Friday, January 21, 2011

Rocco's Off His Rocker

So the latest food travesty to come from the mind of Rocco DiSpirito is "No-Yolk Deviled Eggs." How does he make deviled eggs without using yolks, you ask? By substituting them with another completely unrelated ingredient.

Sweet potatoes.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sweet potatoes. No doubt chosen because the color of their flesh is slightly reminiscent to that of egg yolks. What a brilliant guy, that Rocco! So what happens to the actual yolks that came with the eggs? According to the recipe, you throw them away.

Because money grows on trees.

Anyhoo...I just happened to have some cooked sweet potato in my fridge, so I decided to try Rocco's recipe. I hard-boiled two eggs, one to DiSpirito-ize (because I doubted I could stomach more than one) and one to make more conventionally (using the yolks from both eggs - egg yolks being one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D).

Rocco's eggs in front, real deviled eggs in back.
I used the same ingredients in both variations - mustard, smoked paprika, cornichons, parsley, scallions - plus mayo in the "normal" version. And I'm going to admit...the sweet potato-stuffed eggs weren't terrible. I usually add chopped sweet pickle to my deviled eggs, so I can see how sweet potato + sour pickle have vaguely the same flavor characteristics; I definitely missed the sweet component in the standard version. The smoked paprika and mustard helped to mask the sweet potato flavor somewhat, but overall the texture was just not right. It was too light. And yes, it was a bit too sweet.

Mr Minx's reaction before wiping his tongue with his napkin: "Blargh! It tastes like sweet potato!"

While not the disaster that Rocco's black bean brownies were, these sweet potato deviled eggs are still not recommended. First of all, they are completely wasteful. Second, by my way of thinking, if you can't limit yourself to one or two pieces of real deviled egg, the best advice is to not eat them at all. They are a party or picnic snack, and not a main course. But since I mention "party snack," I have to think that unless you're throwing a party for Rocco's fawning sycophants, or skinny silicone-plumped Hollywood-types, people are going to think they're too weird to eat. And the Hollywood-types are going to want to add a tablespoon of caviar to the top of each one so there goes the whole low fat thing.

I've eaten worse, but I still don't think that outlandish food substitutions are the way to go. Just eat less.

(If you decide you must make this recipe, please don't throw your yolks in the trash - put them outside to feed wild birds.)
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