Deep South Deviled Eggs

It's hard to get out of the door with these before one mysteriously disappears off the plate!

It’s been said around these parts that if you ever bring deviled eggs to a party, you can rest assured you’ll take home an empty plate! And it’s so true.

Just what is it about deviled eggs that everyone loves so much? Is it the fact that one feels kind of guilty, perhaps even…dare I say…devilish, eating them? Or is it because they’re so easy to pop into your mouth that you can’t eat just one? Maybe it’s all of the above, but it’s interesting to watch the response to a plate of deviled eggs at a party. Everyone will just have one, thank you very much. Then, when no one is looking a bit later on, “I’ll just have one more,” and a bit later…”oh, my, we can’t let those last two or three go to waste!” And the next thing you know, there’s a wistful-looking and empty egg plate.

Actually, the egg plate is rather pretty by itself, and having a good egg plate is essential if you're going to make these babies so that your eggs won't slide into each other or worse still, off the plate!

My mom says that she’s just about the only one amongst her friends that will still make deviled eggs, because people think they’re so much trouble. But, everyone always asks her to make them because everyone likes them…unless you hate eggs in general, and then this post probably isn’t for you! It’s true, they take a bit of time, but really not so much more than any other homemade appetizer. And the variations are endless, so you can’t make a few different kinds and tastes if you like, decorate them differently and have quite a showing. Me, I generally like to keep mine simple.

We attended a Superbowl party last night and I made these eggs to take. They seemed to be a hit, even amongst some other mighty fine dishes. And, the plate was empty when it was time to come home. These really aren’t hard to make and please don’t be daunted by the length of the instruction…I’ve just added in some useful tips to my recipe. And seriously, don’t be shy about eating more than one. Just say the devil made you do it.

Deep South Deviled Eggs (Makes 2 dozen)
Of course, this can be doubled.

1 dozen eggs (and here’s the first trick, they will both boil and peel better if they aren’t super fresh)
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of Wickles relish or sweet pickle relish, drained (I use Wickles, which are made in Alabama and may not be available to everyone, but plain sweet pickle relish works fine…the Wickles just have a little extra whang)
4 tablespoons light canola mayonnaise (you can use regular, but this is what I use for everything requiring mayo) 
1 teaspoon yellow mustard (this is the traditional way to make these, and yes you can use Dijon or a fancy mustard, but again, there’s a little extra whang to using the yellow and it’s the old fashioned way, besides)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Smoked pimenton or Hungarian paprika for garnish, optional

Place the raw eggs into a pot large enough for them to be in one layer, add cold water to cover by an inch and bring to a boil over high heat. (My mom adds a tiny bit of vinegar to the water, which will keep the whites from running if the eggs crack…I usually forget this part, but it does work.) When the eggs have come to a full and continuous boil, cover the pot with a lid, turn off the heat and allow them to sit covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, drain the hot water from the eggs and run cold water into the pot with the eggs for about a minute or so, until the eggs are cool enough to handle, but don’t let them get cold, because then they are hard to peel. Crack the eggs well against the side of the pot, including the top and bottom. And here’s a little trick for peeling them. Start on the round end, not the pointy one, and open the shell where the little air pocket usually is. Gently slide your thumb up under the membrane and between the cracked shell and the egg white, then gently slide off the shell, working your way down to the point. Generally, this will take the shell off without disturbing the white, but there are always some stubborn eggs, so just go as easily as you can and don’t worry too much if you lose some white…it happens to the best of us! Rinse your shelled egg in cool water to remove any remaining shell and set on a paper towel to dry while you shell the rest of the eggs.

Carefully slice each egg in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and gently remove the yolks, placing them in a small bowl and reserving the white halves off to the side. Take a fork and mash the yolks well until they are of a uniform small and crumbly size. Add the Wickles or pickle relish, the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper and gently stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and if your mixture seems dry, add a little more mayo. Using a teaspoon, spoon even amounts of the mixture into the egg white halves. Sprinkle each deviled egg half with a tiny bit of Smoked or regular paprika. Place on your prettiest egg plate and sally forth! (My plate is an old fashioned hobnail egg plate that I found at the thrift store for $2.99 just last week…sweet!)

Variations: Just to name a few, You can sub Dijon for the yellow mustard. You can add a little curry to the mixture. You can omit the pickle if you like. You can add a little cayenne for some kick. You can sub a little chopped roasted bell pepper for the pickle. You can finely chop green olives and sub them for the pickle or add in addition to, then top your eggs with a thin slice of stuffed green olive. Some people put a little bacon in their deviled eggs and I say why not? I think using Dijon mustard and bacon instead of pickle would be pretty awesome, and I’d add some cayenne to that for good measure. And lastly, you can pipe the deviled yolk mixture into the whites and it’s quite pretty. I’m just too lazy to do it and I also like the rustic look for my original simple recipe. Experiment!

Here’s a great additional tip posted in my comments from blogger Mandy at The Complete Cookbook, and I was so thrilled to hear it that I want to share: When making deviled eggs, place the carton on its side for a day. The yolks will centre themselves so once boiled you will have them directly in the middle of the white. Wow, what a difference that will make! You can see more tips on boiling eggs from Mandy here.

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42 thoughts on “Deep South Deviled Eggs

  1. I’m one of those people that you’re describing — I try to have just one and then keep sneaking back. My mom and aunt always bring these to family events and I just love them. I’m going to have to get a nice plate like yours so that I can make them for a bbq in the summer. As you’ve pointed out they are a crowd pleaser. Don’t you find that it is the simple recipes that people love the most?

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  2. Have you been spying on me? I am that person who returns a couple times to the deviled eggs throughout the party. I didn’t realize someone had noticed. Maybe I’ll bring a disguise next time. Your deviled eggs sound tasty and, although we’re in agreement that simple is better when it comes to these beauties, your variations sound good, too, and worth a try.

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  3. I’ve never tried this before but this is perfect as appetizer in parties. Will definitely try this next time that I’ve guests coming over. 😉

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  4. This is really great! I am currently researching the process of cooking at home and I think you might be interested in my website http://coactivedesignproject.ning.com/ – It is apart of my graduate research in design.

    I hope to find a way that design can improve cooking at home and I would really appreciate any feedback you could share on the site from your own cooking experiences! The site works just like a social network (such as Facebook) and is built to aid in discussion and innovation amongst users! I hope you find it interesting! Again thanks for sharing!

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  5. Deviled eggs! Now that’s a blast from the past. That’s an appetiser I’m definitely familiar with. I’m so glad you’ve post this Betsy as this is a classic and it deserves to be revisited. I agree with you – no one can stop at just one. I can imagine that at the Super Bowl your platter was quickly cleaned out. Great choice for a Super Bowl function.

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    • You’re so right, Charlie Louie, it is a blast from the past, and in the states there is (happily) a renaissance of home style Southern cooking going on, and all of these old dishes are making a comeback. This one is an oldie but a goodie for sure. I grew up with foods like homemade pimento cheese, egg salad, deviled eggs, fried chicken, etc., but also benefited from Julia Child’s influence at that time on home cooks…my mom made things like cassoulet, too.

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  6. Who doesn’t love devilled eggs! I love your plate – I will be searching for one from now on!
    Another trick for you…If you place your carton of eggs on its side for a day the yolks will centre themselves so once boiled you will have them directly in the middle of the whites.
    🙂 Mandy

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  7. Place the carton on the side or the end? Great tip. I usually try to buy small eggs, which are about half the size of a regular large egg and much easier to eat, one bite. Unless you have a huge mouth, then the large ones are OK. I made these about a year ago and they seem to be making the rounds again…it’s on my list (really want to try the tip out!)

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    • It totally makes sense as the eggs are on their ends when the carton is upright, so turn it sideways and the eggs are on their sides, centering the yolks…I love it! My mom uses medium eggs for the same reason as you do small ones, Eva, plus she says they are prettier which is true. I buy brown farm raised eggs which are a bit smaller than your average commercial eggs, so sometimes I use large…but I don’t like to eat these in one bite regardless! 😉

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  8. Oh, I just adore devilled eggs – thanks so much for sharing this recipe, I have to say as well though – your egg plate… how cool is that? I never even knew such a thing existed! 😀

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  9. It is funny and you are so right, people go crazy over the deviled eggs!! I know if I put them out, the plate will return empty! I think there are so many ways to make them too. You did a great detailed post!

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  10. I’m gonna make these soon and then I’m going to get some Wickles when we go to Alabama in March and compare! Then I get deviled twice! Smiles!

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  11. Lovely – they often serve a version of these as tapas! And you´re right about super fresh eggs being trickier to peel. I often hold back some of our eggs (from our chickies) for a few days before boiling them otherwise I end up with a very messy looking egg 😦

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