Every year I have to make at least two dozen deviled eggs for my in-law’s Easter gathering. They gobble them up faster than you can say “Peter Cottontail.” It’s my role and they love it. I try to challenge myself each time the holiday comes around, to make an innovative and delicious variety of the seasonal favorite. This year I took it to the next level and tasked myself with creating a dozen different varieties. I came up with 4 new flavors of filling and 8 new toppings.
Start with your basic filling (I use mayo, Dijon mustard, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper blended with a hand mixer) Pipe the filling into your hard boiled egg halves. I spoon the filling into a Ziploc bag then snip off a corner for a make-shift pastry bag.
Then try these:
1. Candied bacon. Cook strips of bacon to your liking, then sprinkle generously with sugar to coat, letting the sugar melt onto the bacon. Cool, then crumble to use as topping. Salty, savory and sweet in one bite.
2. Caper berries. I’ve done capers before and loved the bitter bite they add. Top your eggs with the fruit of the caper bush (versus the unopened buds that are the capers), sliced length wise for some interesting texture to boot.
3. Pickled beets. Make your own or buy them already pickled. Julienne them, slice them into thin discs, or dice ’em up. Your call. Gives the eggs a great bite.
4. Green eggs and ham. For a salute to Dr. Seuss, add blue food coloring to the yellow filling to achieve the green effect, then top with prosciutto (or chopped ham) I will eat them here or there. I will eat them everywhere.
5. Roasted red peppers. Another thing I like to make on my own to have around when I need it. (But store bought is fine too!). Blend them into the filling for a different color or dice the peppers up for a sweet topping.
6. Crispy fried shallots. Slice your shallots about 1/8-1/4 inch thin. Toss them in seasoned flour and fry until crispy. Even better than French fried onions.
7. Pimento cheese. I’ve spent many an Easter Sunday in the south, where I believe they’d eat a spare tire if it had pimento cheese spread on it. Add a dollop of this southern treat and find out why.
8. Caramelized onions. Hardly anything makes a kitchen smell better. Before the last couple of onions in that bag go bad, slice them up and take the time to caramelize them. Once I have some prepped I find a way to work them in to as many dishes as possible.
9. Smoked Chipotle. Add some of the juice from smoked chipotles in adobo to your base filling, or for more smokey heat, top with chopped pieces of the peppers themselves. Finish with a sprinkle of paprika.
10. Horse radish and chives. Spoon in a generous tablespoon at a time into your base filling until you reach the desired level of zip. Top with chopped chives. If ran a steak house, this would be on my Happy Hour menu.
11. Whole grain mustard. Replace the Dijon mustard in the filling with whole grain mustard to add more depth of flavor and a great texture. For a ballpark flare, try stadium mustard!
12. Buffalo sauce. I often add Sriracha to deviled eggs, always a hit. So I thought its more “vinegary” cousin, Buffalo wing sauce, might provide equal punch. I added it to the filling and drizzled it on top but you could certainly do one or the other.
How about your versions? Please add to my list by sharing what creative things you’ve done to your deviled eggs! Happy Easter, everyone!