I could eat deviled eggs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. These classy, slightly retro deviled eggs, which have a savory hit of smoked trout mixed into the filling, are fine additions to any of those meals, but I especially like them as cocktail-hour appetizers. Layering the irresistible flavor of classic deviled eggs with a beguiling smokiness, they'll be the first to disappear at any party.
Smoked trout deviled eggs have been popping up on restaurant menus across the country, but the first time I learned about them was in passing, during a conversation with a co-worker. Smoked trout is one of my favorite pantry staples and I've never met a deviled egg I didn't like, so it was one of those dishes I knew I would love before I ever tried it.
And I was right; the first time I mashed smoked fish into hard-cooked yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, a little lemon juice and pepper, I was hooked. The smokiness of the fish is subtle, cut with the sharp flavor of the mustard and bright lemon juice, giving the filling an unusual, very savory flavor.
You'll want to buy your eggs a week or so in advance when making deviled eggs, as older eggs are generally easier to peel and will result in a prettier presentation. (I didn't follow my own advice when making the batch in these photos and ended up with some sad and raggedy specimens. Peeling the eggs under cool running water seemed to help with the harder-to-peel ones.)
And feel free to experiment with other smoked fish you might have on hand. The best version of these eggs I ever made used a piece of very oily, very expensive smoked whitefish, which made especially rich and flavorful eggs. For a more everyday treat, Trader Joe's canned smoked trout is my usual choice.
Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs
Makes 6 eggs (12 egg halves)
6 large eggs, hard-boiled 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice Black pepper 2 ounces smoked trout Dill, chives or other fresh herbs, to garnish
Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and a couple grinds of pepper. Using your hands, break up the trout into small pieces and add to the bowl. Mash the mixture together with a fork until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Fit a pastry bag with a large tip and fill with the yolk mixture. Pipe into the egg white halves and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.