The deviled egg is a confusing contraption. First the yolk is popped out. Then it's stuffed back in. Raising the question: Why?
The recipe seems bedeviled by circular reasoning, redundant engineering, chicken-and-egg futility. Best solved simply: It's delightful.
A condition best explained by this: Butter.
Many a picnic hostess holds fast to the belief that the deviled yolk must be mashed with mayonnaise. Many an hors d'oeuvre professional insists on bacon drippings.
Butter is better. It offers sweet, fresh-clover creaminess that complements — even flatters — the yolk. Offset by a spoonful of mustard — the devilish kick in the deviled egg — it yields a stuffing stuffed with nothing but the good stuff. Which is, logically, irresistible.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Makes: 12 stuffed egg halves
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Capers or caviar, optional
Note: Boiling eggs is an inexact art, affected by the size of the egg, the temperature of the fridge, etc. You may want to boil a test egg first to make sure you approve of the results. The finished egg should be cooked through, with a tender white and a set — neither sticky nor chalky — yolk.