There are plenty of things you can do with your leftover hard-boiled eggs from Easter.
I’m thinking egg salad, chopped into a green salad, even creamed. But for my money, I’ll go with deviled eggs, also known as "Russian eggs," "stuffed eggs" or "dressed eggs."
You might also think of them as being "nostalgia food," since how you make them is likely the way your grandmothers and mothers did.
They’re also very easy to make; the most difficult part is peeling them without taking half of the egg white with the peel.
Whatever you call them, and however you make them, they remain a favorite. Wherever they show up, they never last long.
Joan Swanson, of Rochester, makes deviled eggs fairly regularly, and not just to use up Easter eggs.
"I belong to several organizations in town, and whenever I’m assigned to bring something, I’ll take deviled eggs," she said, adding, "I started doing this a long time ago when I wanted to take something different. Often people will make a fuss because they think I’ve gone to a lot of work, when actually they aren’t a big deal at all."
Swanson doesn’t have a secret ingredient, nor is there any magic involved in her eggs’ success.
"I don’t use a recipe — just mix the yolks together with a little mayo, some Miracle Whip, and Trader Joe’s aioli mustard," she said.
Deviled eggs are one of those simple foods that have been a regular on the picnic, party and potluck circuit since the 1940s.
Interestingly, the basic recipe has remained virtually unchanged: egg yolks mixed with mayonnaise, a touch of mustard, then whatever else the cook wants. Add-ins include pickle relish, capers, horseradish, pesto, onion or a dash of vinegar.
The more creative types add mashed avocado, chopped jalapenos, hummus, bacon, sour cream or a small amount of cream cheese. Fresh herbs and a dash of curry can also find their way into the mix. Julia Child always added a tablespoon of soft butter to achieve what she called a more "luxurious" feel.
Other chefs have added kimchi, wasabi, crabmeat and shrimp. For my taste, the simpler, the better, though I may try Julia Child’s trick. An aspiring young cook recently served me a bacon deviled egg, which included little bits of bacon in the yolk mixture, as well as about a tablespoon of the remaining drippings from the bacon. Very good. I ate three.
Traditionally, deviled eggs are served on special egg plates that have indentations to keep the eggs from sliding around. That also makes them easier to pick up.
To make things even easier, deviled eggs can be made up to two days ahead. The key is to keep the whites and yolk filling in separate containers.
To place the filling into the whites, you can simply use a spoon, or fancy it up by cutting a corner in a plastic baggie and piping it into the whites. A sprinkle of paprika over the tops is fairly traditional, though other garnishes are also used, like parsley and dill. Cook’s choice.