The shads are flowering early this year, last week the one in my backyard was a bare-naked winter tree and now it is donning a pretty white bonnet. To see the landscape packed with shads is breathtaking - gentle clouds of white and restful hues of green, a beautiful spring tapestry quietly rolling over the hamlet. A friend has a party every year to celebrate the blooming shads and the view from her deck is spectacular; high up on the hill, shads as far as the eye can see, all the way down to the water. Celebrations for blooms, for seasons, for the harvest......my kind of party, my dad used to have a potato party - the potato barrels were emptied in front of an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd, sometimes there was a glut but more often just a few measly spuds were unearthed (much applause and cheers) anyway it was always a good party, and potatoes seemed like a good enough reason for a knees-up.
I made deviled eggs for the shad party, I wanted to make something jolly looking and spring-like, my fellow shad lookers approved.
This is a beautiful piece about the shads in Montauk written by Hilary Ostlere.
10 hard boiled eggs
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
a couple of splashes of lea and perrins
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
a splash of fish sauce
salt and black pepper
Cut the eggs in half and gently remove the yolks into a bowl, mix in the remaining ingredients, (except the chives and paprika) until you have a smooth and creamy paste, spoon mixture back into the hollowed egg whites, add the chopped chives and sprinkle with smoked paprika.
A note about smoked paprika - I am going to sound like Simon and Minty on 'Posh Nosh' (love them!) but.....I used hot smoked paprika from Le Vera region of Spain, it really is exceptional, oaky and smokey without knocking your socks off - Kalystan's in New York have a vast selection of smoked paprika.
These little devils are divine with champagne and pretty good with Stonecrop 2009 Sauvignon Blanc too - more about the new vintage in the next post.