But my mind keeps going, of course, devising new dishes that I’d want to serve to a crowd, coming up with irresistible combos that would be more than perfect for more than two people. Even four or six would be fine, I sigh to myself. But it’s not fair that most of the time, my cats are getting the most bliss out of our backyard.
So for the June/July issue of ReadyMade, which gets down and dirty with tons of ideas for making the most of your home, I developed four housewarming party menus based on whatever home and occasion you happen to be celebrating.
Whether it’s a size-challenged urban apartment (a small-space shindig) or a full-on block party as you bump up the number of bedrooms in your house (a family affair), I’ve brainstormed a bunch of buffet options that leave you free to mingle with your guests. But these menus aren’t restricted to housewarming parties, and they don’t have to fall neatly into each category, either. Reuse and repurpose them for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, pick and choose the dishes that sound best to you, and go nuts.
And just for you, my party-hearty Good. Food. Stories. readers, I’ve got a bonus: my favorite, foolproof deviled egg recipe that can be gussied up or dressed down as you see fit. In ReadyMade, I suggest pairing it with candied bacon to play up the “great pairs” theme of a just-married couple’s new home, but deviled eggs are so tantalizingly open to variation. Scallions, pimientos, minced celery, lemon zest, smoked salmon, smoked salt, and even caviar have found their way into my deviled eggs over the years, and all have been devoured with gusto.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes 2 dozen deviled eggs
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (smooth or whole-grain, your preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- smoked paprika
Place the eggs in a stockpot with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, and bring to a boil with the lid on. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat and keep covered for 9 minutes. While the 9 minutes are passing, fill a large bowl with ice water for an ice bath.
Drain the eggs and return them to the stockpot. Shake the pot gently but firmly to crack the shells, then transfer the eggs to the ice bath. Let cool for 5 minutes before peeling.
Cut each egg in half and gently pop the fresh yellow yolk into a bowl. To help my eggs stand up smartly on the plate, I also slice a small piece off the bottom of each egg half to create a flat surface.
Mush the yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. If you’re feeling fancy, you can spoon the filling into a Ziploc bag and cut a corner off to make an impromptu piping bag (or use a real piping bag and tip), or just spoon a mound of filling into each egg white.
Sprinkle with paprika before serving.