A deviled egg is a hard cooked egg in which the yolk has been removed, blended with other ingredients and then returned to the white. Originally considered an hors d'oeuvre, or appetizer, or as garnish on a salad, the deviled egg has become a staple of picnics and pot lucks, and everyone has their favorite recipes.
The standard, traditional way to prepare a deviled egg calls for half a dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved. The cooked yolks are removed, put together in a small mixing bowl, and crumbled with a fork. Mayonnaise and mustard, either dry mustard powder or the prepared yellow condiment, are blended into the yolk until smooth, and the yolk mixture replaced in the white of the egg, usually heaped a little because the preparation is more voluminous than the original yolks. Start with three tablespoons of mayonnaise and a teaspoon of dry mustard powder and then adjust to suit your taste. A deviled egg is often garnished with paprika powder for taste and appearance.
Variations of this traditional recipe are plentiful. Some add sugar and vinegar for a 'sweet and sour' tang, which goes well with German food. Finely minced onion or celery can add crunch to the texture. Crumbled bacon bits, grated cheese, chopped green or black olives -- all can be added to the deviled egg yolk mixture or sprinkled on top.
You can even dress up the deviled egg in the preparation, by using a pastry tube to 'squirt' the yolk mixture back into the egg white. For color, flavor and crunch, forgo the usual paprika and top your deviled egg with a sprinkling of flying fish roe, or tobiko. These tiny fish eggs, popular in Japanese sushi cuisine, are a clear bright orange and pop between the teeth with a satisfying burst of salty flavor. Buy them at your local Asian grocer.
A deviled egg or two can liven up a brown-bag lunch, add protein to a green salad, and of course serve as the perfect complement to left-over fried chicken eaten cold in the summertime.