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Deviled eggs a blissfully democratic appetizer

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Deviled eggs in New York in December, from a recipe by Katie Workman.

Deviled eggs know no single season or demographic. They are blissfully democratic appetizers.

Similar to pigs in a blanket: Everyone is happy to see them, sophisticated people shed their cool. You can’t be annoyed when there are deviled eggs around; it would be like being irritated in the presence of a puppy or a rainbow.

I have added all sorts of extra ingredients to deviled eggs over the years. Cumin, goat cheese, avocado, za’atar, lemon, capers. I have topped them with all kinds of extras: minced jalapenos, crumbled cooked bacon (delicious), sprigs of fresh herbs, sesame seeds and so on.

But we all return to the basic deviled egg. It’s like how you can admire someone you love all dressed up, but then remember you like them best in a T-shirt and in jeans.

In other news, I have finally learned the best way to peel egg shells easily: Tap them lightly on the counter in several places, and give them a quick roll to crackle up the shells; then peel carefully. Another tip for easy egg-peeling is to do it while they are submerged in water.

Also, follow my boiling directions and you’ll get a perfectly cooked yolk, without that unattractive green ring. If that’s not a kitchen game changer, I don’t know what is.

You can make these several hours ahead and store them in the fridge loosely covered with plastic wrap.

CLASSIC DEVILED EGGS

By Katie Workman, Associated Press

  • 1 dozen large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Paprika or minced chives, for sprinkling

Fill a large saucepan with water about 3 inches deep and bring to a boil over high heat. One by one, gently lower eggs into boiling water, all the way to the bottom of the pot. Let water boil 30 seconds, then remove from heat, cover and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Drain eggs and transfer to ice bath; let sit 10 minutes.

Remove eggs from ice bath and peel. Cut in half lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks into bowl of a food processor (or a mixing bowl). Place whites on a serving platter.

Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, shallot, salt and pepper to yolks. Pulse mixture if you want it a bit coarse, or let it run if you are looking for super-smooth. Or, mash in a bowl until smooth.

Fill a pastry bag with yolk mixture (or use a sturdy zip-top bag and cut a small hole in one corner). Squeeze mixture into whites. Or simply scoop filling into egg whites with a spoon, which is functional, if not as showy. Whatever works. Sprinkle with paprika. Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 121 calories, 10 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 189 mg cholesterol, 201 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 g sugar, 6 g protein.

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