Perfectly Tangy Creamy Deviled Eggs
I love hard boiled eggs. Not only are they the healthiest form of egg to eat, but the possibilities of what you can do with them are endless. Here is my favorite recipe for perfectly tangy and creamy deviled eggs. They make you want more and more and more (as is so often the case with fabulous deviled eggs). We all have our favorite recipe for this bit of heaven. But you know your recipe is awesome when you can take what's left of your filling and eat it by the spoon full, spread it on morning toast, and smooth it on as a spread for just about any sandwich and make it taste even more amazing. If you've got a huge smile on your face, your deviled egg recipe is spot on.
Because of the abundance of eggs that are so necessary to celebrate, Spring is the perfect time to experiment with deviled egg recipes. Fortunately, hard boiled eggs last a pretty long time: a week if they are still in their shells. Once pealed, about 3 days. So that gives me plenty of time to do a variety of things with my Easter eggs, because lets face it, just hard boiled can get boring fast.
I turn to deviled eggs mostly because they are a favorite to snack on, or to enjoy at a party or as an appetizer with friends. They're devilish to say the least and I must say I lust after them. Creamy and perfectly tangy... if they're done right. And when I've got a lot of home office work to do in the morning, tangy deviled eggs are great to snack on and keep me going with some hot tea or coffee.
One of the tricks to a good deviled egg is texture. Now I know people like to see photos of deviled eggs whose filling has been squeezed and piped, fluted and pinched, out of a pastry bag. But when it comes down to it, here's what i think of that idea: No. I am sooooo not going to go through the trouble of squeezing anything through anything, no matter how "pretty" they turn out. I'm also not cleaning up any extra bags or attachments, and I don't see the need to pollute the world with unnecessary disposable plastic objects (yes they do come disposable, and no).
By texture, though, I don't simply mean the wonderful creamy center of this sinful finger food, I also means the smoothness of the white. We all know that if the shell takes off too much and leaves the white of the hard boiled egg pocked, you may as well throw it out or chop it up for something else, because as far as deviled egg texture goes, it just won't do. Not to mention it tends to somehow or other do something not so nice to the flavor. For this reason, I will always boil more eggs than necessary, just in case. However I do have a simple trick that I've provided for you in the tips section below, on how to best avoid this dramatic situation.
In this recipe, my ingredients are few. And they are nice and tangy, giving my creamy deviled eggs enough of a zip. I don't go for sweet, or tangy sweet, I go for tangy creamy. While you can certainly get all wild and crazy and as lavish as you like with your deviled eggs, I find that simplicity with everything in life is best. Most deviled eggs are in fact simple and are made with few ingredients. Experimentation, however, is your best bet to finding your own trademark deviled egg recipe. Experimentation, coupled with the fact that I found I was desperately craving deviled eggs but was out of my usual ingredients, brought me to this taste of tangy egg heaven that I now can't live without.
My secret ingredient to perfectly tangy deviled eggs? Lemon, lemon, and more lemon. Sometimes this means a whole lot of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Other times, not quite as much. But lemon juice is a must for the perfect tang.
1-3 t capers
2 T Hellmann's (or homemade or your favorite, plain) mayonnaise
1 T mustard (I like Plochman's or Stonewall Kitchen mustard best for their tang and color)
2-3 t fresh juice of 1 lemon (if you're a lemon lover, by all means add more to taste and preference)
sprinkles of Paprika for color if you like
Cook eggs for at least 20 minutes. 30 minutes if you like them well cooked with a bit of green on the outer yolk like I do.
Immediately rinse in cold (or iced) water and let cool. I take the pot and place it directly in the sink and let the cold water push out the hot water. This usually takes about a good minute. Then I let them set for 5 minutes.
Cut in halves lengthwise.
Remove egg yolks by gently squeezing the white just behind the yolk on the backsides of the eggs - Place the yolks in a glass bowl - set the white of the egg on a deviled egg platter or a sturdy plate with a good rim. You want to use a glass bowl, not a plastic or metal.
Mash yolks well. I use the back of a fork for this.
Add mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice.
Mix thoroughly with a fork - or a small spoon can be used at this point, using the backside as well as the scoop side to assure a good mixing and a creamy texture.
With a small spoon, dollop your mix into the centers of the set aside egg whites. Be generous. Even if you're generous, there will still be filling left over.
Top with capers. - If you prefer the taste or texture of more capers, you can add 2 teaspoons of them into your mix in step three and skip this step altogether or add them here anyway.
For color, you can add a few shakes of Paprika, either before or after topping with capers.
For some reason, adding a tablespoon of cider vinegar when eggs are in full boil helps the shells separate from the whites better.
Be sure to check the expiration date on your eggs as there is no point in going through the hassle of cooking bad eggs. In fact it's always a good idea to check the expiration of all your ingredients before using.
Eggs that are too fresh do not peel well either, so don't take them from your hen house straight to preparing them for deviled eggs. Unless of course you like to suffer through trying to peel eggs that just won't peel.
Always test one hard boiled egg before you peel all the eggs you have been boiling. You want to check for peel-ability, of course, but you also want to check to make sure they are fully cooked. Be sure they are all cut in half longwise. Check for color too; I usually like a bit of green around the yolk, and you definitely want to make sure they are cooked all the way.
Whatever you do, do not let your cooked yolks sit out for any substantial amount of time after cutting your eggs in half lengthwise and removing the beautifully cooked centers. Your mix will be much tastier, all the flavors will blend nicer, and the color will last longer. You don't want them to look like they were exposed to air for too long. I've found that it does change the texture and the color. Also, it's a good idea to keep your deviled eggs cool so that they stay optimally cool and fresh when finally setting out for serving.
The type of mustard you choose plays a big part in flavor, so do chose a good one. Just because it's good for a sandwich, does not mean it's good for a deviled egg (although it may be). My personal favorite for deviled eggs is Plochman's Mustard, followed only by Stonewall Kitchen's Ballpark Mustard.
While some prefer the sweet of pickle relish, I prefer the minimal tang and softer sensation of capers in my deviled eggs. So why Capers? Not only do capers taste great and enhance the tang of the lemon in this recipe, but Capers are subtle in their flavor and texture; I do not find them to be over powering at all, and they add a nice texture to the filling of this recipe should you choose to add them in the mix as well as for a garnishment. Not to mention, Capers stand supreme in the world of antioxidant foods.
Hope you enjoy this recipe. It's a hit at all our parties and on lazy afternoons and with my taste buds and tummy when it's just me, myself, and I.
Got any tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Deviled eggs extra, using dill instead of capers: