How To Make Perfect Deviled Eggs — With A Twist

Topping such as crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, sliced olives, sliced green onions, and minced herbs add personality to deviled eggs. Photo by Valerie Phillips
Topping such as crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, sliced olives, sliced green onions, and minced herbs add personality to deviled eggs. Photo by Valerie Phillips

Deviled eggs are an Easter classic. Some food historians place the “invention” of deviled eggs in New England in 1786. “Deviled” refers to highly seasoned foods, not the guy with the pitchfork. The first edition of “Joy of Cooking” back in 1931 gave a recipe for Deviled Eggs DeLuxe, with caviar.

Some tips from culinary experts, that I talked about in my Standard-Examiner column this week:

-Eggs are easier to peel if they are at least one week old.

-They  will also peel more easily (and are less likely to develop the greenish ring on the yolk) if dropped immediately into ice water after cooking. Some cooks also swear by using a teaspoon of salt in the water.

– A safety warning: hard-boiled eggs that have sat for a few days in Easter baskets, or used all morning in egg hunts shouldn’t be eaten. You’re risking food poisoning if the eggs have been left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs in their shells promptly after cooling. and use them with one week,” is the advice of the American Egg Board to avoid getting sick.

– According to “The Best Kitchen Quick Tips,” by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, a pastry bag fitted with a star tip is ideal for piping the filling back into the hollowed whites. But chunky fillings will get clogged in the tip.  You could try using a plastic bag for piping instead. Snip a small piece from one bottom corner of the bag, then gently squeeze the filling through the hole.

I prefer to use a small scoop, the kind used for scooping cookie dough or melon balls. It doesn’t look as fancy, but there’s less mess. You can also just mound the filling with a spoon.

Classic deviled eggs usually are mixed with mayo and mustard, with a sprinkle of paprika. But you can get creative with mix-ins or toppings such as capers, olives, smoked salmon, crumbled blue cheese or bacon, chopped celery, pickles, parsley, red bell pepper, red onion, or smoked salmon.

Old-school deviled eggs are switched -up as Ranch Deviled Eggs, Guacamole Deviled Eggs, and Old Bay Deviled Eggs. Photo by Valerie Phillips
Old-school deviled eggs are switched -up as Ranch Deviled Eggs, Guacamole Deviled Eggs, and Old Bay Deviled Eggs. Photo by Valerie Phillips

EASY HARD-BOILED EGGS

Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs. Drain immediately and cover with ice water to cool immediately.

— American Egg Board

CLASSIC DEVILED EGGS

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

Paprika, for sprinkling

Carefully cut the eggs in half, lengthwise. With a small spoon, lift egg yolks out of whites. Place yolks in small bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard and salt; mix well with a fork to make a smooth paste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Arrange egg white halves on a serving platter. Mound some of the yolk mixture into each white and sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately or store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes 1 dozen deviled eggs.

Options: Garnish with crumbled blue cheese, crumbled bacon, tiny shrimp, chopped red pepper, sliced olives, or caviar.

— California Culinary Academy’s “Cooking A to Z”

 

Guacamole Deviled Eggs use avocado and green chiles, topped with chopped tomatoes and cilantro.
Guacamole Deviled Eggs use avocado and green chiles, topped with chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

GUACAMOLE DEVILED EGGS

12 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted

1 teaspoon dried chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lime juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canned diced green chiles

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional: Finely chopped jalapeno or green Tabasco sauce to taste, for more heat.

Cut the eggs lengthwise, and gently scoop out the yolk with a small spoon into a medium-size bowl. Add the sour cream and avocado and mash with a large fork until fairly smooth. Then stir in the onion, garlic powder, lime juice, chiles, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, and salt, until well-mixed.

Taste and add more seasonings if desired. Scoop the filling into the hollowed-out whites. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Makes 24 deviled eggs.

— Valerie Phillips, chewandchat.com

RANCH DEVILED EGGS

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1/2 to 3/4 cup ranch-style dressing

1 teaspoon chopped dried onion

2 tablespoons chopped sweet or dill pickle

Slice hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the yolk with a small spoon. Place yolks in a medium bowl. Mash together with 1/2 cup of the ranch dressing. For a creamier filling, add more dressing. Stir in the pickle.

Fill the hollowed egg whites with the filling. Garnish with chopped pickle, crumbled bacon, chopped parsley, paprika, shredded cheddar, sliced olives, etc.

— Valerie Phillips, chewandchat.com

 

OLD BAY DEVILED EGGS

Old Bay Seasoning is made by McCormick, Inc., and originated in the Chesapeake Bay area as a crab seasoning. It’s a heady blend of mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper, mace, cloves, allspice nutmeg, cardamom and ginger.

6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Remove yolks with a spoon and place in a small bowl. Mash yolks with a fork. Add mayonnaise, Old Bay, and milk, and mash until smooth and creamy. Scoop filling back into the hollowed egg whites. Garnish with another shake of Old Bay and, if desired, finely chopped celery.

— Valerie Phillips, chewandchat.com