I like straight-up deviled eggs, like my mother used to make. If you want to add pickle relish, grated red onion, Taste #5 or anything else, knock yourself out. That’s the whole point of deviled eggs. They’re so good it doesn’t matter what you do to them.
This is the one and only time I go for my pastry bag with the star tip. That’s why I bought it. If you don’t have one, you shouldn’t worry—just spoon the filling into the eggs.
Makes 12 (can be easily doubled)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (if you don’t have, up the Dijon a little)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper
To put on top: chives, drained capers, anchovy fillets, dill sprigs, roasted red pepper cut into strips, caviar, gomashio or whatever else you can dream up.
Put the eggs in saucepan that they fit into comfortably. Pour enough water over them to cover by an inch. Heat to boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cook 10 minutes. Drain the water off the eggs and put them under very slowly running cold water for about 10 minutes.
Take the eggs out one by one and roll them on the countertop until they’re cracked on all sides. Put them back in the water and let them sit for half an hour. (To be honest, I don’t know if this whole cracking the shell thing works. I used to swear by it because it always worked, but lately it seems like luck of the draw. Try it once. I mean, what can it hurt? I do believe it’s true that old eggs are easier to peel, but who wants to eat old eggs?)
Peel the eggs and cut them in half.* Scoop the yolks into a small bowl. Line the whites up on a quarter sheet pan or big dish lined with damp paper towels to keep the whites from sliding around.
Add the mayonnaise, Dijon and ground mustard and Tabasco to the eggs and beat them (a hand mixer works nicely) until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scoop the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the filling into the eggs. Or else just spoon the filling into the eggs. Deviled eggs go so quickly, it’s not like anyone is going to be able to admire your piping prowess anyway. Top them with whatever you like, but mix it up a little so no two are the same.
*Here is my one deviation from the traditional: You can trim off the ends of the eggs and cut the eggs in half crosswise. The now flat ends of the eggs will help them stand up on a platter, but a little shredded lettuce on the serving plate will help even more.