Deviled Eggs do their part to dress up and elevate a holiday spread, an arranged salad, a buffet line or even a gathering of snack items.
I always looked forward to seeing my mother’s glass egg tray holding deviled egg halves at holiday meals. In later years, I learned to ponder over the puzzle…why did the egg tray hold an uneven number of egg halves? After all, even if you start with an odd number of eggs, once you cut them in half, you have an even number of halves.
Either someone had one job to do, and they couldn’t get it right. Or they figured on something happening. Like, my mother would not be able to restrain herself and she would eat up one half. Unlikely. Or at least one of the egg whites would be so badly mangled she wouldn’t want to serve it. Quite possibly.
While it’s easy to make hard cooked eggs, it’s quite another undertaking to remove their shells, and have the egg whites look respectable.
There are many ways to boil or steam hard cooked eggs, and there are many other “fool proof” ways to remove their shells. I’ve tried many of them. But since I finally hit on a method that consistently has me turning out perfectly peeled eggs, I figured I had to share it with you.
To Hard Cook 10-12 eggs
Fill a 2 quart pan ¾ full of water. Bring to a boil.
Use a slotted spoon to lower a few eggs at a time into the boiling water.
Once all the eggs have been added, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes*
Fill a bowl with ice water in which the eggs can be submerged.
After 20 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the simmering water and place them directly into the ice bath.
Once cooled (about 10 minutes), I crack the less pointy end of the egg and gently peel off the shell.
The rapid temperature changes are supposed to affect the membrane which lies between the egg and shell, causing it to release the egg white, leaving you with a smooth surface.
*If you are cooking fewer eggs at a time, a shorter cooking time may be sufficient (15 minutes).
Once your eggs are shelled, cut them in half lengthwise. * Remove the yolks to a small bowl and mash with the back of a fork and proceed to make your “deviled” filling.
Add 1/3 to ½ cup of mayonnaise, sour cream, salad dressing or yogurt
You may want to include some other flavors:
½ tsp Mustard, ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp onion powder, 1-2 Tbsp crumbled bacon
Or some herbs:
½ tsp Dried parsley or dill
Add salt and pepper to taste
You can spoon the filling into the centers of the egg white halves. Or you can pipe the filling in with a decorator’s bag. OR… put the filling into a sandwich bag, cut off one of the corners of the bag and now you can pipe the filling from the sandwich bag.
Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.
*If you don’t have an egg tray, slice off the tiniest bit of egg white where the deviled egg will be laying on its back, so it doesn’t roll to the side.