Devilled eggs, the homely hors d’oeuvre of the ’50s, have become, a bit out of the blue, a chic appetizer. Whatever the reasoning, I don’t care: I am on board. Below is my master recipe—and a few suggestions on how to dress them up. I like to do a few variations if I’m serving a crowd, but I make them without anything and eat them by myself. Use the best-quality eggs you can afford (organic if possible). It really will make a difference.
Makes 16 devilled eggs
- 8 eggs
- 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp crème fraîche
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Using a slotted spoon, perforated ladle, or a regular old ladle, dip one egg at a time into the boiling water a few times, and then gently lower it to the bottom and off the spoon. When all the eggs are in the pot, use your spoon to swirl the water around gently (this will help the yolk stay centred).
Set a timer for 9 minutes. Bring the water back to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. As soon as the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the heat, drain, and run cold water on them, keeping them submerged until they are chilled.
Crack the eggs gently on each side, then roll them—again, gently—until they are covered in a tiny cracks. Carefully peel the eggs, using the membrane under the shell to peel them back. Rinse with water, and continue until all the eggs are peeled.
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, and cautiously remove the yolk with a spoon.
Put all the yolks in a bowl, and mix with the crème fraîche and mayo. Season with salt to taste. Spoon the yolk back into each white, and serve.
Top with thinly sliced smoked salmon and chives.
To the yolks, add crispy crumbled bacon, or slivers of raw asparagus and basil.