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Devilled eggs were once the ubiquitous party dish present on virtually every buffet table and hors d’oeuvre tray.  The popularity of devilled eggs has declined over the past two decades and now rarely do they make an appearance on the party circuit.  Sadly, they are generally considered a best forgotten food trend.  But I think it is too soon to relegate the creamy, mustardy egg concoction to the culinary chronicles.  Just as high-waisted pants and shoulder pads have found their way back onto the fashion runway, the devilled egg will be reinstated to party prominence.

In case you are of a vintage unfamiliar with the deposed king of the buffet, a devilled egg is merely a hard-boiled egg, split in half and the yolk removed.  The yolk is then flavoured and stuffed back into the egg white.  The traditional devilled egg stuffing was a simple combination of egg yolk, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and sometimes chopped chives, minced garlic and the like.  The standard presentation included a good sprinkling of paprika for an added punch of colour.  The pure simplicity of the devilled egg makes for an attractive presentation despite the easy preparation.

Like many resurrected fashion and food trends, the success of the devilled egg will depend on the development of modern and sophisticated interpretations of the traditional mustardy, creamy, egg yolk stuffing.  Thankfully, eggs are a blank canvas able to take on any number of flavour profiles.  Personally, I’m a big fan of the traditional recipe and recreated it again along side a new version based on the flavour profile of a bacon and tomato sandwich, another favourite of mine.  The updated version was delicious but the traditional as tasty as ever.

I have a few suggestions to elevate the humble devilled egg.  First, you’ll find most recipes call for large eggs.  Instead, I recommend using small eggs or even quail eggs.  A single bite is much more manageable while juggling a glass of wine and a cocktail napkin.  Second, let your imagination run wild.  The flavour possibilities are virtually endless.  How about curry, chipotle peppers, or capers.  Third, consider letting the egg take a supporting role to more luxurious ingredients like caviar, crab, smoked salmon or even truffles. And finally, give this relic of the 70s a chance to shine this holiday season.

Devilled Eggs

Traditional Devilled Eggs

  • 6 small eggs, hard boiled
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp dill pickles, finely diced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp green onion or chives, finely chopped
  • Paprika (sweet, hot or smoked… whatever inspires you)
  1. Place eggs in a pot with enough cold water to cover the eggs.  Bring to a boil, turn of the heat and let stand for 12 minutes (15 minutes if using large eggs, 5 minutes for quail eggs).  Pour cold water on the eggs and let cool completely.  Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Carefully remove yolks and place in a mixing bowl.  Mash yolks with the rest of the ingredients and stuff back into the egg whites with either a spoon or a piping bag.  Sprinkle with paprika just before serving.
  3. Eggs may be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Bacon and Tomato Devilled Eggs

  • 6 small eggs, hard boiled
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and finely crumbled
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed), finely diced
  • 1 tbsp green onion, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow the same procedure as for traditional recipe.

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