We all know where Deviled Eggs come from, right? No…not the Easter Bunny.
Since they don’t, and the main ingredient is a perfect egg, (one where the yolk isn’t as resilient as a Superball, and doesn’t have that nasty looking pea-green ring around it) I am going to share the recipe I finally mastered a few years ago for an egg that peels perfectly, has a tender white and a moist, golden yolk.
(NOTE: The over-cooked, man-handled, psychedelic-dyed eggs that have been hidden under bushes, behind sofas, and in trees all morning are not good for eating, sorry. Although….we always ate them when I was a kid. Maybe that’s what’s wrong?)
This recipe is from “Classic American Food Without Fuss,” by Frances McCullough and Barbara Witt, a go-to cookbook that I’ve been using for almost 20 years. The whole book is delicious and witty, as evidenced in all of their recipe notes!
1 dozen extra-large eggs at room temp. You don’t want fresh eggs, because they’ll be harder to peel, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless you live on a farm; supermarket eggs weren’t born yesterday. Put the eggs in a saucepan just large enought to hold them, cover with cold water, and slowly bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cover the saucepan and take it of the heat. Let stand for 15 minutes to cook the eggs. Put the pan in the sink and run cold water over the eggs (the Germans call this procedure “frightening the eggs” – it helps to loosen the shells). Once the eggs are suitably terrified, tap them against the side of the pan all over to crack the shells. Let them sit in the cold water until you’re ready to peel them.
Cut the cooked peeled eggs in half, and transfer the yolks to a small bowl. Mash them well with a fork and add 6 TBL Hellman’s Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s), 1 TBL Worchestershire sauce, and 1/2 tsp dry mustard (Coleman’s). Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stuff the egg whites with the filling and finish them with a shake of paprika if you like. You can also put the filling ingredients into a bag and pipe them into the whites. If plain old deviled eggs aren’t sexy enough, finish them off with a dollop of caviar. Add a bit of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with minced scallions or snipped chives. (I like a bit of ham, or prosciutto and chives for color. I’ve also added a touch of Wasabi. Get beautifully creative).
Wrap the egg plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least and hour before serving. (That gives you time to have a glass of champagne and relax.) Proudly present your Deviled Eggs at the family gathering, or to your guests: you will be the hostess-or-host-with-the-most, and you didn’t have to sell your soul for perfection!