While the summer picnic and BBQ season is quickly coming to an end, that does not mean that you cannot continue to enjoy the classic summer foods throughout the fall. Deviled eggs are a classic summer treat that are make an appearance at nearly every summertime gathering. Finding a party in the summer without deviled eggs is harder than finding a penguin wandering the streets of Miami. While there are more versions of the deviled egg than there are stalks of corn in Nebraska, ranging from super simple classical recipes to more modern, adventurous deviled eggs, we like to bring together to two extremes to create a classic deviled egg with a slight flair.
The classical aspect of the “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . . ” are the eggs themselves (obviously), mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika. Many classical recipes include either relish or diced pickles. However, we forego this ingredient in lieu of something a bit more colorful, diced red tomatoes. Not only do the tomatoes bring the sweetness that you would get from the relish, but they also give the deviled eggs that classic red color without pouring 34 pounds of paprika on top. Then, we add our own flair by adding a few pieces of diced bacon. Yes, bacon. Its like the deviled egg version of the classic bacon and eggs breakfast. These eggs are really that simple but they are so much more tasty than those made from that deviled egg recipe that you have lying in the back of your junk drawer, covered dust. The “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . .” are the perfect combination of sweet and salty without resorting to pretzel ice cream.
Now, the most important part of making deviled eggs is hard-boiling the eggs. If I had a nickel for all the hardboiled eggs that I made before moving to Colorado, I would be filthy rich. My whole cooking world was turned upside-down when I got to Colorado. The first time we made hard-boiled eggs, we forgot about the whole water boiling at a lower temperature at elevation thing and ended up with running yolks. We scoured the web but found that there was no conclusive recipe for preparing hard-boiled eggs at elevation. After about 10 attempts, we finally came to the conclusion that we needed to let the eggs rest for 21 minutes instead of the standard 15 minutes once the water boiled. At 5400 feet above sea level, that is about a minute per 1000 feet above sea level. While this is a gross simplification of the problem, as long as you are not making hard-boiled eggs on Mt. Everest, tacking on a minute per 1000 feet should do the trick. In case you are wondering, water boils at around 202 to 204 degrees F at 5000 feet above sea level. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F. The reason for this difference is quite simple. At 5000 feet above sea level, the air pressure is quite a bit lower than at sea level. As a result, there is less pressure on the water surface and thus the water can escape the liquid face with less energy. Simply put, less energy required to escape the liquid phase and enter the gas means that the temperature will be lower and thus the boiling point is reduced.
That is enough science talk for now. So, whether it is the middle of July or the day before Thanksgiving, the “Best Deviled Eggs This Side of . . .” are sure to please your snack craving.
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1 cup of mayo
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 bacon strips
- 1 large ripe tomato (diced)
- To make the hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a stock pot and add just enough cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch or two. Place the pot on the stove on high and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, remove from the stove, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes (if you do not live at sea level, this time needs to be adjusted . . . as a general rule, add 1 minute per 1000 feet above sea level). Just walk away.
- After 15 minutes (or however long you have to let the eggs cook for your altitude), remove the eggs from the water and put them in a bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let sit for 1-2 hours to cool.
- Once the eggs have cooled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and cook the bacon until most of the fat has been rendered out and the strips are becoming crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate topped with a paper towel to remove the excess bacon drippings. Once cooled, dice the bacon.
- Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and carefully remove the shells.
- Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise and remove the yolk pieces, placing them in a small mixing bowl.
- Once all of the eggs have been cut and yolks removed, add the mayonaise, mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika to the yolks and combine with a fork (use the fork to mash the yolks). The mixture should be thick and creamy.
- Using a small spoon, carefully place a 2-3 teaspoons of the deviled egg filling into the cavity created by removing the egg yolk.
- Then, add a few pieces of the diced red tomato and a few pieces of the diced bacon.
- Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.