Thursday, October 7, 2010

My favorite appetizer: Deviled Eggs

Some think deviled eggs are boring, or too 50's, or whatever, but guess what? I love them, and they disappear quickly when I serve them, so I've got to believe that they're still a favorite. Perhaps some people don't have a great recipe, or get annoyed at having over or under cooked eggs, cracked whites, or a bland  yolk filling, and have given up on them. Well, if that's the case, here's my recipe - the steps for cooking the eggs are fool proof and the outcome is delicious, so I hope you'll try making these for your next get together (especially if I'll be in attendance). Happy cooking!

Deviled Eggs  from Cook's Illustrated - New Best Recipes with a bit of editing on the filling. :)

Ingredients: 12 eggs, whole-grain mustard, dry mustard powder, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, paprika.

To Cook the Eggs: Use a small (clean) nail or thumbtack to poke a small hole in the top of each egg. This relieves the pressure and makes sure the egg doesn't crack while cooking.  Carefully place the eggs in a saucepan so that they only take one layer (so a pot with a large base), and add water so that it is about an inch above the top of the eggs. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove the pan from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. While the eggs sit in the hot water, fill a medium/large bowl with about a quart or so of cold water and a tray of ice cubes. When the 10 minutes is up, use a slotted spoon to carefully move the eggs from the hot water to the cold water and let sit for 5 minutes. This cools the eggs so you can handle them and it makes it easier to remove the shells.

To Prep the Eggs: One at a time, remove an egg from the water and gently roll it on a counter or cutting board, covering the entire shell in small cracks. This should crack the hard shell but leave the lining of the shell intact, making it easy to pull the shell off.  After you have removed all of the shells, cut each egg in half lengthwise (from the top to the bottom, rather than through the middle).  Remove the yolks and put them in a medium sized bowl. Discard the two worst halves of egg white (you'll likely have a cracked one or one with a very thin wall). If you don't have any that are bad, well done, but still get rid of two (one eggs worth).

For the Filling: Add half a teaspoon 1/2 t of whole grain/brown mustard, 1/4 t dry mustard powder, 3 T mayo and salt and pepper to the yolks. Cook's Illustrated suggests you also add 1- 1 1/2 t of cider vinegar, but that's up to you. Use a fork to mash and mix the ingredients. Taste and add mustard, mayo salt and/or pepper to get it to the texture and taste of your liking. Make sure you don't add too much mustard or mayo, as you want it to be a firm paste, not too soft.

To Assemble: Fill a sturdy ziplock bag with the filling and cut off the corner, or if you own a pastry bag, fill it up! Squeeze the filling through the corner and into each egg half, filling them so the filling is a bit taller than the whole itself.  Once you have used up all the filling, sprinkle each egg with a bit of paprika, put a garnish in the middle of the plate if you wish (I like a sprig of mint or basil), and serve!


  1. I'm confused -- if you're taking the shells off pretty much immediately, why does it matter if an egg or two cracks during cooking? Because that hole-poking pre-egg boiling technique seems like the most overly time-intensive and complicated thing ever. Not to mention likely to ruin at least a few eggs completely.

  2. If an egg cracks while cooking, the white runs out and you won't be able to use the white for the final product. This way of cooking reduces the likelihood of cracking, so you can skip the step if you want. It's just a pain when more than one egg cracks, and the running of the white makes the water really messy. It's just a step I like to take if I have the time.