Monday, August 4, 2008

How to make fantastic deviled eggs!

Last weekend I mentioned that I was taking 50 deviled eggs to a party for my former boss and that I would try to post a tutorial for those who are interested in making them. There are lots of instructions on line about deviled eggs but none are exactly the same as mine. I find that people LOVE my eggs and honestly, they're very simple with not many ingredients. In my family, we are definitely "deviled egg purists." In fact, I'll admit, I've never even tried any one else's deviled eggs, just mine and my mom's. The thing is, there's also really no official recipe so you're going to have to read this tutorial and then experiment on your own. The recipe was passed down to me from my mom and she never really measured to make them, therefore, I don't measure either. I'll try to give you approximate measurements but like I said, you'll have to experiment too. 

Let's start with the boiling of the eggs. There's lots of different methods for this but I find the following to work the best: 

If you think of it, and/or have time, turn your eggs horizontally like this in the fridge over night or for quite a few hours. It will help your yolks to be centered in the egg after you boil them, giving you a more attractive appearance. It doesn't really matter if you skip this step, I usually only do it if I'm taking the eggs to a party or something like that. 

To start your eggs boiling, place them in a pot that's large enough to hold them all so that they won't bang up against each other too much and cover them with cool water. Put a lid on your pot and start your heat until you get a rolling boil with big bubbles. 

After they start boiling, remove from heat, leave the cover on and set the timer for 30 minutes. Relax, let the hot water do it's thing and keep the lid on that pot! When your 30 minutes is up, it's time to cool down those eggs. I like to pour off as much hot water as possible and then run them under the cold water while adding ice cubes. The faster you cool them down, the less likely you'll be to get that grayish color around the yolk. If you do get that, don't fret, it won't ruin the taste of your eggs and when you're all finished, it probably won't be noticeable anyway. 

Now it's time to peel and cut. Did you know that older eggs peel MUCH easier then newer eggs? Keep this in mind especially if you're planning on doing a lot of eggs. It will make things easier for  you and your eggs will look a lot nicer if they peel easily. I like to buy my eggs a week in advance if I know I'm going to be making them. 

Peeling the eggs is pretty self-explanatory. I like to crack mine on the counter and then run them under water while I peel. If  you have difficulty (and you might if your eggs are really new) you can crack them and place them all back into the pot of water, this will help loosen the shells while you work on each egg. If they're older eggs, they'll probably slide right out of the shell and you won't have to worry about it. 

Cut your eggs in half with a non-serrated knife. You don't want little serrated lines in your egg whites do you?

Look how nicely centered my egg yolk is, that's what happens when you remember to place your eggs horizontally for a while before boiling.

Pop the egg yolk into a bowl and place your egg white on a plate. I don't have an egg plate that can accommodate 50 deviled egg halves so I just used my Pyrex baking pans with lids since I was transporting them but there are some super cute plates out there. (The Husband might have an anxiety attack if I mention this, but wouldn't that be a cute collection for me The Deviled Egg Girl?)

Once you have all your eggs cut and all your yolks in a bowl, mash them up with a fork. If you like really smooth deviled eggs, you can mash them through a strainer to get much smaller pieces. I've done it before and I really like the way it works but my family tends to like the slightly larger pieces of yolk so I don't do it too often. 

Now it's time for the ingredients. This is all I use. Eggs, three ingredients and a garnish. Remember when I said I was a deviled egg purist? I meant it.

Now, if you're trying to be healthier, I find you can use the light mayo, my Dad swears that he can taste the difference but the fact is, he can't. My Mom and I used light mayo SO many times and he raved about the eggs, you really cannot tell. Fat Free mayo however... Don't. Even. Try. It. (Hellmann's is the brand I use here on the East Coast, I know it has another name on the West Coast... Best brand I think, use that, it's probably the same or just as good.) Any kind of plain yellow mustard will work and plain white vinegar. I've tried "gourmet" mustards in the past and they're fine, just not my traditional idea of an egg. It's fun to experiment but I always go back to good old yellow mustard. (Just like we put on our pretzels here in the Philly area.) I've never experimented with different vinegars but I LOVE vinegar so I might just have to do that someday. 

The next step is to add your ingredients. The recipe is VERY approximate but for six eggs, (12 halves) I would say you want to start with  about 2 Tablespoons of mayo, and a teaspoon of mustard and vinegar. Mix it up and taste it. The Husband is always my official taste-tester.

You can always add more of any ingredient but you cannot take things out so go easy on your ingredients the first few times. I don't like a whole lot of mayo in my eggs so I usually don't add more of that after my first tasting. The thing we do like a lot of is vinegar, vinegar and vinegar. I usually end up adding at least three teaspoons of vinegar to get a really tangy flavor. Remember, there's vinegar in yellow mustard too. When you're mixing your yolks and you think you have it just right, add another 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar for good measure, trust me, it will be good. I honestly think it's the not so secret "secret ingredient" and the reason people rave about my eggs. 

Lastly, you're going to fill your egg halves and garnish them up with paprika. If I'm just doing a small batch, I just spoon the filling in but if I'm doing a large batch or I want them to look really pretty, I'd use a pastry bag or just a plastic zipper bag with the corner cut off. It makes things go a lot faster and they do look really nice when you're finished.

Sprinkle on your paprika and voila' you are finished! I try to make sure to get paprika on the white part of the egg too, I think it just looks extra pretty that way. Don't you just want to eat them up?

I hope you give deviled eggs a try and that you like my "secret family recipe" I never share it but since it's not a real recipe and you have to do your own trial and error and therefore must be really dedicated to having excellent deviled eggs, I figured it was OK and I'd go ahead and share. Good luck and let me know if you give it a try or have any other tips and tricks. 

I'm off to google deviled egg plates now. (Sorry Husband.) 


Michelle said...

Yum, Caren! I think I'll be trying this because I LOVE deviled eggs!

Hellman's is Best Foods over here. :-)

Michelle said...

Oops! I spelled Hellmann's wrong. Oh well....

Bella said...

They look great! I should make some soon, but not 50 of them, lol ;)

Bella :)

tommyekatt said...

Caren, this is the same way my grandma taught me how to make deviled eggs. And they are YUMMY!!

Oh I learned the gut a hole in the corner of a baggie from Alton Brown and my mom thought it was the coolest thing.

Jenn said...

Ok, now I'm so damn hungry for deviled eggs!

morewineplease said...

Time to change your name to Martha!

Dad said...

I'm sure I would have liked that batch better because you used high octane mayo.

gabrielle said...

Hi, i'm from Malaysia & have bumped into this yummy tutorial through TipJunkie. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

That's the same way we make Deviled Eggs in our family. My only difference is I use Cider Vinegar as I never want to go downstairs to the pantry to get the big bottle of White Vinegar. They are always eaten right up, no matter where I take them!

Anonymous said...