Friday, December 26, 2008

Traditional Classic 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 liking, 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, 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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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!

Need an egg tray? Click on the pictures for more information. Purchases from my store help to support this site and help me buy the groceries!
Posted by on December 26, 2008

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