Deviled Eggs

I have for a number of years been experimenting with deviled eggs as a warm-weather picnic bring-along. I have some devotees who ask “where are the deviled eggs?” even at Christmas. But I was always just winging it, never using a recipe, per se, and never getting consistently good eggs. Too salty, too spicy (too bland was not a complaint I’d heard). It was time to grow up and create a recipe. So here goes for my base line, which turned out pretty good.

1 dozen eggs, plus a couple spares

Eggs are best prepared a day in advance [1]. Best if put in the pot in one layer, laying on their sides, with enough water to cover them by an inch or so. I use a liberal amount of salt (as much as 1/4C) and perhaps a like amount of vinegar. The salt raises the boiling point of water; the vinegar keeps the whites at bay should little leaks evolve. Bring the eggs to a rolling boil, cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain, cover with ice and cold water. The more ice the better. Let them stand for an hour or more, then refrigerate overnight (I don’t have to say “after draining off the water”, do I?).

Peel the eggs, halve the eggs, reserve the yolks in a shallow bowl. “Imperfect” whites can be eaten, fed to the dog, or discarded, your preference. On a good day you’ll have 24 halves, on bad day, 18. No matter. (The deviled egg container I have has 20 indentations. I thought that was a stupid number, until I figured out that I routinely screw up two eggs per dozen. 20 is the perfect average number of indentations.)

Mash the egg yolks with a fork until smooth. This it the only way. Trust me.

1/4 C Miracle Whip
1 T prepared mustard
2 T hot sauce (Tabasco or your favorite)
2 T sweet pickle relish (Cain’s is the local favorite)
1 T Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is the best)
1 T cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t coarse ground pepper

Mix well, and taste. It might need more salt, or hot sauce. If it’s too thick, add a bit more Miracle Whip.

Spoon about 1 t of filling into each of the egg halves, and garnish with smoked paprika, or a sprig of chive, whatever blows your skirt up.

[1] Eggs are also best purchased a week or so in advance. It makes no difference in the flavor, but they are much easier to peel, increasing your final yield.

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