Deviled Eggs

One of my favorite appetizers is deviled eggs. I could eat a dozen at a time. Something about deviled eggs that is habit forming; like peanuts, you just can't eat one. Deviled eggs are a simple convenience---hard boiled eggs cut in half, with the egg yolk mixed with mustard, mayonnaise and other ingredients. Nothing could be simpler. Question is: why are they called "deviled eggs?" According to the Oxford Companion to Food, the word "deviled" first appeared as a culinary term in the 18th century, and it meant "to cook something with fiery hot spices or condiments." It stands to reason since heat and the devil have always had something in common (think of Hell). By the 19th century in America, "deviled" was applied to a variety of spicy dishes, inclusive of "deviled eggs."

According to the TV show The Secret Life Of. . . . on the Food Network, deviled eggs originated in ancient Rome, where the use of spices or spicy sauces with eggs was very common. As one cane see, the dish has a noble and storied history. And in the 1950s and 60s it took off in America as a widely popular snack. In fact, they became so popular that a special tray was created to serve them.

The recipe given below is from Mrs. Alba Rosario Parsons, neighbor and dear friend in Vermont. The recipe has been in her family for ages. 


6 hard cooked eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Gulden's mustard
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish
1/4 cup chopped stuffed Spanish olives

Peel the eggs. Cut them in half, and remove the yolk to a small bowl. Mash them with a fork, and add the mayonnaise, mustard, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Using a spoon, fill up the empty egg halves with the mixture. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, and top with chopped olives.

Note: Instead of using a spoon, you can also make a hole at the end of a plastic ziplock baggy, put the mixture inside, and use the baggy as as sieve to fill the egg halves.

Caption: courtesy of photobucket.
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