Eggs: Deviled in an Instant (Pot)

Whether gourmet or grandma’s, you can’t go wrong with Deviled Eggs.

In home kitchens, all over the world, mothers have created traditional dishes, and have passed along heirloom recipes to their daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters.  We cherish the food speckled recipe cards written in faded ink. We re-live the memories of cooking with Mama or Grandma. The food they served us fed our souls as well as our tummies. Home spun contentment on a plate; is it any wonder we call it “comfort food”?

No heirloom recipe is more varied or personal than Deviled Eggs.  Loved, in one form or another, by just about everyone, Deviled Eggs are classic party food, or funeral food, or picnic food, or Sunday Dinner food, or…. You get the picture. I can’t imagine any gathering, full of people who love and respect one another, that isn’t enhanced by Deviled Eggs.

There are many variations of Deviled Egg recipes. Some are freely passed along, others guarded like the family silver. Some are amazingly smooth and creamy, others are chunky and crunchy; some recipes require the filling to be spooned into the egg white, others insist the filling be piped. For this intensely personal heirloom comfort food, there is one thing most families will agree upon: changing Grandmother’s Deviled Egg recipe is sacrilege.

While Deviled Eggs are meant to be simple, and homespun, they can be devilishly hard to make. Rubbery whites and green-ringed yolks have stumped many a cook.  If the hard-boiled egg isn’t perfect, the Deviled Egg probably won’t be either. Here are a few tips for perfectly easy hard-boiled eggs.

Start with fresh eggs from a local farm. If you can meet the hens, all the better.  Farm eggs are always tastier than industrial eggs, but a truly fresh egg is almost impossible to peel.  An easy solution to this problem; store the eggs in the refrigerator for a week before making Deviled Eggs. If perfectly centered yolks are your goal, store the eggs on their sides. Bring the eggs to room temperature before cooking; this will reduce cracking. Adding salt to the cooking water will help the eggs shell easier.

Put your eggs in a pot that will hold them in a single layer. You don’t want them bouncing around in the water and cracking into one another. Cover the eggs with cold water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot tightly and turn off the heat. Let large eggs sit for 12 minutes; medium eggs for 9 and extra-large eggs for 14.

Drain immediately and cool completely under running water. Peel right after cooling by tapping the egg on the counter until the shell is finely crackled all over. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Start peeling with the large end and peel under cold running water to help loosen the shell.

Alternatively, your Instant Pot makes a lovely hard-boiled egg.

The Instant Pot is my new favorite way to boil eggs; it’s quick, easy and foolproof.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Fresh eggs (as many as will fill the bottom of the pot)
  • 1 cup of water

Pour the water into the bottom of the Instant Pot.  Place the eggs in the steamer basket if you have one; if not then use the rack that came with the pot.

Close the lid and set for 5 minutes at high pressure. The IP will take 5 minutes or so to heat; cook for 5 minutes and then leave for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure. Plunge the eggs into an ice bath.

There is never a bad time for Deviled Eggs and generally, the Deviled Egg plate is the first empty platter. Whether you choose nostalgic, classic Deviled Eggs or elegant Smoked Salmon Deviled eggs, you can’t go wrong with Deviled Eggs!

One last tip, be sure to taste the filling before adding salt and pepper. The amount of salt is dependent on how salty your ingredient list is.

Becky’s Deviled Eggs

Yield: 12 Deviled egg halves

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped pimento
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 2-4  Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a mixing bowl.  Add the pimento, pickle and onion. Use a fork to mash the yolks into the other ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then enough mayonnaise to make a soft consistency.

Spoon, or pipe, the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika or snipped chives if desired.  Refrigerate for up to 24 hours

Ham Stuffed Eggs

Yield: 12 Stuffed egg halves

  • 6 boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • ½ cup softened cream cheese
  • ½ of a jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped (add the whole pepper if you like things spicy)
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dill pickle juice, or more

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Save the yolks for something else.

Put the ham, cream cheese, jalapeno and paprika into the food processor. Process until the mixture; with the processor running, add enough pickle juice to make the filling soft.

Spoon, or pipe the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika if desired. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Yield: 12 Deviled Egg Halves

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped smoked salmon
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (use ¼ teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a mixing bowl.  Add the salmon, onion and dill. Add the salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste; then add enough sour cream to make a soft consistency.

Spoon, or pipe, the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs or a lemon twist. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.