When I think of deviled eggs I usually think of picnics, barbeques and Easter. They are one of the most versatile snacks or appetizers that I can think of and have always screamed Americana to me. But did you know that the original deviled egg can be traced back to ancient Roman times where they were a fanciful treat with spicy condiments mixed into the yolks and over the top garnishes? You may ask yourself where the name came from, and it’s simple- the devil is synonymous with spicy in the food realm. Just think of the classic Shrimp Diavolo pasta which is served with a fiery sauce. The classic deviled egg is a combination of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar and seasonings. Tried and true, these are so delicious and would be great on any table, but you know I like to kick things up a notch so I am going to give you some other ideas to transform your deviled eggs.
The version below is a chipotle pepper, mayo, scallion concoction with a smoky paprika as garnish. Any dried chili pepper powder or favorite hot sauce can be swapped out for the chipotle in this variation. Different fresh or dried herbs make an excellent garnish but can be folded in as well. Harissa is a really great hot sauce alternative as well.
The reason spice and strong flavors are the go-to when seasoning deviled eggs is because it cuts through the fat to balance out the overall richness of the egg. Let’s be honest; plain eggs are dull and boring so it just seems to make sense. The version below is a bit milder but still packs a bunch of flavors with bacon, chive, sour cream, whole grain mustard and oven roasted garlic. I like to swap out the usual mayonnaise for any creamy ingredient like crème fraiche, yogurt, sour cream or even cream cheese.
Another fun trick to elevate your deviled egg game is to color them in fun ways. To achieve this speckled look, I hard boiled my eggs. Once the eggs were cool, I cracked them all over the surface creating a spiderweb effect. I then submerged my eggs in water with red food dye overnight. The next day I peeled the eggs and this is the result. You can also soak your eggs in tea for a cool marble effect. I think the worst part of making deviled eggs is the peeling part, right? Check out Karen’s post on the perfectly peel-able egg for tips on cooking and peeling your eggs as she shares all her secrets.
I was using them for a Halloween-themed party so I was going for a bloodshot eyeball look! The filling for this devilish egg is a basil pesto mixed with the egg yolk and is topped with olives and capers. You could also use avocado for a cool green filling and make it a guacamole deviled egg with onion, cilantro and lime. Staying on the green theme, you could make a green eggs and ham version.
Another one of my favorite combinations is a buffalo blue cheese deviled egg. I have also made a kimchee and miso egg. I love thinking of things that would not usually be found in a deviled egg and have fun experimenting. Another outrageous test was a shrimp cocktail deviled egg where I mixed the yolk with ketchup, Worcestershire, horseradish and lemon then topped it with a poached shrimp.
You can get really fancy and use expensive ingredients to take your deviled eggs to the next level. A classic egg pairing is caviar or fish row for a pop of saltiness. Even some smoked salmon would be delicious! Truffled deviled eggs are superb. Saffron steeped in vinegar and mixed with the yolk would not only taste great but the color would really be vibrant.
Now that National Deviled Egg day was yesterday, my next Eggsperiment will be to devil a scotch egg. I have seen in restaurants that people bread and fry the egg white before piping in the yolk mixture. I really like this idea because I live for texture differences in dishes but have never tried it. So, I can only imagine how eggstravegant the scotch egg would be!
Puns aside, if you wanted to learn all about eggs, we dedicate a whole lesson to this star ingredient in our Culinary Boot Camp. I would love to hear all about your favorite deviled egg concoctions so please comment below so I can be inspired or join our private Facebook group to show us all pictures or this amazing side dish that I consider to be the star of the dining table.