Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ruth Reichl's Deviled Eggs

We love to have deviled eggs on just about any holiday. Fourth of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other get together. Everyone usually loves them and they are always the first thing to disappear.

My Mom used to make the very best deviled eggs. The problem is I can't find her recipe and I don't remember how she made them. I know she used mayonnaise, chopped pickle, a little pickle juice, and some paprika, but I can't quite master it.

So now I'm on the hunt for the very best deviled eggs.  I've tried a few recipes and so far none have come close.

I knew Ruth's version wouldn't be like my Mom's, but I still wanted to give it a try. Ruth's version is different than most in that it calls for 6 eggs, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 teaspoon Dijon, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. I was really drawn to her use of cayenne pepper, and since we love spicy food, I was really hoping for some deliciously spiced deviled eggs with a kick.

Turns out Ruth's eggs are good, but not great. Upon tasting the filling, I found myself adding more mayonnaise. As a lover of all mustards, I thought the Dijon would be a welcome touch, but upon tasting immediately learned that regular yellow mustard was the way to go as far as deviled eggs are concerned. Mostly though, I thought the cayenne would be more prominent, or at the very least lend a slightly spicy kick, but alas I couldn't detect any heat either.

Deviled eggs seem quite simple, but I've found that everyone likes them a different way and they can, therefore, be quite hard to get just right. I'm still on the search for the perfect recipe.

Do you have a favorite deviled egg recipe?

Deviled Eggs
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
Makes 12

6 large eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional: a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" star tip or plastic bag with the corner snipped

Start by boiling your eggs however you like. I like to place my eggs in a pan, cover with water, bring the water to a boil, cover the pan, shut off the heat, leave the pan on the burner and let them stay for 10 minutes. Then I immerse the eggs in cold water for about 30 minutes.

Ruth says to put eggs in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, cover with cold water by 1-1/2 inches, partially cover pan, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, cover completely, and cook eggs for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes.  Then transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water and let stand for 30 minutes; drain.

Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks and mash in a bowl with a fork (I like to blend all the filling ingredients in a bowl with my hand mixer).  Add mayonnaise, mustard, and cayenne and stir with fork until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill pastry bag, if using, with yolk mixture and pipe (or spoon) into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and chives, if desired.


  1. They look delicious! I don't make deviled eggs very often, and though they are good, so far I have not found one that is outstanding yet. Mothers' recipes are always the best. Hope you get your mom's recipe, like she always made them, one of these days!

  2. So sorry these weren't the deviled eggs of your dreams!!

  3. Kim, I don't have a favorite deviled eggs recipe. Good luck with the hunt. I made half a dozen sous vide eggs yesterday so that we'd always have cooked eggs available whenever we fancy for some.... Something about eggs!


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