Whenever I think about summer, I think about deviled eggs. Beginning with Easter and going straight through the month of September; every activity is enhanced by a plate of deviled eggs—think camping, cook-outs and beach vacations.
Deviled eggs fit in everywhere, for any occasion. You just have to change the garnish to match the activity or your mood. If I am feeling down-home, I add a little pimento cheese to my deviled egg mixture. If I want to spice it up, I add pureed chipotle and substitute lime for the lemon. I also love getting a little fancy and topping deviled eggs with caviar—either the traditional—my favorite is ossetra caviar—or the newer wasabi-infused flying fish roe.
No matter how good embellished deviled eggs are, my favorite version is my recipe that I call “Straight-Up Deviled Eggs,” because they are classic and well, straight up! You can use them as a base for any and all flavor mix-ins or serve them like I do, straight up; simple and sublime.
Party eggs as I call them, are very portable with the availability of many deviled egg carriers with tops and some even have bottom levels for ice which make them a good choice—and food safe—for even the hottest summer days and nights.
There are a few tricks to making perfect deviled eggs. First, you have to make the eggs. I have been boiling eggs since I can remember, but you would be surprised how many folks don’t know how to boil eggs and how many different methods there are for doing so.
The best method is to fill your heavy-duty saucepan with cold water. Gently, place the raw eggs in the cold water, bring the water to a boil, and as soon as the water is boiling, turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and wait about 15 minutes for hard-cooked. If you are eating them for breakfast and want them soft or runny, cook for less time.
This way of cooking eggs is really more like poaching than boiling and will guarantee a yellow, creamy well-cooked egg. The harder and hotter you cook the eggs, the greener the yolk will be. You also want to plunge the eggs in cold water as soon as you think they are done so that they don’t over-cook. This is less an issue for deviled eggs.
I like to make the deviled mixture while the eggs are still warm so that the flavor ingredients get fully incorporated in the yolk. I am a fan of cutting the eggs in half vertically because I think it is easier to keep all the goodness of the deviled egg mixture in the white. However, for esthetic purposes, you should follow the shape of your deviled egg tray.
The eggs taste better after the mixture has had a chance to sit and all the flavors marry. For that reason, I always make my deviled eggs the day before and refrigerate the mixture in a closed pastry bag. I pipe the filling into the whites just before I serve the deviled eggs or need to leave my house. A light hand with the garnish and you are done.