Deviled Eggs

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There are certain dishes that I don’t like until I make them myself. For example, this may come as a shock to you, but I used to hate–and I mean hate–macaroni and cheese. I know! But I grew up in a non-cheese household (longtime readers know that my dad hates cheese) so whenever I’d go to someone’s house and there’d be mac and cheese for dinner, I’d have to make up an excuse not to eat it (“I’m allergic,” I’d say.)

But then, once I got into cooking, I made a few mac and cheeses (here’s one here) and once I understood the basic components of the dish–the bechamel, the way the cheese melts into the sauce, the way it all bakes in the oven–I could stomach other people’s mac and cheese because I understood what it was and how it was made.

Now, after last night’s effort, I feel the same way about deviled eggs.

You see them at parties on big silver trays getting passed around, with their piped fillings and their dusting of paprika. I’ve never liked them. The bad ones are kind of dry and gritty and they taste like they’ve been sitting around for a long time.

I’d never think to make deviled eggs myself except for two things: (1) Craig, whenever he sees them at a party or on a menu, goes nuts for them; (2) I watched Anne Burrell’s show this weekend.

Anne Burrell is quickly becoming my new favorite Food Network star. Sure, she can be a bit awkward and cutesy (“Hello my babies,” she says to Brussels sprouts and cauliflower) and sometimes I think she has Tourrete’s syndrome (what’s with that weird Muppet voice she keeps doing?), but her food looks fantastic and her tips are really smart and useful. This is a woman who knows the kitchen, who knows how to make food taste good.

Not only that, she’s inspiring. Specifically: I saw her make two dishes recently that I immediately tried to replicate. One was her liver pate, the other was her deviled eggs.

Ok, so the liver pate? That was something of a disaster. Anne has you saute garlic, capers and anchovies in olive oil and then you add the livers and cook just a few minutes until brown on the outside and then you add white wine. You cook it a bit more and here’s where it gets tricky; Anne says you want it “soupy” when you put it in the food processor. So I put my soupy mixture in the food processor and it was SO soupy that it resulted in… liver soup. I’m not kidding. Here’s a picture, if you dare click the link.

So maybe it was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever made, but the point is: Anne got me off my butt, into the store, shopping for liver. And, more importantly, I know now that if I ever make liver pate again, I’ll start with a minimal amount of liquid and only add it as I need it. Just blend the livers first.

But the happy story is the story that titles this post: the deviled eggs story.

Anne makes her deviled eggs with truffle oil and chopped up jarred truffles. That was a bit too decadent for me, so I used her technique for perfectly cooked eggs and devised the recipe I’ll post below. As you can see by this empty plate, it was quite a hit:

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My distaste for bad deviled eggs entirely vanished; these were good. These were really good. And how could they not be? With fresh cooked eggs, lots of mayo, a squirt of lemon juice (my addition) and dusted with smoked paprika instead of regular paprika, these’d make a convert out of anyone.

Now if only I could convert people to enjoy liver soup, I could get rid of that festering bowl in my fridge.

And now for the recipe.

Deviled Eggs

loosely adapted from Anne Burrell

by me

3 large eggs

salt

1/2 cup – 3/4 cup mayo

a big spoonful mustard (2 Tbs?)

Juice from half a lemon

pepper

Smoked paprika

1. Place the 3 eggs in a pot; cover with cold water, at least by one inch, and pour in a big handful of salt. Put a lid on and bring to a real boil (the pot should be shaking.) When it’s there, remove the pot from the heat, leave the lid on, and let sit, undisturbed, for 13 minutes exactly.

2. Immediately pour out the hot water and pour in cold water over the eggs (this is how I do it, at least.) As the eggs and the pot cool, take an egg, crack it at the top and use the water pressure to help peel off the shell. Dry off the peeled egg and repeat with the other three eggs.

3. Slice each egg in half vertically.

4. Remove the yolks to a bowl–if you have trouble getting them out, use a spoon.

5. Now flavor the yolks (this is where all the flavor comes from). Take 1/2 cup of mayo and stir into the yolks and study the consistency. Do you like it? Do you want it creamier? Add more mayo. (Anne, shockingly, has you add two cups of mayo–but I think that’s WAY too much!) Now flavor this mixture with the mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. You could also add a hit of cayenne pepper if you want it spicy. Taste it. Do you like it? You should really, really like it because this is it! Your only chance to save your deviled eggs!

6. Now’s the fun part. If you have a piping bag, pipe the yolk mixture into the whites. If you don’t have a piping bag (and I didn’t use a piping bag) just spoon the yolk mixture into the whites. Even if it’s messy, it’ll still taste good.

7. Now dust the whole thing with smoked paprika.

And eat. And eat. And eat.

Aren’t they good? Thanks, Anne Burrell, for the inspiration.

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29 comments

  1. Can you explain what you mean by “use the water pressure to help peel off the shell”? When I peel hard-boiled eggs it’s always a disaster.

  2. Can you explain what you mean by “use the water pressure to help peel off the shell”? When I peel hard-boiled eggs it’s always a disaster.

  3. I’m with you on the Anne Burrell thing, on the one hand I love her, her recipies are really simple and flavorful and she really does know her way aroud food and a kitchen. But on the other had she keeps doing wierd crap that throws me off, like that akward hand flailing thing when she is talking about boiling water and her bizarre muppet voice.

    That being said I have made her porterhouse rub at least three times and her bolognese is a staple in our house. I have gallons of it on had at all times.

  4. I’m with you on the Anne Burrell thing, on the one hand I love her, her recipies are really simple and flavorful and she really does know her way aroud food and a kitchen. But on the other had she keeps doing wierd crap that throws me off, like that akward hand flailing thing when she is talking about boiling water and her bizarre muppet voice.

    That being said I have made her porterhouse rub at least three times and her bolognese is a staple in our house. I have gallons of it on had at all times.

  5. I can’t get over her show, I think it’s terrible for all the reasons you guys have mentioned. I don’t know. Sorry.

    As for deviled eggs, most people that I make them for (outside of family) never had them before I made them try it. Hehe. They’re delicious homemade. It was something my dad taught me to make as a wee young lass. I like textures in my food, so I go for crunch with celery diced up, or bell peppers (especially nice during the holidays to put red ones in, with some green ones, a nice color contrast)… Mmmm… when it’s party time, someone in my family ALWAYS makes deviled eggs, and each of us three kids has our own variation that we now cling to, but all are good. Yumms. (I was taught simply Thousand Island dressing – which yes, we were taught how to make that from scratch, too – mixed with the hard boiled egg yolks. I like pickle relish, so I tend to boost that… and add crunchy things. My sister nixes the Thousand Island dressing and instead uses mustard/mayo mixed together, with pickle relish, celery, etc… ahhh…)

  6. You don’t need a piping bag! Just spoon the mixture into a Ziploc freezer bag, cut off a tiny corner with a pair of scissors, and squeeze the yolk mixture out into the hard boiled whites. It’s a neat and clean way to get the yolks back into the eggs.

    I love very simple deviled eggs dusted with Chinese five spice powder, but I think all deviled eggs are pretty much delicious.

  7. I think there are as many ways to make deviled eggs as there are people that make deviled eggs. ;)

    I like mine with mayonnaise, salt and dill. Or, instead of dill, fine chopped green olives.

  8. deviled eggs are a staple in our family, we call them “ruffled eggs”(aside: my sister has developed a serious allergy to eggs, they will pretty much kill her, and ruffled eggs are her absolute favourite thing – yes, we feel sorry for her)

    try adding a bit of finely diced scallion and a hint of soya sauce instead of the mustard – delicious!

  9. About that liver soup…I peeked at the picture. Not so bad if you think of it as looking like strained blended lentil soup. And I bet it tastes pretty good.

  10. About that liver soup…I peeked at the picture. Not so bad if you think of it as looking like strained blended lentil soup. And I bet it tastes pretty good.

  11. I make my devilled eggs with berbere, garlic and ginger (raw, so just a little of them), scallions, and maybe celery. Oh, and yes, just enough mayo to blend. Mmmmm. We’ve been known to just lick the bowl, which can NOT be healthy.

    *thinks*

    Oh, and grated carrot, but that’s because I put grated carrot everywhere I think I can sneak it in. Some young children won’t eat carrots otherwise and yet, for some reason, we always *have* carrots. If I don’t use them up this way, they just go bad in the fridge until we buy more to not use.

  12. Oh Adam,these look delish! I also use smoked paprika in my deviled eggs.

    Curious to know – what kind of mustard did you use? Dijon? American? Other?

  13. Adam, did you add butter to the pate yet? It’s supposed to be soupy until you put in a LOT of butter (like 2 or 3 sticks). I make liver pate a lot, and it’s always runny until I add the butter to the processor. Don’t throw it away yet!

  14. That liver soup looks like my family’s pate before we refrigerate it. Smooth and slightly sloppy, though it does look like yours is a bit too sloppy.

    But, like ACA above me, it sounds as if you didn’t add the butter. Butter helps it set and basically makes it something other than smooth liver hamburger.

    Our mixture usually ends up looking a bit like corned beef swimming in a bit of liquid if that’s any help for future endevours. More thick stew than soup. If you have to leave it cooking for four hours to get it that way, do so.

    (Our variation includes adding bacon ends and chicken stock, not wine… uber tasty!)

  15. Not only do I normally love deviled eggs, but Im 6 1/2 months pregnant now, woke up at 2 am and made these as soon as I saw the pictures!

    Thanks!!!

  16. I helped my mom make deviled eggs just this last weekend. I think she followed a Paula Dean recipe, which used Dijon Mustard, Danish Blue or Roquefort cheese, and pancetta in the filling mixture. It would be redundant to say that they were amazing!

    While normally thought of as a picnic or party food, I love deviled eggs! Just by adding a few gourmet extras into the mix, such as smoked Hungarian paprika or fancy meat or cheese, you can turn this potluck staple into chic hors d’oeuvres.

  17. How timely your entry is, I was just thinking about deviled eggs. No seriously. I was at a pot luck yesterday and no one brought deviled eggs, slightly disappointing.

    I love the traditional deviled egg, but I make mine with a little kick. A little mayo to hold it all together a dash of curry powder, some black mustard seeds, chopped scallions and cilantro. Very yummy!

    Hmm, I may have to go make some right now!

  18. Ditto the comment about adding a little kick. Yolks, S & P mustard and horseradish plus enough mayo to make them smooth, dusted with Hot Hungarian paprika.

  19. Ditto the comment about adding a little kick. Yolks, S & P mustard and horseradish plus enough mayo to make them smooth, dusted with Hot Hungarian paprika.

  20. I always make deviled eggs for our 4th of July block party, using my mom’s popular recipe. We put dry mustard, salt, pepper, and Miracle Whip, then top with paprika. Delicious!

  21. Deviled eggs are great comfort foods. On a foggy day in San Francisco, eggs with a dash of sea salt does the trick.

    I just hate it when cooks over cook their deviled eggs. Texture is key especially when it comes to the yolk.

  22. I *love* smoked paprika! I picked it up at the suggestion of a friend and now I can’t go back to the regular stuff. ;) Glad you’ve come to enjoy the eggs, btw! :)