Deviled in the Details
Photo by Aaron Dougherty
A seasonless buffet icon dating back to ancient Rome, deviled eggs remain guest-worthy treats that take to dressing up for special occasions. It’s surprising just how many variations there can be for something so familiar — and so widely loved. In some family circles, messing with grandmother’s recipe can be downright divisive. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the simplest version of this finger-food staple: the yolk of a hard-boiled egg mixed with a little mayo and mustard, pickle brine or relish for acidity and a dusting of paprika for color. That recipe may be the gold standard, but we never can leave well enough alone. It’s fun to tinker with something so easy to transform. We know some prefer the flourish of piping in their fillings — with any additions stacked on — but count us among those who prefer the works chunky. We start with a basic mixture and fancy it up depending on our mood: applewood-smoked bacon and cherry tomatoes; smoked salmon and dill; cold slivers of rare filet mignon with blue cheese; avocado and a little lemon juice; crawfish and Old Bay seasoning sprinkled on top. Why not use hummus instead of mayo and mustard? Sometimes we sneak in a little horseradish or wasabi or a favorite hot sauce to ramp up the “deviled” part of the equation. Caviar is the something extra you need for black-tie affairs. Neighborhood restaurants do their part to keep things interesting. You’ll find a chipotle chile and bacon version at 360 Smoke Shack on West 7th Street. At Righteous Foods, deviled eggs (organic, of course) are amped up with mustard seed hummus and pickled cukes. For a fancy version, check out the Wicked Eggs at downtown’s Wicked Butcher. They’re topped with quinoa, pickled red onion, paprika and a Parmesan tuile. There’s only one rule: Always cut the egg in half lengthwise. Why mess with tradition?