The Easter season is here, and soon many of us will undoubtedly find ourselves with a few extra eggs in the refrigerator. Maybe they’ve been dyed, hidden and found, served their holiday purpose, and now you have a dozen pastel-hued hardboiled eggs to deal with. In years past, perhaps you merely tossed them in the trash when you were certain no one was looking. But with the price of eggs still skyrocketing, throwing away a perfectly good dozen seems more wasteful than ever. Luckily for us, there is an absolutely delicious solution to this issue.
Though now a classic picnic favorite and potluck staple, the origin of deviled eggs can actually be traced as far back as ancient Rome. In Petronius’ Satyricon, he describes a feast, where the meat of songbirds is marinated in peppered egg yolk and stuffed into the white part of boiled peahen eggs, according to Ancestral Findings. So while these delicious bites may have evolved over the passage of time, it’s clear that stuffed eggs, in one form or another, have been enjoyed for centuries.
In these modern times, the filling of a deviled egg usually includes varying mixtures of mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and spices. Of course, as with most recipes that have stood the test of generations, there are many versions and interpretations, often depending on location. In Sweden’s version, Fyllda Ägghalvor, the yolk is traditionally mixed with caviar and sour cream, topped with onion and pickled herring. In Hungary, yolks are often mashed together with milk-soaked white bread and beet juice. If you were in Germany, you might find some delicious Obazda Gefüllte Eier that include cheese and capers.
While all of these versions sound delicious, our favorite recipe for deviled eggs was born from nostalgia, from memories of summer picnics and childhood Easter brunches. These are a slightly upgraded version of the deviled eggs we all grew up with. Only, we’ve added a few palette-pleasing extras like hot sauce and ditched the paprika. But hey, sprinkle some on there if you just can’t let go of that rusty red dusting. We get it.
A deviled egg recipe is sometimes hard to pin down. It reminds me of my grandmother’s infamous potato salad. When I asked her once to write the recipe down for me she waved her hand in the air and said, “Oh, it’s just a little of this and a bit of that.” I saw that woman make potato salad probably 100 times, and never once did I see her refer to a recipe or pick up a measuring spoon. She just knew.
Deviled eggs are like that. It’s a pinch of this and a spoonful of that, and there’s plenty of room for mistakes, substitutions, and improvisation. So you needn’t feel any pressure. But in case you’re more comfortable within the protection of a recipe, this is a great one, inspired quite a bit by that wonderful potato salad. And yes, I did take the time to measure everything this time around. Sorry, grandma.
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup dill pickles, minced
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Hard boil eggs and allow to cool.
- Peel the eggs, then slice in half vertically, separating the yolks and whites.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine yolks with all other ingredients (except lemon zest), and mix well. A potato masher works incredibly well for this.
- Using a spoon or piping bag, carefully fill the hollow of each egg white with the yolk mixture.
- Top with grated lemon zest and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Tips and tricks for making deviled eggs
- Peeling hard-boiled eggs can sometimes be a challenge. Adding a tablespoon of salt to the water before cooking the eggs will make them much easier to peel and the experience a much less frustrating one.
- There seem to be a million takes on the best way to hard boil an egg. Our tried and true method is as follows:
- Place eggs into a large enough pot so that they aren’t overlapping and fill with just enough water to cover the eggs completely.
- Once the water reaches a full boil, place a lid on the pot and remove from the heat.
- Let the eggs cook in their steamy jacuzzi for 13 minutes exactly. Remove eggs from the water and set aside to cool.
- Presto! Perfect hard-boiled eggs every time.
- If you prefer a more polished, piped look to your deviled eggs but don’t have a fancy piping bag, don’t fret! You can simply add the yolk mixture to a large zip-top bag, snip the corner edge, and squeeze. Instant piping bag!
- The garnish options are limitless when it comes to deviled eggs. Lemon zest is a bright and delicious topper, but don’t feel like you need to stop there. If you like a bit of a spicy kick, a slice of jalapeno on top is fabulous. We also love a generous sprinkling of everything bagel seasoning as a final touch. For a fancier get-together, you may even consider a bit of caviar on top.
While these devilish delights have certainly come a long way since the day of Petronius, it’s evident that they, for very good reason, are beloved by many and will undoubtedly be around for at least the next several centuries. But for now, they’ll make a fabulous addition to the center of your Easter table.
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