Tucked away in New York’s East Village is Root & Bone, the brainchild of chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. These Top Chef alumni serve up the ultimate in southern fare, from buttermilk biscuits pulled straight from the oven and drizzled with salted honey butter to devilishly flavorful deviled eggs. Their twist on this comfort food classic? They poach the eggs in beet pickling vinegar, which turns them a pretty shade of pink, and lace the whipped filling with turmeric and salty capers. It all adds up to a delicious way to kick off a meal.
Pickled Beets (Must be made a day in advance)
1 medium beet
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 small sweet potato (about 4 oz.), peeled and thinly sliced
Canola oil for frying
Salt to taste
6 eggs, preferably free-range
Reserved beet pickle juice (see recipe above)
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
Dash of Tabasco
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
Fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt for garnish
To Prepare the Pickled Beets:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place beet on a small baking sheet and roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the beet is tender when pierced with a fork. Allow the roasted beet to cool to room temperature, then peel off the skin. Place the peeled beet in a large bowl; set aside.
In a saucepan, add the red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Place over a medium flame and heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Pour this liquid over the cooked beet. Allow this to cool to room temperature, then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. The next day, remove the beet, reserving the pickling liquid. Cut the pickled beet into small pieces and set aside.
To Prepare the Root Chips:
In a large pot, heat the canola oil to 300°F, measuring the temperature with a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Rinse the slices of sweet potato under cold water for 2 minutes to release excess starch. Dry very, very thoroughly and fry the slices in batches for 2 to 5 minutes or until the chips are just beginning to brown and curl at the edges. Remove the chips and check for crispiness. If the chips are not crisp, return to the oil for another 20 to 30 seconds. Remove and season with salt; set aside.
To Prepare the Deviled Eggs:
Fill a pot or large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the eggs and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water. Allow the eggs to sit in the cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to allow for easy peeling. Peel the eggs under lightly running water from the faucet (this will also help in peeling). Place the eggs in the reserved beet pickling liquid and let them sit for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs, rinse under cold water and dry very thoroughly. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; remove the yolks and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Shave off a piece about 1/8-inch thick from the rounded side of each egg half, so that the egg will lay flat when served. Set the hollowed-out whites aside while you make the filling. In the bowl with the yolks, add the mayonnaise, mustard, rice vinegar, turmeric, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add the capers and chives and fold gently until incorporated. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe into the hollowed-out egg white shells. Garnish each egg with the diced pickled beets, sweet potato chips, dill and sea salt.
Yields 12 eggs
*If you are short on time, you can garnish the filled eggs with store-bought sweet potato chips (we like Terra Chips).