Deviled eggs never go out of fashion. That childhood treat is easy to whip up for a potluck dinner, family reunion, or office party, and can be humble or fancy — dusted with paprika, topped with caviar, or anywhere in between. There’s never a wrong time to enjoy deviled eggs.

The key is to not have too many toppings. You can choose obnoxiously smoky Benton‘s bacon, chopped and drained kimchi, bright orange tobiko, chowchow, pickled vegetables (pickled ramps are especially nice here), or any ground, dried chili like chipotle, or gochugaru — but please don’t try them all on the same egg. It’s also key to have your base yolk mixture relatively neutral, but with some kick. Leave the fancy stuff for the toppings. The biggest mistake people make is not seasoning the egg whites before filling with the yolk mixture.

Did you know that deviled eggs are best consumed at room temperature? Just don’t store them at room temperature for more than four hours, and you’ll be OK. If your deviled eggs last that long without all being eaten, there’s something you’re not doing right.

My favorite eggs in town come from Garland at Massey Creek Farm. He’s been a fixture at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays for about 10 years and I’ve loved his eggs this whole time. Garland is a great supporter of locally-owned businesses, and when I got a wild impulse to compost kitchen waste at the restaurant I was running, he figured out how to help. We’d load two 65-gallon totes full of vegetable scraps into the back of his dad’s little delivery van once a week, and they would feed those veggies to the chickens back at the farm.

Garland’s eggs are in such demand; they are often only 1 day old when you get them. This is great for a sunny side up egg, but can be problematic when boiling fresh eggs since the shell likes to stick to the white. I’ve done some studying, and if you leave your eggs at room temperature for a day, it is equivalent to a week old in the refrigerator. The eggs you’re accustomed to from the supermarket are more than likely not several weeks old owing to today’s supply chain logistics.

You could always change your cooking technique. I’ve heard steaming works wonders for an easy-to-peel egg and I know from experience that a little baking soda in your boiling water helps to separate the shell from the white. I think the best move is to buy more than you need, fry them up for breakfast or put them on sandwiches the first few days; toward the end of the week, make a batch of deviled eggs and share with loved ones.

Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 halves

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Cut eggs in half; add yolks to the bowl of a food processor, reserving whites on a platter.
  2. Pulse gochujang, mayonnaise, Dijon, and salt with yolks until well mixed.
  3. Scrape mixture into a Ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time.
  4. When ready to serve, arrange egg whites, snip a corner off the bag, and pipe yolk mixture into egg whites.
  5. Garnish with whatever you like.
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