Tonnato-Stuffed Eggs

One of my husband Bill's favorite dishes is Vitello Tonnato. Cold sliced veal with a tuna sauce; it is an Italian version of surf and turf. Trying to imagine another recipe on which to use this tasty sauce, I thought of eggs. I love stuffed eggs. My mom has never stopped making them, even though the food police decreed them taboo for the longest time. In fact, as of October 2000, the position of the American Heart Association is that an egg a day is okay. null Eggs and tuna, like veal and tuna, are a happy marriage, and a couple of these stuffed eggs are substantial enough to make up a light lunch. null The most important thing to learn from this recipe is how to boil eggs. In fact, as Julia Child taught me, the paradoxically correct method is not to boil them. You start the eggs in cold water, bring them just up to a boil, pull them off the heat, and let them sit. "Boiling" the eggs this way eliminates tough, chewy whites and the nasty green line that others runs between the yolks and the whites. Try it. You'll be amazed.

Recipe courtesy Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Broadway Books, 2002
TOTAL TIME: 45 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 12 stuffed eggs
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) can tuna (Italian tuna packed in oil for more flavor, American tuna packed in water for fewer calories), drained
  • 5 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon drained bottled capers
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Directions

Put the eggs in a large saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of half ice and half water. Cool completely, then peel under cold running water.

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Keep the halves of the whites intact. Place the yolks in a strainer set over a large bowl and force through with the back of a large spoon. Add the mayonnaise and stir until smooth.

Combine the tuna, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir into the yolks and season with salt and pepper. Mound a heaping spoonful of the yolk mixture into the cavity of the whites. Garnish with a celery leaf and an olive. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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