my favorite eggs are deviled

This is hard thing for a lady of my age and station to admit, but for most of my life I haven’t totally loved eggs. Or (harder still to say), even really liked them very much. When I was a little girl my breakfast choice was always scrambled–as much as I coveted the family egg cups, if only for the cuteness factor, the runny yolk of a softboiled egg gave me the icks. Even early in my New York life, when brunch started to be part of my normal weekend routine, I would push the eggs off of my Benedict and carefully eat only the white so as not to pierce the yolk and get my English muffin soggy (shudder). In the last several years I’ve made a concentrated effort to open my heart to eggs, and have had some definite successes. I’ve learned to love a poached or fried egg over pasta, breakfast hash, and salads, and would say my life is tastier for it.  But my favorite egg, from way back when, is definitely deviled.
My love of deviled eggs is doubly weird since I don’t generally like mustard (another embarrassing confession. I just want ketchup on my hotdogs, thankyouverymuch). I can’t explain it, there it is. And I live in a fabulous place for deviled egg love: in the 10ish blocks it takes me to walk from my house to my beau’s I could saunter into restaurants that make them pickled, with chipotle and smoked bacon, with smoked trout, or with mushrooms. But my number one choice in deviled eggs is also the one I’ve been eating the longest: the recipe my mother uses. It’s pretty simple–just mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of paprika–but to me it’s exactly what a deviled egg should taste like. Growing up, she usually made them for Easter and tailgating at point-to-point races. As for me, in just the last six months I’ve made them for a Christmas Party, to take to a half Easter/Cinco de Mayo party (another guest brought guacamole deviled eggs, which were also great), and for a Mad Men viewing party. In other words…these things are versatile.

perfect party food, to go.

They can also be, I freely admit, kind of a pain. The mixing and putting together is super simple, but I firmly believe that even the most devoted egg lover can grow to loathe the sight of them after trying to peel several in a row. I imagine there must be tricks to make this maddening step a breeze, but I don’t know them (if you do, please tell!). What has worked a little better for me, after some frustrated googling following several dinged-up and ugly egg white halves, is to cool the cooked eggs in cold water (or in the fridge), then tapping the shell lightly to crack it, and rolling the egg really gently on the counter under my palm, to pull the shell a bit away from the white. Doing the actual peeling under running cool water has also helped.

eggs-prepAs much as I love these for a crowd, if you find yourself with an egg or two languishing in the fridge I’d also recommend a silly thing I did once that in retrospect feels like one of my most clever food ideas–cut the deviled egg recipe way down, and make just a few. I originally did this several years ago because I was staring down yet another carton containing the eggs left after a baking project, all destined to go to waste since I surely wasn’t going to *just* make eggs and I didn’t have any desire to bake anything else right then. My mom had recently visited, so I also had mustard (which, as you may have guessed from my comment above, I don’t always) in the fridge, and the combo was irresistible. Did I feel a little silly with just four deviled egg halves when I was done? Yes. But did I also have one of the better at-home breakfasts I’d had in a while? Absolutely. Totally worth it.

breakfast? why not.

spiffy breakfast? why not.

deviled eggs
12 hardboiled eggs
4 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp vinegar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp mustard

Cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks.
Mash yolks with a fork in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients except paprika and mix well.
Here’s where I would advocate adding more mayo or mustard or whatever seems tastiest to you. I usually start off with the base ingredients roughly as written, but almost always end of adding more.
Fill whites with yolk mixture–I’d suggest spooning the mixture into a ziploc, and cutting off a corner so you can pipe from the bag into the egg white halves. You could get fancy with decorative icing bag tip, if so inclined, too.
Dust the eggs with paprika (regular or smoked). Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “my favorite eggs are deviled

  1. Re: easier peeling
    If you know in advance you’re going to make deviled eggs, buy the eggs as early as you can. Fresh eggs are much harder to peel than ones that have been in the carton in the refrigerator for awhile. Maybe some of your friends with scientific backgrounds can explain why.

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