The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Using In Your Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are one of summer’s favorite
picnic and potluck foods — and they’re so
tasty they frequently make an appearance at
Thanksgiving as well.
They also, surprisingly, have quite an ancient
lineage, as they trace their origins back
to a dish of spiced, boiled eggs that was
popular back in the days of the Roman Empire.
The name actually doesn’t refer to any occult
practices — the term “deviled” dates back
to the late 18th century, and simply referred
to a dish that was highly spiced or seasoned.
While deviled eggs as we know them today may
or may not be particularly spicy, they are
deliciously versatile, and can be dressed
up in a number of different ways.
While there are numerous recipes for deviled
eggs with special ingredients ranging from
horseradish to Greek yogurt to avocado, there’s
one ingredient which works its magic in stealthier
Not only does it add a delightfully rich and
creamy texture, but it also corrects the main
flaw with deviled eggs as a party food: No
matter how pretty they look on the platter
at first, the filling does tend to get a bit
weepy after a while.
So what is that secret ingredient that can
exorcise your deviled egg demons and cheer
up their weepiness?
Why, it’s our old friend butter!
This deviled egg hack is endorsed by none
other than super chef Julia Child, and also
by domestic diva Martha Stewart.
Both of these queens of cuisine use butter
in their deviled eggs, so you know it’s the
right move if you want to take this holiday
favorite to the next level.
But before you embrace this decadent food
hack, you need to know the basics.
Where to begin?
If you’re in need of a new deviled egg recipe,
you can certainly use Julia Child’s original
one, which is a great excuse to break out
that jar of piccalilli you’ve surely got lurking
at the back of a cabinet, right?
Queen Julia adds this relish of chopped pickled
vegetables and spices, which is typically
more at home on a Chicago-style hot dog than
a devilled egg, but, hey, it sounds delicious
And butter will only make it better.
If you’re more of a traditionalist, the Martha-endorsed
recipe will do nicely, especially if you’ve
got an ample supply of fresh-grown tarragon
Southern Chef Virginia Willis is the author
of Martha’s go-to deviled eggs recipe, which
calls for two tablespoons of unsalted butter,
in addition to the usual mayo and Dijon mustard.
Should you already have your own go-to deviled
egg recipe, though, you can still improve
upon its near-perfection with the addition
of a little butter.
Your deviled egg filling will have a smoother,
almost velvety texture, and it will also hold
its shape longer than a filling made of mashed
yolks and mayo alone.
Taste of Home agrees with Willis that two
tablespoons of butter per dozen eggs is the
way to go.
And yes, it has to be real butter — no margarine
or any other similar “can’t-believe-it’s-not”
Flavor aside, no vegetable oil spread is going
to have the necessary texture to help the
filling hold up.
What’s more, you really do need to let the
butter soften before mixing it into the egg
yolks, mayonnaise, and seasonings.
Once your butter is soft (but not melted),
combine all the filling ingredients in a food
processor until the mixture is light and creamy.
You then spoon (or pipe, if you want to get
all fancy) the filling into the egg whites.
Garnish your eggs with paprika, parsley, pepper,
pimentos, pickles, or perhaps even things
that don’t start with the letter “p.”
“Someone devil-egged my car!”
“Well, that is paprika.”
Deviled eggs are great at any time of year,
of course — a fast-approaching Easter holiday
is not required for you to make and enjoy
You’ll definitely want to whip up a batch
on November 2nd, though, for your new favorite
holiday — may we be the first to wish you
a happy National Deviled Egg Day!
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