By Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook Photograph courtesy of Tommy C. Simmons
Every new bride in the South receives a deviled egg tray for a shower or wedding gift. Some of the trays are fashioned in cut glass and may have been handed down in the family from a favorite great aunt or second cousin – once removed. The message is clear when this gift is unwrapped – it’s time for you to learn to make deviled eggs for your “beloved.”
Deviled eggs can be seasoned with fresh-picked herbs and vegetables from your garden.
And, like all the Southern women ahead of us, we do learn to make deviled eggs for our husbands, first, and later for family holiday gatherings and church supper potlucks. Our husbands rave about our deviled eggs, our kids love them and newcomers to the South wonder why they’ve never had deviled eggs before now. A new member of our neighborhood Women’s Activity Club asked “What is it about these deviled eggs? Everybody likes them and it’s the first tray emptied at the potlucks. However, I do think they should be called ‘heavenly eggs’ instead of deviled eggs,” she exclaimed.
My neighbor may be right about changing the name of our favorite spring, summer, fall, winter hors d’oeuvres. They are heavenly tasting, for sure.
I make an herbal deviled egg. The yolk is mashed and mixed with chopped parsley, chives, dill pickle relish, green onions, celery and dashes of Tabasco pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. There is no set recipe because I use herbs fresh picked from my garden to enhance the egg yolks. Season as you prefer.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Serves 6. Recipe is by Tommy C. Simmons.
12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Green onions or chives, finely chopped
Celery, finely chopped
Parsley, finely chopped
Dill pickle relish
Tabasco pepper sauce
Salt, black pepper and red pepper
Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and place the yolks in a bowl and the whites on a tray.
Mash the yolks. Then stir in a desired amount of herbs and vegetables. This is a small amount per ingredient, for example, ½ teaspoon or 1 tablespoon.
Stir in a small amount of mayonnaise to bind the yolks, herbs and vegetables, relish, etc. Season to your palate with Tabasco, a drop of Worcestershire sauce, spicy mustard, salt, black pepper and red pepper.
Stir everything together until creamy enough to spoon into the reserved egg whites. Fill the egg whites and arrange on a pretty tray, preferably a deviled egg tray.
Dust top of filled eggs with paprika. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes to set the filling. Carefully cover with plastic wrap being sure to not let the wrap touch the filling and continue to refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: My sister-in-law also adds sliced olives to her deviled eggs, either Spanish olives or ripe olives and places a tiny sprig of parsley and olive slice on the top of each filled egg. They are lovely.
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By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs
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