I’ve always been sort of intimidated by making deviled eggs — peeling eggs without making a mess of them, getting the yolk out, then spooning it back in (or, God forbid, piping it in) — it all just sounds like too much work. Then I came across a revelation: Why not just cut the eggs in half and top them with deviled egg ingredients, no mixing required! I wish I could remember where I read about that idea, but let’s face it, my memory is not what it used to be. Anyway, this has got to be the easiest deviled egg prep ever — no mixing, no measuring, no piping. It easily tastes as good as regular deviled eggs, just with a slightly different texture.
The pickled celery here comes from Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon, which is really delicious. Pickled celery might be my new favorite thing.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
eggs (any number, within reason)
mustard (any kind will do, I used whole-grain Dijon)
Set your eggs out on the counter until they lose their refrigerator chill (about 30 minutes). This helps prevent them from cracking when you first drop them into boiling water.
Combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add celery, cover and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Place a pot of water (enough to cover your eggs) on the stove on high heat until it reaches a boil. Lower to medium-low heat, then use a slotted spoon to gently drop the eggs into the pot. Cook at a very low simmer (barely bubbling) for 11 minutes. On my stove, this results in yolks that are cooked through but still moist, not chalky. But you may need to experiment with different cooking times to attain the hard-boiled style you prefer. Epicurious has a good tutorial here.
Plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and chill for about 15 minutes.
Peel the eggs and slice in half with a sharp knife. Top each half with a little mayonnaise and mustard — keep in mind that most deviled egg recipes use a mayo-to-mustard ratio of about 12:1, so dollop accordingly. Spoon on pickled celery (there will be plenty leftover — save it to use in egg salad, potato salad, tuna salad, as a burger topping, etc.). Sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper and paprika. If you want more of a kick, sub in cayenne, chipotle powder, chili powder, creole seasoning or anything else that sounds good!
Thrifted Kitchen note: I love using small vintage Pyrex bowls as prep containers. Pictured: Pyrex Homestead 401 Round Mixing Bowl