If there aren’t any deviled eggs at a cocktail party, did the party really happen? I have a friend who is adamant that a celebration is not a celebration without a platter of deviled eggs. And she isn’t the only one. Deviled eggs make an appearance on restaurant menus all over the city; and they’ve been associated with cocktail parties and celebrations since post-World War II America.
Modern iterations of the dish have come a long way from those made in the 1940s, which mostly consisted of mayonnaise, paprika and mustard. Chef Sam Jung puts pickled mustard seeds and crunchy croutons on the deviled eggs at Church & State in downtown L.A. There’s gochujang paste and kimchi juice in the eggs at Faith & Flower, another downtown restaurant. And at Barbara Jean in Fairfax, chef Jason Fullilove spikes his deviled eggs with yuzu-kosho, then tops them with uni.
Just think of the deviled egg as a perfectly composed dish: bite-sized flavor bombs that offer a study in both texture and balance. The acid component — often from vinegar, mustard or lemon — should pop. The texture, smoothed by an aioli or mayonnaise, should be silky and luxurious. And the garnish — which can vary from sprigs of dill to crumbled chicharrones, a quenelle of caviar or a sprinkle of Everything Bagel spice — should tie all the flavors together while riffing further on the textures of the dish.
Because any party you throw should be a celebration, particularly one thrown on the last night of the year, here are 12 different ways to make deviled eggs — with recipes from chefs Daniel Patterson (Alta), Govind Armstrong (Post & Beam), Roy Choi (Commissary), April Bloomfield (Hearth & Hound), Josef Centeno (Bar Amá) and more.
How long you boil your eggs — and whether you use an immersion blender, or good old-fashioned elbow grease to make your own aioli — is up to you. Some eggs call for garlic aioli, others require a little Kewpie mayonnaise. Some require a dash of Tabasco sauce, while others favor a couple splashes of Champagne vinegar. Whatever you decide, just be sure you make enough for everyone.
In a spice grinder or food processor, combine the onion, garlic, caraway and salt, and pulse a few times to coarsely break up. Move the spice blend to a bowl and stir in the fennel, poppy, celery and sesame seeds. This makes a scant ¼ cup spice blend. Store, tightly covered, in a cool, dry place.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the egg yolks, mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives, chervil and white vinegar. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste. This makes about 1 ½ cups yolk mixture. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then place in a piping bag.
Pipe the filling into the egg whites, dust with Everything spice and a little paprika, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
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