Friday, December 26, 2008

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a southern staple. You'll see them everywhere, at just about every event and every holiday. I like my deviled eggs pretty traditional and basic, but you can certainly jazz them up with any number of variations.
Deviled eggs are a southern staple. You'll see them everywhere, at just about every event and every holiday. I like my deviled eggs pretty traditional and basic, but you can certainly jazz them up with any number of variations.

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

Folks add all kinds of things to their deviled eggs and often use exotic garnishes to fancy them up these days. Me, I kinda still prefer them very basic and traditional, well, in the Southern way... humble, and I find most other folks Down South expect to find them that way too. Still, it's nice to shake things up every once in awhile I guess, so I say embellish away if ya like!

I boiled 2 dozen eggs for our Christmas party using this recipe - that's 48 deviled eggs - and they were gobbled up super fast! Boiling eggs for deviled eggs can get frustrating because they can be temperamental when it comes time to peel. I have found that by adding a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, they peel much easier. It's all in the process of osmosis which I discuss in my boiled egg post.

Deviled eggs are a Southern staple and always gobbled up fast. No matter how many make an appearance at any gathering, they are usually the first appetizer to go. I don't think I've ever seen a deviled egg platter go home anything but empty, although sometimes folks try to be polite by not taking that last one... until somebody does! Amounts given in the recipe are a good ratio, though pretty variable so adjust the mayo, mustard, pickles and seasonings to your own likin', but you do want the filling to be creamy, not dry but not goopy or runny y'all - just nice and creamy, so start slow especially with that mayo and only add a little more at a time. As with all cooking, taste, and adjust seasonings a little at a time also.

{Southern Style Hissy Fit:} On piping. Is it necessary? Absolutely not! But, I really do find that piping not only makes for a prettier presentation than spooning does but it also makes the filling go further and you'll likely have a bit of deviled egg filling leftover to enjoy for yourself on some crackers or in a couple sticks of celery! I used a #199 Wilton tip {affil link} and piped it deep into the egg white, raising the bag up as it filled in the white, but if you don't happen to have any tips, simply stuff the filling into a zipper storage bag, squeeze out the excess air, twist the bag to push all the filling down into one of the bottom corners, secure the twist with a twist tie, snip off just a bit of the corner, and squeeze on the bag to pipe into the whites. Works great!

On garnishing with paprika. Is it necessary? Of course not! But, in case you've not noticed, deviled eggs are white and yellow. A lot of our foods in the south are pale like that. Paprika is used across the south to add a little color. My mama used it, in fact, most anybody I can think of at the moment uses it on their deviled eggs. Heck I even use a mix of paprika and Cajun seasoning. Y'all know the one! If your Mama didn't use it, don't use it! Just don't criticize those who do use it okay? It's really as simple as that.

On deviled egg platters. Are they necessary? Not at all! I'm afraid like many traditions in Southern households, deviled egg plates are falling out of favor to the more easy, carry trays. If you were not lucky enough to inherit an heirloom deviled egg plate don't fret. They are not difficult to find, from Etsy to Ebay to Amazon, and they range from the very basic to as fancy as you like. {affil link} {tucking away soapbox}

Here's a few handy tips. First things first. The full tablespoon of salt in the beginning of the recipe is intended for the boiling water, not for the filling! Adding salt to the boiling water helps to make the eggs easier to peel.

You can also make deviled eggs by cutting off the narrow top of the egg to stuff them upright. If the egg doesn't want to stand upright, cut off just enough of the bottom to make it level. Remove just enough of the top portion to expose the yolk, scoop out the yolk and prepare filling and pipe the filling into the egg so that is standing upright. You'll only get one appetizer per egg this way, so make plenty of boiled eggs for this method!

Make Ahead: Want to get the eggs boiled and filling ready ahead of time? No problem! Boil the eggs and remove the yolks as usual. Place the egg whites in a zippered storage bag or other container and refrigerate. Mix up the filling and spoon that into another zippered bag, seal and refrigerate. Same with garnishes. When it comes time to make the eggs, cut the tip off of the corner of the bag and pipe, at home, or at the site, and garnish. Perfect for tailgating!

To Transport Prepared Deviled Eggs:  Place two or three layers of paper towel into the bottom of a large lidded plastic storage container. Lay the piped eggs in a single layer into the container, just touching each other and filling in all the way into the center. The paper towels will help to absorb moisture and will help to keep the eggs from sliding around and bumping into each other while traveling. Once all of your eggs are in the container, lightly sprinkle the tops with paprika for color. You can also tote your egg whites and bagged filling to the party and do the piping there, it really only takes a second to do if you don't mind taking a few minutes to do it.

Presentation: Don't have an egg platter? Or just want to put out more eggs? Layer a large platter with curly leaf lettuce, breaking off the rough stem ends and placing the lettuce with the curly leaves out in a circular pattern around the platter. Transfer the eggs to the platter laying them out in a similar circular fashion toward the center until the platter is full. Refrigerate remaining eggs until time to replenish the tray.

Toppings or add-ins: Mix into the filling or simply top each stuffed egg with a little pinch for presentation. Horseradish, caviar, chives, crumbled bacon, chopped cooked shrimp, lump crabmeat, baked ham, deviled ham, jalapeno, finely chopped green onion, finely shredded cheese, fresh salsa from the deli, sweet baby gherkin pickles, sliced into thin strips, and chopped pimento are also a few good suggestions. Swap out part of the mayonnaise for cream cheese, softened at room temperature, or some folks like the sweetness of Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise.

What variations of deviled eggs do you love to make?

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Recipe: Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min | Yield: 24 halves

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for the boiling water only)
For the Deviled Eggs:
  • 1/4 cup regular mayonnaise, more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Creole, Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or dill pickle relish
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) {affil link}, or to taste
  • Paprika, for garnish, optional

Place eggs in a sauce pan so that they are crowded with little room to move around. Cover with water and add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a full, rolling boil (about 10 minutes on high), then immediately cover the pot and turn off heat, but leave the pot on the stove eye. Allow to sit covered for 15 minutes. Carefully drain the pot and place under the faucet tap, letting the eggs rinse under a steady stream of water, emptying and refilling the pot with cool water several times until the water is no longer hot. Let the eggs rest for 10 minutes in the cool water.

Peel the eggs and split in half lengthwise, removing the yolks and setting aside the whites. Using a fork or pastry blender, mash the yolks well. To the yolks, add mustard, pickle relish, a pinch of salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and stir together, adding only enough of the mayonnaise for desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites using either a pastry bag and tips or place into a plastic storage bag and snip off the corner. Piping not only looks nicer, but it also makes more efficient use of the yolk filling. Serve immediately or refrigerate filled eggs in a covered bowl that leaves room so the stuffing is not disturbed.

Instant Pot Boiled Eggs: For 6 to 12 large eggs, pour 1-1/2 cups water in bottom of pot and use a rack or basket to place eggs. Cook eggs on high for 6 minutes, quick release and use tongs to immediately transfer eggs into a bowl of iced water.

Smoked Deviled Eggs: (Using Traeger) Boil eggs using favorite method; peel and set aside. Meanwhile, Preheat smoker to 180 degrees F for 15 minutes. Place boiled and peeled eggs directly on grate and smoke for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool, then prepare as above. Variations:

Pimento: Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of homemade or commercial pimento cheese for the mayonnaise; adding additional mayonnaise only as needed.

Bacon Cheddar: Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped bacon and 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar or other cheese.

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs: Combine 1/8 cup mayonnaise with 2 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature. Add remaining ingredients, along with 1/4 cup of finely chopped bacon, 1 tablespoon chopped, pickled jalapeno and 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese. Garnish each egg with a slice of jalapeno and scatter more minced bacon on top.

BBQ Ranch: Mix in one packet of dry Ranch dressing and a dash of Liquid Smoke. Stuff eggs. Just before serving, drizzle each stuffed egg with barbecue sauce (a squirt bottle works best for this) and garnish with sliced green onion. If you have any leftover smoked meats, finely chopped about 1/4 cup and add that in with the yolk mixture.

Avocado Deviled Eggs: Combine 1/2 cup finely mashed avocado with juice of one lime and mix well. Add egg yolks and continue to mash, adding enough mayonnaise to make smooth. Omit mustard and pickles. For guacamole deviled eggs, add 1 teaspoon each finely minced red onion and minced pickled jalapeño, and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed. Mince three grape tomatoes and fold in gently before spooning into egg whites.


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©Deep South Dish
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Set of 2 - Deviled Egg Tray with Snap On Lid!

Leave it to Rachael Ray to solve a problem! This is a fantastic tray for those who like to do the upright deviled eggs - no more wobbly eggs!

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Posted by on December 26, 2008

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