I’ve found there are several distinct signs of happiness: spontaneous smiling, a sudden and unexplained tolerance for L.A. traffic, and an empty fridge because to be honest, you’re way too happy to bother filling it.
Cue a truly happy Melissa several weeks ago when a friend of mine sends me this text at 6 o’clock on a Thursday: “Wine and cheese at my place with the girls tonight. 7 p.m. Bring snacks.”
[Opens fridge door and stares into the abyss of desolate shelves, otherwise known as home to a half-dozen eggs, four sorry strands of cilantro, one avocado and a lime wedge left over from last week’s Taco Tuesday party.]
In the sitcom version of this dilemma, I simply skip on over to my cute bakery around the corner, pick up some deliciously rustic chocolate chip cookies, put them in a plastic container and call it a day.
But I live in a small surf town where there’s only one supermarket and the best I’d be able to do in a hurry would be to buy a few packages of vaguely Japanese sushi rolls or semi-stale donuts.
No thank you.
In a moment of inspiration worthy of a lavish Ina Garten garden party, I opened my fridge again, took out the eggs, lime, cilantro and avocado then got to work, knowing immediately what I had to do. Less than half an hour later, it was done.
The following recipe for avocado deviled eggs is the result of this epicurean epiphany, which I must admit turned out to be a snack so delicious, it would be cruel of me not to share. (Plus, when I asked on Instagram, y’all said you wanted this recipe and I aim to please). Without further ado:
Avocado Deviled Eggs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes + 5 minutes to cool down
Total time: 27 minutes
Yield: Serves 2-4 depending on appetite of guests and amount of wine consumed. (In my experience, wine consumption and hunger seem to be a proportional relationship. Drink more, eat more, so I’d recommend you ask how much vino will be flowing and calculate appropriately.)
- 2 cups of water
- 6 eggs
- 1 avocado
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or Tapatio sauce (Use whatever hot sauce you have in your pantry.)
- 1 small handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (If you’re asking yourself, “Wait a minute, I thought this girl had no food in her fridge!” You’re right to question this ingredient. But I am a notorious spice fiend and always have a container of red pepper flakes nearby. I’d eat these on cereal if I could. Maybe. OK, definitely.)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, place eggs inside and set your timer for 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes, remove your eggs from the saucepan and allow to cool for five minutes. (I insert this step as a precautionary tale of seriously burned fingers. I did not wait five minutes when I first made these eggs and all I can say is, “ouch!”)
- While the eggs are cooling, melt your butter in a small sauté pan.
- Peel the eggs and cut them lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks and put them in a separate bowl. Set the egg-white halves on your serving dish.
- In your bowl with the egg yolks, add the melted butter and avocado. If the avocado is really big, you may only need half. (Use your culinary discretion, you got this!) Mix until combined.
- Scoop the yolk mixture evenly into each egg white half. (Note: You can also put the mixture into a Ziploc bag, seal the bag shut, cut off one triangle at the bottom corner and pipe that yolk onto your egg whites if you’re feelin’ fancy.)
- Squeeze lime juice on top of your eggs. (Again, if the fancy feeling strikes, you can first zest some lime on top of your eggs.)
- Sprinkle eggs with hot sauce, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Then garnish with cilantro. No need to chop the cilantro, roughly cutting it up and scattering the pieces over the eggs will give the dish a feel-good, homey vibe.
- Cover the eggs with plastic wrap and stick them in the refrigerator. Shower. Do hair. Look fly. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and proceed to wow your friends with their deviled egg-and-avocado goodness.
Yep. It’s that easy. You’re welcome, friends. You’re welcome.