Deviled eggs. A throwback to cocktail parties. A staple after Easter for many. I tend to cringe when I see them on catering menus, but that’s because I only remember them being served at the parties of my parents (what kid wanted to eat them?) or at stuffy country clubs. “Why are they so popular?” and “Why are they called ‘deviled’?”
Why are they so popular? This was something I needed to figure out. They’re just eggs. Beyond the traditional ingredients of mayo, mustard and paprika, contemporary cousins might include garlic, wasabi, bacon (bacon–like butter–makes everything tastes better), salmon, caviar, cheese, capers … the list goes on and on. This sparked my interest.
Why are they called “deviled”? In the 19th century, according to Wikipedia, the term “deviled” referenced spicy or zesty food. This included yolk, mustard, pepper, etc., stuffed in to the cavity of a halved egg. The dish itself dates back to ancient Rome. Many cultures have their own version of this egg dish. The French call it œuf mimosa. Does that mean the yolk is whisked with champagne? I’m all over it!
When I was younger, the thought of the devil scared me (I didn’t eat Devil Dogs either), so I never gave deviled eggs a chance. With more than a dozen Easter-colored eggs (using food products for dye), it was time to give these eggs a try. “Dressed” sounds better to me. If I’d grown up calling them dressed eggs I’m sure I would have eaten one every day. I loved to dress up as a kid. I love to dress up now. Who wouldn’t like fashionable eggs? And who doesn’t love the array of deviled egg serving dishes!
I dressed my farmers market eggs using yogurt and spicy cucumber relish (both also from the farmers market), wasabi, sriracha sauce and cilantro. I suppose I kept the egg true to its early cousin in terms of spicy, but it was healthier without the added cholesterol from mayo. For all you non-mayo-replacement-believers, you really can swap out the mayo for yogurt.
So why are they so popular? They’re pretty amazing. Colleagues have requested another batch. I look forward to playing dress up with more eggs.
Wasabi-Pickled Dressed Eggs
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tbs Debbie’s Jams Spicy Cucumber Relish (sub with your favorite relish)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Pinch of wasabi paste
- 2 tbs yogurt
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- chopped cilantro and sriracha sauce for drizzling.
- Freshly ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
What you do:
- Carefully slice eggs in half vertically.
- Gently scoop out yolks setting aside egg whites.
- Place yolks and remaining ingredients in food processor.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Puree until smooth.
- Scoop yolk mixture into egg whites.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and black pepper.
- Drizzle with sriracha sauce.