Scoring farm-fresh eggs is a food thrill to this cook, and I buy several dozen at a time. So many great dishes begin with great eggs. You can plan an entire meal around these versatile, nutritious and oh-so-tasty orbs. I do like to mix it up a bit and find that tomatoes are a great complement to rich, creamy eggs. Something about the bright acidity just does me right — with a touch of local sea salt, of course. Oh, my.

Deviled eggs are a crowd pleaser, though why wait for a crowd? Make a batch and nibble on them for a few days. Use your eggs to make your own mayonnaise if you feel ambitious — it isn’t difficult at all.

Highlight the tomato for the main course and then return to the egg for dessert, in the form of a crepe. Growing up, my mother called these Swedish Pancakes and they were always a special treat when filled with fresh summer fruit.

Kill Deviled Party Eggs

3 dozen hard-boiled eggs

2 tablespoons of your favorite mustard

1 – 1½ cups Duke’s mayonnaise, or homemade!

1½ tablespoons dried tarragon

1 generous pinch of local sea salt

3 pounds local shrimp, 21-25 count

2 cloves minced garlic

Peel shrimp. De-vein if you feel the need. Sauté the shrimp in a good fruity olive oil and place them in large bowl. Add garlic and toss to both coat and cool the shrimp. Place the bowl in an ice bath or in the refrigerator to chill the seafood.

Peel eggs and cut in half, length-wise. Gently remove yolk. Place egg white halves on that cute plate you have had for years, yep, the one with all the egg half shaped indentions.

Place all the yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine until smooth. Try a good old table fork to mash the yolks, then blend in the mayo, mustard, tarragon and salt until as creamy as you like. A few lumps are ok if you re-fill the egg-white halves with a spoon. If you are using a pastry bag, try to get as smooth as possible. A pastry bag isn’t that fancy, it is just a good tool for getting the job done.

Place a chilled, garlic shrimp on top of each egg. A touch of chopped green onion is a nice garnish. Try to share.

Homemade Mayonnaise

1 egg at room temperature

1 cup + more just in case, lightly flavored oil (canola, olive)

1 teaspoon lemon juice or cider vinegar

Sea salt, pinch

Combine egg and lemon juice in a blender. Slowly drizzle in oil until thick. Adjust to taste with salt. Try adding garlic, herbs, dry mustard, flavored vinegars, capers or citrus to make different flavor profiles.

Angel Hair Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce, Sweet Basil, Garlic and Fresh Mozzarella

I like to make this with artichoke flour pasta, which is low glycemic and gluten free. This recipe serves 4.

1 box angel hair pasta

6 medium, ripe summer tomatoes (if out of season, substitute canned tomatoes. I like San Marzano)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Handful of fresh sweet basil, julienned

½ cup fresh mozzarella, diced (optional)

Drizzle of good olive oil

Sea salt

Cook pasta according to instructions on box. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add hot cooked pasta to bowl of tomatoes and toss. Serve immediately, while the cheese is slightly melted. It’s also good at room temperature, topped with cheese instead.

Fruit-Filled Swedish Pancakes

3 eggs

1¼ cup milk

¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Fresh fruit and whipped cream, optional

Beat eggs till thick but not whipped. Add milk. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture, mixing until smooth. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto a moderately hot, buttered griddle. You can also use a special Swedish griddle or a crepe pan. Spread batter evenly, and quickly, to make super-thin cakes. Turn, or flip, when underside is light brown. These are really thin. You should be able to make about 50. At this point you can fill and eat as many as you want and then store the rest between sheets of parchment paper, in your fridge, for up to a week.

Recipes courtesy of Outer Banks Epicurean

(We try to use all organic/natural/real ingredients)

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