Nigella Lawson’s Secret for Making Symmetrical Deviled Eggs

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I’ve been on a major deviled egg kick lately. Making a big plate of deviled eggs is one of the easiest and, frankly, most cost-effective ways to give a large group of people something nice and a bit substantial to snack on with cocktails.

If I’m making deviled eggs for the family or just a casual visit, I’ll just mash up my egg yolks with a fork, mix in the other filling ingredients, and scoop the mixture back into the egg white halves, lumps and all. They taste just as good that way and they look rustic, and there’s no reason to break out the stick blender or pastry bag when I just want some deviled eggs to eat on the sofa while watching Glow.

If the eggs need to be fancy, though, looks matter. And it can take practice to make deviled eggs look nice. I find it’s awfully easy to get little dabs of yellow filling on the serving plate, or on the egg whites, or in my hair. But Nigella Lawson has a trick to make deviled eggs that look pretty enough for a restaurant, or for Instagram.

Nigella’s recipe for Deviled Eggs is pretty traditional: She uses mayonnaise, mustard, salt, paprika, and a dash of Tabasco for heat. But she says her trick for symmetrical deviled eggs is to leave the eggs out on their sides overnight, which helps center the egg yolks in the egg, so they’re in the middle of each one, not at the ends or off to the sides.

“In order to help the yolk keep centered as they cook, I leave them lying on their sides in a dish (rather than sitting upright in their boxes) overnight out of the fridge before cooking them,” she wrote. “It’s not a fail-safe guarantee, but it does seem to make a difference.”

Another reason Nigella’s eggs look so pretty is that she boils 12 eggs, but only uses the whites of nine of them. Her recipe calls for a higher yolk-to-white ratio, so she can pick out the best-looking 18 egg-white halves and take the six ugliest ones out of the picture. Then she blends her filling with a stick blender until it’s smooth and uses a piping bag to create “golden rosettes” in the hollowed-out egg halves.

What’s your favorite thing to do with deviled eggs?