Hard boiled eggs. Scrape the yolks from half a dozen hard-cooked eggs and mash them up with about 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, a little salt and pepper and sufficient sharp mustard to provide it zing. Spoon the combination back into the whites. Add a sprinkling of paprika or chopped chives for colour.
But that is only a beginning stage. Limitless versions can turn this already beloved snack into something truly special.
1. Cut about a quarter of the egg off the small end and a thin strip off the large end to make it stand up. Spoon out the yolk. After piping in filling, place the top piece back on at an angle like a hat.
2. Use the pointed end of a small, sharp knife to make a zigzag cuts when halving the eggs.
3. Use quail eggs for one-bite deviled eggs.
4. Finely dice the whites and mix them into the yolk mixture to make deviled-egg spread. Serve on cocktail bread, as a dip for crudites or as a sandwich spread.
Mix one of these into the filling:
5. Bacon, cooked, chopped
6. Cheese, grated
7. Corned beef
8. Cucumber, minced
10. Dill or tarragon, chopped
11. Food coloring
12. Lobster, cooked and chopped
13. Peanuts, roasted and chopped
14. Pickle relish
15. Pine nuts, toasted and chopped
16. Radishes, minced
17. Spam, finely chopped
18. Watercress, chopped
Replace some or all of the mayonnaise or mustard with these flavorings:
19. Barbecue sauce
20. Blue cheese dressing
21. Butter, softened
22. Chipotle chiles (canned or reconstituted, pureed)
23. Curry powder
24. Cream cheese or sour cream
25. Creme fraiche
26. Dashi flakes (Japanese bonito soup stock)
27. French onion dip
30. Lemon or lime zest
31. Pesto sauce
33. Truffle oil
35. Worcestershire sauce
36. Shrimp (small)
37. Alfalfa or radish sprouts
41. Cornichons or gherkins, sliced
44. Nori (Japanese seaweed sheets), crumbled
45. Old Bay Seasoning
46. Olives, sliced
47. Smoked salmon, cut in thin strips
48. Smoked paprika
49. Truffles, shaved
50. Za’atar (Middle Eastern seasoning) or sumac.