can adjust the flavors by using other types of vinegar, adding hot peppers, or using commercial pickling spices. Just be sure you use a very clean jar and keep the pickled eggs refrigerated.
After two days the eggs had taken on a light, sweet-sour flavor, not at all overpowering. They'd be good sliced in a salad or deviled -- or eaten as is, with a cold beer.
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 small onion, cut in rings
1 cinnamon stick, optional
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 cup cider vinegar
Place eggs, onion and cinnamon stick in a clean 1-quart glass jar.
Bring water to boil. Add sugar, pepper and mustard; stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Cool slightly, then pour over eggs. Add more water if needed to cover eggs.
Cover tightly and refrigerate.
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