[Despite my otherwise strong feelings about deviled eggs, I never can decide if they're a winter food (trays full at the holidays, yay!), or a summer food (they're so cool and refreshing and besides hens lay eggs in summer). In any event, here's how my mama makes 'em, as I recently wrote up for our local paper.
P.S. I haven't tried it yet, but Stephinie says this is a fool proof method for hard-boiling backyard-fresh eggs so that they actually peel.]
I am generally a fan of the current trend of dressing up classic comfort food. A vat of spicy, homemade pickles? Grits with asiago cheese and fresh herbs sprinkled on top? Grasshopper ice cream made with real mint and dark chocolate? Yes, yes, and please-oh-please.
I draw the line, however, at deviled eggs.
From dying them fugly colors to adding avocado or jalapenos or wasabi―it feels like I've tried about a hundred combinations. I'm constantly hoping to be impressed, but thus far all of my hopes have been dashed with my first bite.
The truth is, dressing up deviled eggs is like putting stage make-up on a 5-year-old for a play-date. Gussying them up is not just unnecessary, it actually detracts from their natural deliciousness. With their firm, satisfying whites and creamy center yolks, all deviled eggs need is a dash of hot sauce or chili powder or paprika. Anything more and you're getting into 70's blue eyeshadow territory.
That's not to say you should get lazy about your deviled eggs. Ingredients still matter.
We're fortunate to have a flock of backyard hens, but if you don't get eggs as close to that as possible. Truly free-range chickens really do make better yolks. Also, be sure to use real mayo, and find a garlicky relish that's so good that you wake up in the middle of the night craving it.
When you bite into one for the first time, you'll see―there's nothing like a classic deviled egg.
Classic Deviled Eggs
- 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 2 heaping Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 heaping Tablespoons yellow mustard
- 3 Tablespoons dill relish
- ¼ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- paprika or chili powder (for garnish)
Cut the peeled eggs in half and deposit the yolks in a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and hot sauce.
Mash everything together with a potato masher or fork, and see how it looks. The goal is to have everything well incorporated, but still a little chunky. Add more mayonnaise or mustard as needed to get the right consistency.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then scoop the yolk mixture back into the hollowed out whites. Refrigerate for a few hours before eating, and sprinkle with bright red paprika or chili powder just before serving.