I’ve never met a deviled egg I didn’t like. That goes for even those versions with commercially prepared sweet-pickle relish and pimentos.
With Easter still nearly two months out, the topic is perhaps premature for some. But for others, deviled eggs constitute the perfect party platter, just as suited to Super Bowl as to cocktail parties.
Dress them up with gourmet flavors or dress them down with just salt and pepper, eggs are infinitely adaptable, as depicted in one of the better single-topic cookbooks in my collection. “D’lish Deviled Eggs,” by Kathy Casey, (Andrews McMeel Publishing) takes off from traditional recipes into the realm of fusion cuisine with such interpretations as Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs, Tahini & Tabbouleh Deviled Eggs and even Pumpkin Pie Deviled Eggs.
If Casey proves that just about any ingredient belongs in deviled eggs, I’ll point out that there is one requirement for an egg to be “deviled.” The hard-boiled yolks must be scooped out, mixed with some sort of seasoning or binding agent and reunited with their whites.
Sorry, but the “deviled-egg shooters” so beloved of diners at a Las Vegas restaurant, and lauded on an episode of FYI Channel’s “Big Kitchens,” are a misrepresentation. Simply squirting housemade mayonnaise on top of a halved, hard-boiled egg may be delicious, but it’s hardly devilish.
Just a bit more involved than that shortcut is this recipe for the real deal, courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I’d also do double-duty with the newspaper’s recipe for Tapenade Mayonnaise, which writer Daniel Neman likes with raw veggies for dipping. I’d blend a few spoonsful with hard-boiled egg yolks for an adaptation of Casey’s Tapenade Deviled Eggs.
Sriracha Deviled Eggs
6 hard-boiled eggs
Pinch table salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon good-quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Fresh chives or scallion, for garnish (optional)
Peel the eggs and slice in half. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Add the salt to yolks and thoroughly mash with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and Sriracha; stir to blend completely. Spoon or pipe mixture back into yolk cavity of eggs.
If desired, garnish yolk with half of a chive stem or a thin slice of the scallion’s green part.
Makes 6 servings.
1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ounce (1/2 can) anchovies, drained and finely chopped
2 tablespoons small capers, drained
2 tablespoons pitted and finely chopped Greek or French olives
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Serve with crudités. May be stored in refrigerator for several days.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Adapted by Tribune News Service from “The Frog/Commissary Cookbook,” by Steven Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller.