At any social gathering that my mom is invited to, her deviled eggs reign supreme. They are also known as the Look-Laura’s-Mom-Is-Here-Oh-God-I-Hope-She-Brought-Some Deviled Eggs, and they are always the first to go at any party. You may think I’m exaggerating – I’m not. There’s just something about their creaminess, their perfect amount of spiciness and their cute little capers that look like tuxedo buttons that send people into an egg frenzy. Having said that, I must confess – I’ve never known how to make them. But a phone call to mom and jotting down some notes quickly solved my problem.
Our garden is yielding what seems to be the season’s last few vegetables, and we recently arranged a trade-off with my brother-and-sister-in-law of some of their eggs and hot peppers for some of our squash and tomatoes. Their hens, Maude and Rosalynn, happily live in a handmade coop in the back yard, nibbling on bugs, table scraps and chicken feed now that the city has OK’d chickens in residential areas – and they produce some of the yummiest eggs I’ve ever had. Having recently acquired mom’s coveted recipe and with a dozen fresh eggs on hand, I knew exactly what to make and got to work.
Boiling eggs and mashing up yolks is a task that any nincompoop could accomplish; it’s the addition of the remaining ingredients that is the key to making a perfect deviled egg. With these eggs, the heaviness of the yolks and mayonnaise is cut by adding vinegar and caper brine, while the Sambal Oelek adds a subtle heat (of course, you could add more Sambal Oelek and make the heat not-so-subtle, but that’s your business). Dijon rounds out the flavor with a horseradish-y kick, and the capers and paprika act as cute little accoutrements on top. Truly, these are the best deviled eggs you’ve ever had. You can thank me later. Enjoy!
Mom’s Deviled Eggs
1 dozen eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste*
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. caper brine
Rinsed capers and paprika for topping
Boil the eggs until hard boiled, about 10 minutes. Cool with cold water and peel. Halve each egg and gently take out the yolk and place in a medium mixing bowl, reserving the egg white under a damp paper towel.
Mash the egg yolks well with a fork, until evenly crumbly. Add the salt, mayonnaise, Sambal Oelek, mustard, vinegar and caper brine to the egg yolks and mix in a standing mixer or with a hand mixer until whipped, about one minute. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Spread the yolk mixture completely over the top of the egg white, and top each one with a sprinkling of paprika and capers. Serve cold or at room temperature.
* Sambal Oelek is a ground chili paste that is readily available in the ethnic section of most grocery stores. If you’re having trouble finding it, try the Asian market on South School Avenue.
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Laura Hobbs is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. Born and raised in Fayetteville, Laura is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more of Laura’s contributions, visit her author page.