Once the domain of every 1950’s housewife worth her salt, this salad bar standby enjoyed a revival a few years ago when they started appearing on popular bar menus as the chic new thing. Chefs across Manhattan were the first to hatch new and inventive ideas to elevate the basic hard-boiled egg to new heights with a dash of nostalgic novelty, adding tasty ingredients to what is essentially egg salad filled into the vessel of a cooked egg white. From smoked salmon and black olive tapenade to chorizo or duck confit if you want to get a little bougie, the possibilities are endless. I experimented with three different variations here for a friend’s BBQ last weekend – nothing extravagant, but they turned out well. Try with your favourite flavour combination the next time you host a brunch or need a last-minute potluck idea. It’s a great way to use leftovers too.

If you REALLY want to make an impression, quail eggs can be used in the same way as regular hen eggs but fair warning…they’re precious and really finicky to deal with. Whatever ingredients you choose though, make sure they’re chopped finely for a smooth consistency.

The trick to the perfect devilled egg is starting with a perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg. Seemingly simple, but really easy to mess up…like that unsightly green ring around the yolk that comes from overcooking. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg so after much trial and error, here’s mine:

5 STEPS TO THE PERFECT HARD-BOILED EGG

  1. Cover eggs with cold water and bring to a boil, uncovered. As soon as the water begins to boil, set a timer and continue boiling for 6 minutes
  2. Immediately transfer the eggs to a large bowl of water with ice cubes and chill completely.
  3. When the eggs are cold to the touch, peel them immediately. Start by cracking the wider end of the egg – this will open a small air pocket and release the membrane that holds the shell to the egg white – then gently crack the rest of the shell and peel
  4. Rinse any excess bits of shell under cold water
  5. Store covered for up to 1 week in the refrigerator

TIP: Once filled, deviled eggs are best served within a few hours. Remember to keep them well chilled in the meantime….you don’t want to mess around with mayonnaise left out at room temp.

Each version makes 12 servings.

Method

  1. Cook eggs following the 5-step method above and let cool completely
  2. Slice each peeled egg in half lengthwise.  With a small spoon gently scoop out the yolk and place into a bowl
  3. Combine the yolks and remaining ingredients with a fork until well mixed
  4. Using a piping bag or two small spoons, fill the hollow egg whites with the yolk mixture
  5. Garnish and serve chilled

Ingredients: Green Olive and Caper

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 4 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green olives (I used stuffed manzanilla olives, with the pimento removed)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped capers
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives
  • Pinch pepper
  • Garnish: 1 – 2 pieces of chopped chives

Tasting Note: I didn’t add any salt to this mixture since the olives and capers are naturally salty

Ingredients: Smoked Salmon and Dill

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 4 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped smoked salmon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Garnish: 1 – 2 small sprigs of dill and a few pink peppercorns

Ingredients: Curried Shrimp

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 4 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped cooked shrimp (I used pre-cooked frozen salad shrimp, thawed a few hours before using)
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • Garnish: 1 parsley leaf and 1 shrimp
With everything finely chopped you’ll get a smooth consistency for the filling that’s nice for a one-bite morsel
A piping bag with a large round tip is the easiest and fastest way to fill the egg whites. Using 2 small spoons will also work.
L-R: curried shrimp, smoked salmon and dill, green olive and caper

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