Last holiday cookout time, I showed a plate of my deviled eggs with a ham roll-up appetizer.
In the comments, reader Jackie asked if I would share the recipe for the eggs. So, Jackie, here you go, just in time for a Labor Day picnic! Perfect deviled eggs have a few components that I divided into these categories that are added to the yolks – the Base (mayo), Heat (mustard or horseradish), Acid (vinegar), Spice (garlic, lemon pepper, parsley), Add-Ins (onion), Add-Ons and Finish (Paprika or Chipotle). Each time I make them, they are a little bit different.
But, if you cannot boil an egg, you are behind from the start. So here is the way that works for me. I have read a lot of different ways on the internet and tried dozens of ways with varying success, but I believe that there are so many variables there can be no one way that works for everyone. Variables like altitude, the size of your eggs, how fresh they are, how high the temperature gets when your water boils (altitude and things like salt, vinegar or oil added to the water will actually change that from the standard 212 degrees), how long you leave the eggs at the high temperature, how long the eggs sit in the cooling water, so much!! The ideal is to get a perfectly cooked yolk, without making the white part into rubber, and eliminate the ugly green skin that forms when the yolk gets too hot.
First rule, boil more eggs than you will need, there will usually be one or two that crack or don’t peel nicely. Those get to be egg salad or put into tuna salad, or chopped over a green tossed salad. So, start by placing your eggs carefully into a pan that fits them with adequate space between. Fill the pan with cool water until the eggs are covered. If your eggs are older, they will float on the large end from the air space. Don’t worry about that.
Place the pan on the stove and turn on the heat to high. Stand there and wait for the eggs to boil. You can chop onions or do other things, but don’t walk away from the stove.
Just as soon as the water boils nicely, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit on the cooling burner 12-15 minutes depending on if you are using medium, large, extra large or jumbo eggs.
Gently pour off the hot water, and plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water. Let them sit for a minute, then one at a time, take them out and gently crack the shell all over.
Sometimes I take them all out and shake the eggs in the pan to crack them evenly all at once before returning them to the ice water.
Return the cracked eggs to the ice water. This will separate the membrane just under the shell from the cooked egg white, and will allow the shell to slide off in big chunks.
Now go back to the first one, and peel it, using running cool water helps too.
Dry it off, and continue with the rest of the eggs.
At least most of them, LOL! These will be egg salad.
Slice the eggs in half, place the yolks in a small bowl.
Break up the yolks with a fork.
Mix in your base, heat, acid, and spice.
Add any add-ins you want.
Pipe or spoon back into the whites.
Sprinkle with the finish.
Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Then transfer to a pretty plate to serve.
Here are the proportions I use. I like the egg to be the star, and I don’t like them too runny. Sometimes people put too much mayonnaise in them, and it takes out all the texture that a good egg should have. I like to use green onion as an add-in, and at times I have also put in bacon bits. They are really good with a small shrimp (or a big one!) placed on top before the final finish. Double or triple the recipe for larger quantities. Feel free to adjust the heat, acid, or spice to your taste. This recipe makes 8.
Perfect Deviled Eggs
4 large eggs (plus 2 for good measure)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried chopped parsley
1 tablespoon add in as desired – green onion, bacon bits, top with shrimp or other favorite if desired
Sprinkle of chipotle powder or paprika
Boil eggs, peel and slice in half. Remove four egg yolks to a small bowl. Add next seven ingredients. Add any add-in ingredients, I usually use green onion. Pipe or spoon back into egg white shells. Sprinkle with Chipotle powder or paprika, depending on how much heat you want. Now the most important part, chill at least 8 hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to blend, and gets the eggs nicely cold and set up. Place on a pretty plate and enjoy!!
Now for some variations – all can be combined in different ways for different tastes. Use what you like! Just be sure that the proportion of egg yolk to base is right – one tablespoon of base to 2 large egg yolks.
Bases – mayonnaise, light mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, sour cream, ricotta cheese
Heat – dijon mustard and horseradish sauce (I like both), yellow mustard, worchestershire,
Acid – vinegar either balsamic or red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar, or lemon juice, pickle juice
Spice – garlic, lemon-pepper, smoked salt, parsley, thyme, oregano, paprika, cumin
Add-Ins – green onion, bacon bits, chopped red or green pepper, chopped olives, chopped pickles
Add-ons – shrimp, marinated peppers or mushrooms, sliced olives, parmesan cheese, sliced avocado
Finishes – paprika, chipotle chili powder, smoked sea salt, cracked black pepper, fresh herbs
Go for it! Don’t these Deviled Eggs with Shrimp look scrumptious?!!
I almost never have any of these eggs left over, but if you make so many that you do have leftovers, just chop them up and serve on toast the next day, either as lunch, or a different appetizer. Great for serving around holidays to change up the menu.