There's nothing old-fashioned about the flavors in this classic bar snack, and pickled eggs are a great ingredient or garnish for other dishes, because you can use them virtually anywhere you use plain hard-cooked eggs. Do check out the variations; this could be a whole new standard for your snack, side dish, or garnish options.
Makes: 6 eggs
Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 1 day to marinate
• 6 Hard-Cooked Eggs, peeled
• 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup pickling spice
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1. Put the eggs in a roomy glass or crockery bowl or jar (preferably one with a tight-fitting lid).
2. Put the vinegar, spice, salt, sugar, and onion in a nonreactive pot with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down so the mixture bubbles gently and cook until the onion is soft and the spices are fragrant, about 10 minutes.
3. Carefully pour the hot mixture over the eggs and let sit at room temperature for an hour or so, until cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. The eggs will keep in the fridge for about a week.
Pickled Eggs with Oranges and Warm Spices.
Great during the holidays: Omit the pickling spice. Halve 2 oranges and slice them thinly (with the skin). In Step 2, add the oranges to the pot, along with a tablespoon each of whole cloves and coriander seeds and a cinnamon stick. Proceed with the recipe.
Soy Sauce-Pickled Eggs.
Perfect with all sorts of Asian dishes or alone: Omit the pickling spice and reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon. In Step 2, add 1/4 cup soy sauce to the pot. Proceed with the recipe. If you like, to garnish sliced eggs, drizzle with a few drops of dark sesame oil and sprinkle with some minced chives and sesame seeds.
Pickled Eggs with Beets and Horseradish.
Brightly colored and sharply flavored: Omit the pickling spice. Peel and grate 2 medium beets. In Step 2, add the beets to the pot along with 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish (or 2 tablespoons prepared), or more or less to taste.
Pickled Eggs with Jalapenos and Carrots.
A more substantial version of the Mexican table condiment: Peel 2 or 3 carrots and slice them crosswise into coins. Slice as many fresh Jalapenos as you can stand (probably 3 or 4). In Step 2, add the carrots and Jalapenos to the pot.
Pickled Eggs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Garlic.
Piquant and richly colored: Omit the pickling spice. Peel a head of garlic and lightly crush the cloves. In Step 2, add the garlic to the pot, along with 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato halves or slices, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, and a teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes if you like. Proceed with the recipe. If you like, to garnish sliced eggs, drizzle with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil.