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Fear Conquered: Deviled Eggs
"You can make them," Boyfriend Javelin says, darkly. "But I not saying I'll eat them." He's not smiling and it's no joke. The man has never liked deviled eggs. Not at parties, not at cookouts, not ever.
"So you're gonna make me eat them all myself?" I ask, trying to sound accusatory. "You wanna see me get fat?" Which will happen, because unlike Boyfriend Javelin, I love deviled eggs. Too much. Put a plate in front of me and watch what happens.
"I don't care what you do with them," Boyfriend Javelin comes back, unrelentingly. "But you know I don't like deviled eggs."
"Maybe you'll like mine," I say. And I'm being intentionally manipulative, and he knows it. "You have to at least try one."
He glares, the kind of glare that means I've won. The glare that says we both know I won't have to eat them all myself. Just all but one. "I'll try ONE," he says. And rolls his eyes at me. "One."
He actually ate three that first time. But then my first attempt at deviled eggs were such a deviation from the traditional flavor that I can't really call them deviled eggs. More like vinegar paprika bombs. Boyfriend Javelin specifically hates the taste of cooked egg yolk or white, together or separate. So I added so much vinegar and smoked paprika and mustard, you wouldn't have known there was any egg left. I even managed to entirely mask the bland egg white.
Boyfriend Javelin was happy. "These aren't bad," he said after the second egg. "But I don't know that everybody would like 'em like this."
In fact, I'm fairly sure, NOBODY except egg-haters would have liked deviled eggs like that. And if you're reaching for a deviled egg, you probably don't hate eggs. So a year later, when I finally got around to attempting deviled eggs again, I cut back on the vinegar, paprika and mustard.
Boyfriend Javelin managed to eat two from that batch. "I think a lot of people would like these," he said agreeably. But he didn't say he liked them. And I took that as a good sign of progress.
A few more attempts, a few more forced feedings and I was closer still. And Boyfriend Javelin was back to admitting he doesn't like deviled eggs. "But yours aren't bad," he reassured me. "I can eat yours without feeling sick."
Never have I heard higher praise. And although it may sound like I'm joking, I'm actually serious. I've finally found a deviled egg recipe so tasty, so irresistible, that even an ardent egg-hater like Boyfriend Javelin won't get sick. I admit, that's not much of a marketing slogan, but it's the truth.
These deviled eggs are precisely balanced in flavor and texture. The filling is thick but creamy, easily pipe-able without losing its shape. And unlike these eggs' predecessors, egg lovers can still enjoy the distinct flavor the yolks while egg haters will be pleased by the lack of "egginess". Maybe just this once, egg haters and egg lovers can unite. Throw a parade. Serve mountains of deviled eggs!
Then again, Boyfriend Javelin still made me eat most of these...
STORY | PRINTABLE RECIPE | HUNGRY FOR TIPS?
|Hard boil a dozen eggs, drain and cool.|
|Carefully peel the eggs.|
|Slice eggs in half, lengthwise and separate eggs yolks from egg whites.|
|Arrange egg whites on a serving dish and set aside.|
|Add the egg yolks to a medium sized bowl.|
|Add the vinegar.|
|Add the homemade mayonnaise.|
|Add the prepared mustard.|
|Add the Worcestershire sauce.|
|Measure the spices.|
|Thoroughly mix the spices together.|
|Add the spices to the egg yolk mixture.|
|Mash all the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork.|
|Continue to mix with a fork until the egg yolk mixture is mostly smooth.|
|Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a sealable bag.|
|Squeeze out all the air, seal the bag and mash the mixture between your fingers until completely smooth (no little lumps).|
|With a pair of scissors, snip off the corn of the bag.|
|Pipe a generous amount of the egg yolk mixture into each egg white cavity. Optionally chill the deviled eggs for up to 3 hours before serving.|
STORY | PHOTO TUTORIAL | HUNGRY FOR TIPS?
Perfect Deviled Eggs
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Ingredients (makes 24 egg halves)
- Slice the peeled eggs in half lengthwise and gently remove the egg yolks from the surrounding egg whites; arrange egg white halves on a serving platter and set aside
- In a medium bowl, mash together with a fork the egg yolks, mayonnaise, vinegar, prepared mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, mustard powder, salt and paprika
- Add the egg yolk mixture to a quart-sized sealable bag, squeeze out all the air and then seal the bag; mash the mixture together with your fingers until completely smooth
- With a pair of scissors, snip off one corner of the bag and squeeze a generous amount of the egg yolk mixture into each of the reserved egg white cavities
- Chill the deviled eggs for up to 3 hours before serving
An original recipe by Javelin Warrior. © 2013 Javelin Warrior. All rights reserved.
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Hungry for Tips?
- The hardest part of making deviled eggs is properly boiling the eggs - and then carefully peeling the eggs without destroying the egg whites. For helpful tips, check out my Hard Boiled Eggs technique.
- My good friend Dan, who has been making deviled eggs a lot long than I, recommended using a sealable bag for smoothing out the egg yolk mixture. It worked so well, I pirated the idea and I've been using it ever since.
- Homemade mayonnaise can make the difference between ho-hum deviled eggs and outstanding deviled eggs. So I recommend you stick with homemade mayonnaise. If you choose to use the bottled stuff, you will need to add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt to the egg yolk mixture.
- It may look like a lot of ingredients for deviled eggs, but everything works together to create a one-of-kind but familiar comfort food. The Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and smoked paprika help to cut the "egginess" and mustard powder helps boost flavor without making the filling soupy. All that said, if you're not a fan of a specific ingredient, leave it out or cut back.
My friends Anneli (from Delicieux) and Louisa (from Chez Foti) have started this fun new monthly challenge called Four Seasons Food (SFS) - check it out and enjoy this month's delicious theme of Picnic Food & Outdoor Nibbles!
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