“We have to have deviled eggs.”
One of my fabulous nieces, the one pictured on the left above with her sister and me back in July, was here at Glover Gardens for a long weekend earlier this month. We were pondering what to make for Sunday dinner, and classic comfort food had a big appeal, as it was cold and rainy, as ugly as January gets here.
My niece and I both love deviled eggs, and so does The Grill-Meister, but we didn’t have a standard, go-to recipe, mostly because that’s a dish that my mother-in-law always makes, and we’ve had limited experience (except as eaters!). I’ve made deviled eggs only a few times in all my years, and while they turned out well, I had never documented the recipe.
We knew we wanted something simple and classic, so we looked at several cookbooks to get an idea of the standards, then put them away and made up our own recipe, tasting carefully as we went. We ended up with a great balance of flavors with a small but noticeable kick. They look nice, don’t they? They tasted FAB.
So here you go, the Glover Gardens recipe for classic deviled eggs, created by Kim and Joie and tested and approved by The Grill-Meister. You’ll probably want to double or triple the recipe if you’re making them for a party.
Classic Deviled Eggs
- 6 large eggs (not extra-large)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp white wine
- 1/8 tsp each salt, pepper, cayenne
- 3 drops Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
- Optional garnishes: 1 tsp chopped parsley, dash of paprika
Fill a large saucepan with enough water to more than cover the eggs and bring to a boil. Add the eggs one at a time by gently lowering them into the pan with a large spoon, taking care not to crack them. Set the timer for 12 minutes and lower the heat slightly to reach a simmer (water should still be boiling, but not a rolling boil that might crack the eggs).
After 12 minutes, drain the eggs through a colander into the sink, run cold water over them for a moment, and then return them to the pan with about 2 cups of ice. Put the lid on the pan, and, using potholders because the pan will still be hot, shake it vigorously up and down for about 30 seconds. Remove the lid and add enough water to cover the eggs, then let them sit and cool. They will be very easy to peel using this method.
When the eggs have cooled, remove them from the pan, peel them and set them to dry on a paper towel. Carefully slice them in half longways and remove the cooked yolk from each half, putting it in a small bowl. Place the egg halves on a serving dish and carefully wipe away any yolk that remains on the outside of the eggs so that they will be pristine.
After you have all the yolks in the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, then mash them all together with a fork, stirring well. Taste and correct any seasonings. If the mixture is too dry, add a very small additional amount of mayonnaise and/or white wine. The filling should be creamy but not at all runny.
Spoon the filling into a plastic bag and push it to a corner, removing any air bubbles, then cut the tip of that corner to make an opening of about 1/4 inch. Squeeze the filling into each egg using a swirling motion. Sprinkle paprika over them, then the chopped parsley, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes and Variations
Boiling and Peeling the Eggs
The boiling and peeling methods are aces! Read more about the hot start method here. I saw the bit about adding ice and vigorously shaking on a cooking show; it was a chef’s hack from his or her salad days as a sous chef. Sadly, I can’t remember who I learned this trick from, because I would truly write a thank you note to him or her. The eggs almost peel themselves when you use this approach.
There are many fancy deviled egg filling variations out there, ranging from adding avocados to truffle oil to smoked salmon to cream cheese to blue cheese to curry paste. I’ve had some interesting deviled eggs of these sorts at restaurants, but I still prefer a classic approach to the filling, with anything fancy added on as a topper. Having said that, here are a few slight variations to our recipe that keep the classic, creamy feel but add a little bit of a different kick.
- Substitute one teaspoon of the mayonnaise with a specialty mayonnaise; we like the Mayogarlic from Lolita Specialty Foods that we get at our local farmers market.
- Replace the Dijon with a different mustard, like horseradish mustard or even plain yellow ballpark mustard. A spicy brown mustard or sweet German mustard would also be good, but I wouldn’t use a grainy mustard, because it would mess with the creaminess.
- Use a good-quality vinegar instead of white wine. Cider vinegar would add a little tartness; white wine vinegar, the same, but slightly less. A tarragon vinegar would also be nice.
- Another substitution for the vinegar that would work: pickle juice, dill or sweet, depending on your preference.
If there’s a need to get creative with deviled eggs, my preference is to do it with the toppings. Behold the decadent fried oyster and bacon-topped deviled eggs from the (now closed) Black’s Market Table, which was not too far from our house. The dish was billed as an appetizer, but my friends, you could easily have made a meal out of it. A crunchy-on-the-outside / soft seafoody-gooey on the inside fried oyster was perched on a very traditional deviled egg, with chunks of bacon here and there and a creamy remoulade drizzled over it all. THIS is how you dress up a deviled egg, in my opinion.
The Post Chicken & Beer in Denver’s Rosedale area topped a classic deviled egg with crispy chicken skin and chives, a dollop of a creamy hot sauce and a thin slice of celery to aid in the crunch factor. We were in the wow zone.
I plan to play with toppings for deviled eggs quite a bit. With the tarragon vinegar variation, why not use chopped tarragon instead of parsley? And for another angle, wouldn’t a small bit of smoked salmon (on top, not in the filling) be nice, with a couple of capers on each egg and minced red onion? Maybe even a dab of caviar… the possibilities are endless because a classic deviled egg is a terrific delivery device for lots of complementary flavors and textures.
A Different Orientation
I heard the great chef and cookbook author Carla Hall on the radio show The Splendid Table a couple of years ago, and she introduced me to the idea of cutting the deviled eggs in half crosswise after first slicing a tiny bit off of the top and bottom, which helps the egg stand up. She also said that they’re easier to eat in a single bite. Here’s a picture of that approach from my post about Belgian endive.
Super-Easy Super Bowl Food
We are often at home, just the two of us, for the Super Bowl, and that will likely be the case this year. Although we almost never care about who wins the game, we still like the excuse to have party food in a festive atmosphere, usually in the game room. Last year’s menu was simple, but fun, and featured those deviled eggs cut sideways per the inspiration from Carla Hall paired with Greek-inspired tuna in the Belgian endive, plus chicken wings (of course!) and lots of fresh veggies for dipping (so that we could claim our party for two menu was ‘healthy’). We might just do the same thing this year, with some kind of fancy topping for our deviled eggs.
How do you like your deviled eggs?
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