Friday, November 29, 2013

Deviled Eggs & Familial Customs

Growing up, I mostly associated Deviled Eggs with springtime and Easter. It was the perfect use for all those hard-boiled eggs that had cracked when young children dropped them into the dye cups with too much exuberance. Weren't deviled eggs supposed to have tinges of pink, blue, or green along the edges?

But here in Kansas, deviled eggs are considered appropriate for any and all holidays, potlucks, picnics, whatever. Grocery store delis sell platters of freshly deviled eggs all year round.

When I was young, my mom had an objection to eating anything named after the devil, so we switched to calling them Sunshine Eggs. But now I am in good company: young Katy Perry was also not allowed to call them "Deviled Eggs", or to eat Lucky Charms!

Many cooks prepare deviled eggs without measurements. While I am all for instinct and experimentation, this is one dish where I prefer consistent results every time. I've had too many disconcerting potluck experiences, I suppose. And my recipe is rather basic. In the South, they like to add pickle relish or stronger spices, but I like my eggs smooth and just slightly tangy. If you like gourmet eggs, think of this as a stepping-stone to more exotic things. Add capers or Cajun seasoning, hot sauce or dill--whatever floats your boat!

Deviled Eggs

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
  • dash black pepper

Slice each egg in half lengthwise. Gently "pop" yolks into a medium mixing bowl. Arrange whites on a plate, or in a container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Using a fork or pastry blender, smash the egg yolks until they are fine crumbs. Add seasonings and mayonnaise and mix well.

To fill whites, spoon filling into a decorator tube or bag, or a zip-lock with one corner snipped off. Pipe into egg whites, sprinkle lightly with paprika, and store (covered) in the refrigerator until serving.

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