Deviled Eggs

Before you turn your nose up at what many consider a déclassé
picnic extra, have you ever noticed that deviled eggs are the first
hors d’oeuvre to disappear from any spread? Deviled eggs appeal to
that childish spirit that makes all of us want to hunt for Easter
eggs, and above all they taste fantastic. And since they are simple
to make, and the opportunity for creative experimentation is
endless, they should appeal to the adventurous spirit in each cook
as well.

Here’s a starter recipe, along with some suggestions for
variations. Just one thing to remember: Don’t get carried away with
the mayo.

Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres 12 hard-boiled eggs ½
c. mayonnaise 2 tsp. mustard Salt and pepper to taste Paprika to
garnish

Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Remove the yolks (carefully) and
place into a bowl; mix with mayonnaise, mustard, and any other
ingredients you wish to blend in (see variations below), and mash
with a fork until well combined. Scoop the mixture into the egg
whites, garnish, and serve. You can use a pastry bag to pipe the
yolk mixture back into the whites if you’re prone to such things,
but there is something to be said for the simple, rustic look (and
lack of cleanup) produced by spooning little dollops into each egg
white.

Variations: Easter Brunch:
Replace half the mayonnaise with crème fraîche or sour cream;
garnish with caviar and chives. Picnic in the
Park:
Add finely diced sweet pickles and a dash of
cayenne. Indian Inspired: Mix a tablespoon of
mango chutney or 1 tsp. curry into the yolks. Garnish with green
onions or parsley. Mediterranean: Combine ¼ c.
finely chopped olives, 6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, or 2 T. capers
with the yolk mixture. Seaside Lunch: 2 T. fresh tarragon, a
squeeze of lemon, and lobster meat make for a sophisticated side
dish.

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