The Devil’s in the Details

We’re talking fun and entertaining and all things food-related, and we’ve made it on the alphabet train to D.

It’s already April and we’ve been basking in the warmer/milder weather that precedes the almost unbearable heat of summer. Outdoor get-togethers with family and friends are here at last.

If you’ve ever attended a family reunion in the South, you’ve been offered a Deviled Egg. It was likely served up on an egg plate (those nifty little trays with special indentations for each egg half), and was probably made with love by your Great Aunt Ethel who rode over 50 miles to attend the reunion holding those precious plastic-wrapped eggs in her lap the whole way.

Heaven forbid Uncle Aulsie gets a little too aggressive with his driving.

Deviled Eggs have been around forever and there are as many versions as there are chickens to lay those eggs, but have you ever wondered how the Devil got involved? Back in the 19th century the term “deviled” was often used to describe foods, many times egg dishes, that were spicy or zesty (remember the mustard and vinegar?)There are other names- stuffed eggs, salad eggs, dressed eggs, and even angel eggs.

But whatever you call them, only one thing matters:

Every family believes their recipe is the hands-down best, and everyone else’s recipe is frankly “just awful”.

The basic recipe calls for hard-cooked eggs which are first split, then to the yolks are added an array of ingredients, the most typical of which are mustard, mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper.

You can add a whole slew of other things too- herbs, sour cream bacon, onion, chives, cheese- you name it, it can go in!

For me, the tangy-ness of the mustard and the addition of vinegar are key. Mine are pretty simple and require little thought or measuring (and also no particular cooking talent)

  1. I gently drop the eggs into boiling water to cover and then boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
  2. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for a couple of minutes, then plunge into cold water.
  3. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, roll each one on the counter with enought pressure to gradually break the shell all over, then just peel it off.

There is NOTHING more frustrating than trying to remove the shell from an egg that just absolutely won’t let it go.

4. Cut each egg in half, remove the yolks and to them add mustard, mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper (and whatever else you want!)

5. Then re-fill the egg halves with the yolk mixture with a spoon (or you can be fancy and pipe it in with a piping bag or a plastic bag with a corner clipped off). Top with your choice of garnishes.

Because you may be making just a couple of eggs or 50, add the mustard, etc… in small amounts, tasting along the way, until you get it just like you like it.

There’s really nothing for me that says Spring has arrived like a platter of Deviled Eggs.

I’d be so interested to know- do you love or hate them? What’s the secret to your own recipe?

And also, can you help a sister out with “E”? I’d be so grateful.


2 thoughts on “The Devil’s in the Details

  1. The wonderful thing about deviled eggs, and probably one of the worst things about deviled eggs, is the fact that you can eat a dozen deviled eggs and not realize that you have just eaten 6 eggs! What other dishes would you normally eat 6 eggs at a time? Nada. My favorite of course is always the classic deviled egg but I like to mix it up depending on what the theme is for my occasion so I will add salsa with a slice of avocado, add bacon bits plus half a cherry tomato on top for a BLT, and if I’m trying to feel a little fancy I’ll add some caviar with a basil leaf garnish. Love me some Deviled Eggs!


  2. Deviled eggs are always a favorite, and my recipe is pretty much the same as yours, except I’ve never used vinegar in them, but I will give it a try because I think that would add a wonderful element! The only “E” foods I know are eggplant (not a fan) and endive. I have no recipes for either. 😦


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