At a recent block party, I noticed a plate of deviled eggs. Momentarily distracted by a conversation with a neighbor, I looked back at the table a short while later and they were almost gone.That tells you all you need to know about the popularity of this simple dish among us “regular folks.” You can make a batch for a large gathering or just one or two for yourself. Either way, deviled eggs are a treat.
Below you’ll find the classic recipe followed by ideas for variations. Unlike most versions of this easy recipe, I’ve set out the proportions for a single serving of 2 eggs.
But first, 3 tips for making deviled eggs that look (and taste) great:
- Start simple – A deviled egg is basically a hard-boiled egg, cut in half with the yolk removed, mashed, mixed with a few other ingredients and returned to the cavity. Rationally you know that there is only a little extra room in the cavity that the yolk came from for ingredients besides the mashed up yolk. But the tendency is to go overboard adding more “stuff.” Resist the urge. Add only a tiny bit of extra stuff or recognize that you’ll have extra filling and don’t try to cram it all back into the small space from which you removed the yolk.
- Be neat – Try to keep the whites intact. Peel the eggs. When cutting the whites, use a sharp knife (with a straight, not a serrated edge) and remove the hardened yolk gently with a small spoon. When you return the yolk filling back into the egg, do it with care. You can spoon it back in, but that is usually difficult and messy. Fancy folks use a pastry bag with a plastic or metal tip. An easy alternative is a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off.
- Get creative – There are many ways to change-up the classic deviled egg. As long as you use something with a creamy or soft consistency to smooth out the chopped egg, you can add other ingredients and go in any direction you want. Topping the yolk with a garnish is a nice touch too.
Servings – 1 (2 eggs) Cost – $0.75
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon white vinegar, preferably white balsamic
- 2 pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Dash or 2 of paprika (“plain”, sweet, hot, or smoked)
- Pot with lid
- Measuring spoons
- Small spatula
- Sandwich-size plastic bag
- Scissor (to cut tip of plastic bag)
- Hard boil the eggs. In an earlier post I described 3 methods to hard boil an egg. This time I tried a fourth method, from cooking chemist and author Shirley Corriher, and it worked like a charm. Put the eggs in a pot and cover by 1 ½ inches with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil with the top partially covering, turn the light down and simmer for 30 seconds. Take the pot off the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes. Then remove the eggs and cool them in a strainer under running water before peeling.
- Peel the eggs, cut them each in half and gently remove the cooked yolks.
- Mash the yolks. If your strainer has small holes, push it through the strainer with the back of a spoon. Otherwise mash it with a fork. (I prefer the strainer method because then you don’t get lumps.)
- Add the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Place the mixture in the plastic bag. Push it most of the way toward one end, then cut the very tip of that end off, being careful that the hole you cut is small.
- Press the mixture (in the bag) into each of the halves of cooked egg white.
- Sprinkle paprika on top.
Flavor options (to substitute for the mustard and vinegar or use as garnish):