spicy shrimp deviled eggs

Image: Olaiya Land


I’m currently in the middle of wading through a mountain of dishes, clothing and furniture destined for the garage sale I’m holding tomorrow. I’m not the tiniest bit ready, so it should be interesting to see how it all comes together! Somehow these things always seem to work themselves out so I’m sure it will be fine. (And if my sale isn’t the most neatly organized and well-planned on the block, the world will probably keep turning.)

In addition to pulling together a last-minute garage sale, I’m also preparing to launch a new Paris culinary tour for September. Registration will be open next week, so check back then for details! You can also sign up for the First To Know List to receive early access to all tours, workshops and retreats.

Image: Olaiya Land

Despite having accidentally scheduled way too many projects for myself this week, I didn’t want to leave you without a recipe! So thought I’d share the Spicy Shrimp Deviled Eggs I made for our Fourth of July BBQ. These are spicy and creamy and just a touch sweet from the shrimp. They're perfect for all your summer picnics and outdoor gatherings!

Happy Weekend and XO,


Image: Olaiya Land

Spicy Shrimp Deviled Eggs

  • 6 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ lb. medium to large sustainable shrimp (I used size 16-20 wild gulf prawns), preferably with shells on
  • 6 tablespoons best quality or homemade mayonnaise
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon very thinly sliced green onion (dark green part only)
  • 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced or roughly chopped spicy pickled peppers
  • Small sprigs savory or tarragon or additional sliced green onions, to garnish

*Notes: This recipe can easily be doubled and the filled deviled eggs will keep, covered and refrigerated, for one day if you want to make them in advance. Garnish just before serving. 

- I used Mamma Lil's pickled peppers, but any spicy sweet pickled pepper will work.

- Any additional filling that doesn’t fit in your hard-boiled eggs makes a decadent egg salad that’s fantastic on a slice of toast.

Image: Olaiya Land

Fill a medium saucepan ⅔ full of water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Gently add the eggs and cook for 13 minutes. Drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs, or place them in an ice bath, until they feel cool to the touch. Peel the eggs and set them aside. (Can be done up to 2 days in advance.)

Fill the same saucepan about halfway full of water and place over high heat. Salt the water until it tastes like the ocean then add the peppercorns and bay leaves. When the water comes to the boil, add the shrimp. Adjust heat to cook the shrimp at a bare simmer until cooked through (just past the point of translucence). Cooking the shrimp at a gentle heat will help keep them from turning tough and rubbery. Check the shrimp often as they cook, cutting into one with a paring knife if necessary to check for doneness. The time will vary depending on the size of the shrimp. Mine took 4 minutes.

Drain the poaching water from the shrimp and run them under cold water or place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. When the shrimp are completely cool, peel them then dry thoroughly. Roughly chop and set aside.

Image: Olaiya Land

Cut the hard boiled eggs in half and scoop the yolks into a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, cayenne, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Mash with a fork or, for a smoother filling, puree the yolk mixture with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add the green onion, pickled peppers and chopped shrimp. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. 

Spoon the shrimp filling into the halved hard boiled eggs. Chill for at least 30 minutes before topping with herb sprigs or green onions and serving. 

Makes about 6 servings.

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com

We’ve been in our house for a little over a year now. I’ve walked the streets of our new neighborhood dozens--maybe even hundreds--of times since we moved in. So I thought I had a pretty decent handle on the highlights of this little corner of Seattle.

Earlier this week, however, I learned that I had been overlooking one of the hidden culinary treasures of the city: the Discoteca los 3 Reyes.

This is not, as the name might suggest, a Latin nightclub, but rather a little grocery store jam-packed with every sort of Mexican ingredient your heart could desire. They stock the more familiar offerings: hot sauce and canned beans and spice packets for taco meat. But also corn husks for tamales, hibiscus flowers, dozens of chiles and fat kernels of Mexican corn ready to be ground into masa harina. They have piloncillo and Mexican cinnamon and dried avocado leaves. In short, they carry everything I need to get my Oaxaca food fix on.

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com
pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com

Naturally, I filled my shopping bag with tons of ingredients I don’t entirely know how to use (what do you do with yerba santa anyway?) and over the next couple weeks I’ll be testing recipes for my upcoming Oaxaca-inspired dinner--and just for fun. I’ll be posting my successes here.

Today's experiment was a Pineapple and Jicama Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette and I'm calling it a success. This dish was inspired by a salad we had as part of our photography workshop in Oaxaca. As well as by all the chile-dusted tropical fruit sold in the streets of the city. It treads a thin line between savory and sweet and has some crunchy toasted peanuts and fresh herbs thrown in to round things out. 

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com
pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com

Beau and I devoured a plate of this for lunch alongside some jalapeño eggs. Then we started dreaming up other ways to eat it in the coming weeks: as a salsa on top of a nicely charred steak, as a bed for roasted halibut, with yogurt and toasted coconut. Beau even thinks you could get away with adding a scoop of sorbet or ice cream. (Of course, he thinks you can improve a lot of things with a scoop of ice cream, so I’ll have to let you know about that one.)

However you decide to serve this salad, I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with more dispatches from the Discoteca los 3 Reyes and more Oaxaca-inspired kitchen experiments.

Pineapple and Jicama Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 2 oranges, (I used cara caras)
  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, halved lenghtwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned jicama
  • 3 dried arbol chiles (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish

*Notes: This salad is fairly spicy. If you don't like spice, either cut back on the arbol chile or use a milder chile.

- I think this salad would also be delicious topped with crumbled queso fresco.

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com

Using a sharp knife, slice the peel and pith from the oranges. Carefully slice them into 1/4-inch rounds and then cut each round into sixths (you'll have six little triangles for each slice). Arrange the sliced pineapple, oranges and jicama on a serving platter. 

De-stem the chiles and place them in a spice grinder. Process into fine flakes. Place the chiles in a medium bowl along with the lime juice, honey, oil, peanuts and chopped herbs. Stir to combine then add salt to taste (you want it to be a bit on the salty side). 

Pour the vinaigrette over the pineapple, oranges and jicama. Scatter the radishes and reserved herb leaves over the salad and serve.

Makes 6-8 side dish servings.

pineapple and jicama salad with chile-lime vinaigrette | millys-kitchen.com

simple suppers: spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

You’ll be happy to hear I’m (mostly) done complaining about being back under grey Northwest skies. Shaking the nasty head cold I came home with has helped brighten my mood. As did seeing so many fantastic folks from the Seattle food community at Book Larder’s 5th birthday bash last night. 

The food was mightily on point, too. My friend Kyle made ridiculously delicious lamb meatballs bathed in some sort of creamy tomato business that everyone was swooning over. And pastry chef extraordinaire, Rachael Coyle, baked a carrot cake studded with dates and nuts and layered with the fluffiest mascarpone filling that made me lose all restraint. (I may or may not have gone back for thirds.)

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

Also, a brute of a storm is rolling into town this weekend. There’s talk of gale-force winds and power outages. Beau and I have battened down our hatches and are planning to spend the next couple days indoors playing cards, reading, watching movies and cooking (as long as we have power), which sounds like the perfect way to spend a blustery fall weekend.

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

Another thing that boosted my mood this week is this spicy spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts and sardines. This humble, improvised dinner was just the sort of comfort food I needed. Creamy, nutty and salty-sweet, it was a happy coincidence of pantry staples that yielded a whole much greater than the sum of its parts. A sort of weeknight dinner alchemy. And the best part is that it somehow managed to taste even better today when we had the leftovers for lunch. 

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com
spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

Good ingredients are key here. Especially, the sardines. I used a can of the amazing sardines I brought back from Portugal. I recommend searching out good quality Portuguese, Spanish or Italian sardines for this dish. (A few mashed up anchovy fillets would work in a pinch.) And for those of you who are not fans of canned fish--I hear you. I would never open a can of sardines and eat them with a fork like Beau does. That’s far too fishy for me! But against a backdrop of earthy roasted cauliflower, sweet-tart dried currants, salty parmesan and toothsome spaghetti, sardines lend just the right amount of briny umami to round out this dish. 

I cannot say precisely whether it was seeing so many friends this week, or the mood-boosting properties of all the sardines I ate, or the excitement of preparing for this weekend’s storm, or possibly even the carrot cake-induced sugar rush I experienced yesterday that lifted my mood. What I can say is that I’m grateful to be feeling more at home in our little home. And that this pasta is my new favorite cold-weather comfort food.

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com
spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

Spaghetti with Roasted Cauliflower, Currants, Pine Nuts, Chile and Sardines

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6-8 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 oz. dried spaghetti
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Generous pinch chile flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup capers, rinsed
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 can sardine filets (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan, plus additional to garnish
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

Preheat your oven to 450° F.

Wash and dry your cauliflower well. Remove any tough leaves and stalks and toss. Remove the tender, pale green leaves and set aside. Slice the cauliflower into ½-inch thick slices (the flat sides of sliced cauliflower make more uniform contact with the pan allowing the cauliflower to brown more evenly). Arrange the cauliflower and tender leaves in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan (use parchment paper for easier clean-up if you want). Brush with 2-4 tablespoons of the olive oil. The amount you need will depend on the size of your cauliflower--you want it coated on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and roast until the cauliflower is just tender and nicely browned, about 20 minutes, turning once.  

While the cauliflower is roasting, bring a large pot of generously salted water (it should taste like the sea) to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add a tablespoon or so of the cooking water if necessary to keep it from sticking to the pot.

spaghetti with roasted cauliflower, currants, pine nuts, chile and sardines via millys-kitchen.com

When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and set aside. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the capers, currants and sardines. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often  until the ingredients are heated through. Smash the sardines with the back of a wooden spoon if necessary to break them up. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pot with the spaghetti along with the cheese and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook over low heat, stirring well, until the cheese has melted and formed a sauce with the pasta water. Taste and add a bit more salt if necessary and a bit more pasta water if it seems dry. Serve hot sprinkled with the toasted pine nuts and extra grated parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.