Deviled Egg Recipe:
No covered-dish dinner in the South is complete without those cheery little yellow-and-white ovals known as deviled eggs. Take a couple of dozen to a gathering, and they'll disappear as fast as Vienna sausages before a flock of seagulls. Deviled eggs are such a part of our culture that we still give plates designed to hold them as wedding gifts.
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How To Make Deviled Eggs
Our staff likes them prepared almost any way, but all agree that a modest amount of mayonnaise (no runny fillings for us), a touch of mustard, and a little sweet pickle are requirements. Simply hard-boil the eggs, slice them in half lengthwise, and gently scoop out the yolks. Put the yolks in a bowl with the above-mentioned ingredients (see recipe for proportions), mix well, and spoon them back into the whites.
This basic formula is the foundation for some creative additions, among them bacon, shrimp, chives, crabmeat, and pimiento. Whether or not to dust with paprika before serving is a purely personal decision.
Love of Deviled Eggs
Jill Conner Browne, author of The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, is so well known for her love of deviled eggs that fans often bring them to her book signings. "It's the combination of taste and textures," she says, that inspires her devotion. "I like to put the whole thing in my mouth--I don't like to bite it. I guess that's just a personal thing, kind of like how you eat your Oreos."
The Jackson native prefers her deviled eggs basic, with only sweet pickles added to the yolk-mayo-mustard combo. Being the Sweet Potato Queen, boss of all the other Queens (there are eight other royals in her court, as well as a host of "wannabes" across the country), Jill naturally possesses an egg plate. And not just any pressed-glass discount store version. "I own a Gail Pittman egg plate," she says regally. She offers a last word on the importance of deviled eggs in Southern society. "If they invented a special plate for it, that says it all right there."