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Kitchen Lab: Evil Eggs

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Say you’ve got no religion whatsoever, but the dominant religion in your country welcomes spring with a somewhat silly art project that you enjoy. What do you do with that brightly-colored pile of hard-boiled eggs in your fridge afterward?

I make ’em evil. [skip to ingredients]

When used in reference to food, the word “deviled” made its first known appearance in the late 18th century. It described something made with hot, spicy ingredients. And while a dab of mustard may not seem like any wild and crazy hotness, this was white folks in the 1700s. We’re still freaking out over ankles here, a dollop of mustard was probably downright scandalous.

They’re also sometimes referred to as “mimosa eggs,” “stuffed eggs,” “dressed eggs” or “salad eggs” by those who don’t want to say “devil” for some reason, and attempts at making them healthier or lower in cholesterol are known as “angel eggs.”

…I don’t know if I want to eat an angel egg.

But deviled eggs are devilishly (snerk) simple, at least as far as ingredients go. It’s basically hard-boiled eggs where you’ve mashed the yolks with some mayo and mustard. Boom! Delicious deviled eggs! And yet somehow I wound up filling my sink with dirty dishes. WTF, only I could make this harder than it has to be.

To Make Deviled Eggs:

You will need:

  • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika

 

A bottle of Cholula hot sauce next to a jar of Lowensenf Extra mustard on a speckled kitchen counter
The incredible, international EGG!

The recipe I was winging it from called for dijon mustard, but I had this fancy German stuff that’s also nice and spicy. And I used Cholula where it said Tabasco… there are other hot sauces, people! The original recipe also called for 1 Tbsp minced shallot or onion, but since I was already doing weird stuff with my mustard and hot sauce AND I only had ten eggs… nah, who am I kidding, I just didn’t have a damn shallot.

 

They turned out fine.

So what do you do to make deviled eggs, again? It’s like I said: basically you cut hard-boiled eggs in half, smash the yolks with the rest of the ingredients, and put the mush back into the yolks. Okay, they’re done! Yay!

Oh, I guess you wanted more detail? Okay.

Which Came First?

Hard-boiling eggs is more complex than one might think. That one being me, who has somehow messed up this simple task before. And the worst part about messing up hard-boiled eggs is that you don’t even know how badly you’ve screwed them up until you sit down to eat them! Terrible.

So part of the thing is that you want to use a big pot with a lot of water for boiling the eggs. Some people just do it 1/2 dozen at a time, but ain’t nobody got time fo dat. I got my biggest pot, filled it with cold water, put my 10 (oops) eggs in, and cranked up the heat.

I’ve read that you should heat the water with the eggs already in. Something something bring gradually to temperature something. IDK, it worked and my eggs ended up hard-boiled. You also want to make sure there’s an inch or two of water OVER the eggs, and that they’re not crowded in there. If the eggs look like they’re crammed in at a rock show, you might need to be the bouncer who only cooks six eggs at a time. Sorry to make you the bad guy.

So once you get the water up to a nice rolling boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let ’em steep there for about 10-12 minutes. It’s plenty hot in there, don’t worry, this works. Then I “shocked” the eggs by putting them – gently – into a bowl of ice water. I used a slotted spoon.

A white bowl full of water and eggs, with a purple slotted spoon
There was ice in this bowl before I added the eggs. Really.

Once the eggs have cooled for at least a few minutes, you can take ’em out and peel off the shells. It can make things easier to do this under running water. If you don’t have a garbage disposal I strongly advise using a strainer or something over the drain, though.

You don’t want this clogging up your sink.

Then you want to cut the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks, and mash the yolks with everything else. I used a fork.

Because all the unmixed ingredients in a bowl looks ARTFUL and stuff, dontcha know.

This is the part where you can taste-test the mix to make sure you’ve got the right amount of devil in your eggs. Add more stuff as needed, remembering that you can always add more, but it’s harder to take stuff out. Add just a little bit at a time.

a white bowl with a fork sticking out of mashed yellow egg yolks
Beat ’em up! Mash ’em! Stick ’em in a stew! Wait…

It won’t look like there’s enough to fill all the egg-halves, but appearances are deceiving. This filled up all 20 halves just fine.

a ziplock sandwich bag full of deviled egg filling, flattened
Plays big, packs flat.

I put the yolk-stuff into this bag partly to travel with and partly so I could use it as a piping bag. Like for frosting. Snip the end off and squeeze the deviled goop into the eggs – easy!

three rows of deviled eggs with a LOT of paprika on a rectangular white plate on a white countertop
The paprika just JUMPED out of the jar at first! Then I had to make the rest of the eggs match.

I can assure you that travelling with un-assembled deviled egg fixin’s is WAY easier than trying to take a platter of prepared deviled eggs onto the bus. I put the egg-white halves into a plastic sandwich container, threw it into my travel lunch bag with the ziploc bag full of deviled yolks, and put everything together once I arrived.

Bonus: my friends have nicer plates than I do.

Let me know if you try making deviled eggs! You’ve got some time, hard-boiled eggs last about a week in the fridge.

 

 

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1 Comments

  1. Once I was making deviled eggs and realized I was out of mayo. I didn’t have time to make a grocery store run, so I just looked for a proper replacement by whatever I had on hand. I ended up using ranch dressing in place of the mayo. It was DELICIOUS. That’s always how I make my deviled eggs now. The ranch gives the mashed up yolks so much flavor.

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