Colorado Table

Holiday Classic: Tweaking a great, basic deviled egg recipe

Upgrade basic deviled eggs with bacon bits, salmon eggs, horseradish sauce or a curl of Parmesan cheese. (AP photo)

When I think about this season, I think about a plate of deviled eggs. If I am feeling down-homey, I add a little pimento cheese to my basic deviled egg mixture. If I want to spice it up, I add pureed chipotle and substitute lime for the lemon. I’ll even get a little fancy and top them with wasabi-infused flying fish roe.

I’m a fan of cutting the eggs in half vertically because I think it is easier to keep all the goodness of the deviled egg mixture in the white. The eggs taste better after the mixture has had a chance to sit so I always make my deviled eggs the day before and refrigerate the mixture in a closed pastry bag. I pipe (squirt) the filling into the whites just before serving or leaving the house. A light hand with the garnish, then you are done.

DEVILED EGGS

1 dozen large eggs

1/3 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup strong Dijon mustard

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch garlic powder

2 to 4 shakes hot sauce

Salt, to taste

Smoked paprika or minced fresh chives

Boil eggs, chill completely and peel carefully, keeping the whites intact. Cut in half across the middle or lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Set the whites aside on a platter or deviled egg plate, then cover and refrigerate.

Use a fork to mash the yolks until all large pieces are broken up and smooth. Add the mayonnaise, butter, mustard, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder and hot sauce. Stir well. Taste and season with salt. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving or leaving for a summer event, spoon filling into whites or snip off the tip of the piping bag (or a bottom corners of a plastic bag) and squeeze the deviled egg mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with smoked paprika or chives. Serve chilled. Makes 24 halves.

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