The classic Southern hors d’oeuvre of deviled eggs takes hard-boiled to the next level by whipping the yolks with mayonnaise and spices. Here, James Beard Award-winning chef Vivian Howard shares her version, inspired by her mother’s, which uses softened butter and vinegar for a creamy, tangy filling. A dusting of paprika on top, and you have an easy and delicious appetizer for your Mother’s Day brunch (or any party, for that matter).
Cooking the eggs correctly is the crucial step to this dish. For hard-boiled, we like to bring our water to a boil, gently drop in the eggs and boil for 11 minutes exactly. Having an ice bath ready will ensure you stop the cooking immediately for perfectly cooked, bright-yellow yolks.
Recipe adapted from ‘Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South,’ by Vivian Howard (Little, Brown and Company)
Yield: 12 deviled eggs
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sweet paprika, for garnish
1. Fill a medium pot halfway with water and prepare an ice bath. Bring the water to a boil and then remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, gently place the eggs into the pot of water. Return to the heat and bring to a light boil. Cook for 11 minutes, then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the prepared ice bath. Let cool completely, then peel and halve lengthwise.
2. Carefully scoop the egg yolks into a small bowl and reserve the eggs whites. Over a medium bowl, push the egg yolks through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth, then transfer to a piping bag fit with a star tip. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling into 12 of the egg white halves, reserving the remaining whites for snacking or another use. Lightly dust with paprika and serve.