Deviled Eggs: An Elegant Classic

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honestly, nothing says timeless casual elegance in cooking than a nice deviled egg. They can be made with pickles, sweet relish, even caviar in the mixture and topped with a powdering for paprika, a simple finely shopped parsley, or even delicate thinly sliced smoked salmon. The variations can extend as far as your imagination (using pickled beets anyone?) but for me, my favorite is still the creamy deviled eggs I grew up with that were served for any special occasion.

This recipe is a family tradition and I'm happy to pass it along to you.

Deviled Eggs
6 extra-large eggs
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large scallion
1/3 of a cup of good mayonnaise (recommend: Best or Hellman's) plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Set on stove and bring to a boil. When water starts boiling, turn water off and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Take the scallion and run your knife through it lengthwise, cutting it completely in half. The run your knife through the other way, finely chopping it. Set aside.

When the eggs have bathed for 15 minutes, carefully drain the hot water from the saucepan and then let cold water run over them. This will make them easier to handle. When cool enough to touch, take each egg and carefully peel off the shell and discard. Cut each egg in half and pop out the cooked yolk into a mixing bowl. The yolk should be bright yellow and full cooked through. Reserve the white part of the egg to the side (you'll restuff them with the yolk mixture later).

Take a fork and mash the yolks in the bowl until you get very tiny pieces. Add the chopped scallion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the mayonnaise and the dill and mix very well. Taste and adjust with seasoning as desired. Make sure you mix enough to get a smooth consistency.

To stuff the egg, spoon the yolk-scallion mixture into the cavity of the egg white where the yolk used to be, and also around the top, covering it. If you wanted a more elegant presentation, you can put the yolk mixture in a piping bag (or a plastic ziploc back) and then pipe it in with a decorative pattern. Repeat this with each egg; you could have just enough mixture to stuff each egg perfectly. At this point, you could also "decorate" the egg by carefully smoothing over a layer of mayo on top of the yolk mixture, creating the impression it is a "whole" egg again. And add a small dill leaf for garnish.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Can stand out for 4 hours (not in directly sunlight!).

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