Deviled eggs have long been popular picnic and party fare. We all know the drill. Cut the cooked eggs in half lengthwise, scoop out the yolks, and mash said yolks with a handful of ingredients before stuffing them back into the egg.
These days, it seems that any well-liked recipe becomes a springboard for something new and different: unexpected ingredients can be added to a basic recipe or a theme can be inserted. Believe it or not, recipes for pumpkin mac and cheese abound, and I’ve eaten cheeseburger frittatas, Philly cheesesteak pasta, PB&J oatmeal, and spaghetti pie more than once.
Mash-ups, as they are often called, exist in the world of deviled eggs, too. The versatile orbs work well with a variety of flavors, making them a blank canvas on which to paint. Odd as some of these combinations may seem, I’ve seen deviled eggs incorporated into macaroni salad, bagels and lox, mashed potatoes, spinach-artichoke dip, and BLT sandwiches.
Similarly, variations on the classic stuffed egg have been inspired by party standbys ranging from guacamole and buffalo chicken to jalapeno poppers and sushi, while various holidays have inspired deviled egg footballs, chicks, and spiders.
Some use tangy, colorful red beet eggs as a starting point. Others bypass mayo in favor of mashed avocado, pesto, hummus, or Greek yogurt, or spice them up with ingredients like horseradish, wasabi, or sriracha sauce. My favorite toppings include a slice of green olive or snipped chives, but others opt for smoked salmon, crisp bacon, fresh dill, capers, or something as fancy as caviar or lump crabmeat.
While creativity clearly knows no bounds, the traditional recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and simple to make with ingredients likely kept on hand. My mom’s basic deviled eggs still hold a special place in my heart; she never used a recipe, so the following is my rendition of what I’ve enjoyed eating since my first backyard barbecue.
If one of the nontraditional concepts mentioned above has inspired you and you’re feeling industrious, make a double batch, keeping one basic and taking a risk on the other. (Or go half and half with a single batch.) You can taste and add as you go—a tablespoon or two is a safe starting point for most add-ins—and a good kitchen experiment always makes for fun mealtime conversation.
Leftovers, if you’re lucky enough to have them, are delicious as is, but you may wish try one of the suggestions above. We enjoy sliced deviled eggs in place of fried eggs on avocado toast for breakfast (quite tasty), and the idea of adding one to a BLT sandwich sounds rather good to me.
Yield: 8 Servings
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives (may omit if you don’t have them on hand)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar, basic white or white wine vinegar are all good options)
- 1/4 level teaspoon kosher salt* and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Optional toppings: minced chives, paprika, sliced green olives
Remove the egg yolks from the whites and place in a small bowl. Thoroughly mash the yolks with a fork, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture until creamy.
Spoon the filling into the egg whites, mounding it up a bit. (Optionally, you may pipe the filling into the whites using a pastry tube with a star tip or a zip-top sandwich bag with one of the corners snipped off. I tend to keep it easy and go for the rustic look!)
Top the filled eggs with minced chives, paprika, or a slice of green olive. Refrigerate the eggs in an airtight container. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
- *If using regular table salt, start with 1/8 teaspoon and adjust to taste.