The quintessential southern funeral food: Deviled Eggs. Why? They're delicious, nutritious, easy to make, inexpensive, a crowd pleaser, and they are a finger food as well as complimentary of other funeral foods.
Susan's Deviled Eggs
•10 boiled eggs, peeled and halved
•1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, or so to taste
•1 Tablespoon dry mustard (French's prepared mustard will work in a bind)
•1/2 cup Hellmann's Real Mayonaisse
•Dash or 2 of Tabasco
•Salt and Pepper to taste
•Paprika or fried crisp bacon crumbs or both, for garnish
Why 10 eggs? Well, my egg plate (a plate with egg-shaped dimples specifically created for the presentation of Deviled Eggs) has 18 spaces. However, you'll inevitably need more yoke than white, which is good, because inevitably while peeling the eggs one will not peel pretty and have to be sacrificed for its yoke only.
Place 10 eggs in cool water and set on the stove. Turn up the heat until the eggs reach a rapid boil. Add a lid and remove from heat. Let eggs stand in hot water for 10-12 minutes. They will be perfectly boiled, but not rubbery.
Drain off hot water and rinse with cool water until they can be handled. Tap blunt end of egg on the edge of the sink, cracking the entire shell. There will be a space under the blunt end of the shell that will make removal of the shell easier and in one piece. Do not refrigerate an unpeeled egg. You will never be able to remove the shell without peeling to pieces the smooth surface of the egg underneath. Believe me, there is a science to this.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise, dumping cooked yokes into a zip-lock baggie. Place boiled egg whites on your egg plate. Add remaining ingredients to baggie, except for the chosen garnish. Seal the baggie, making sure to squeeze out any air. Now work the yokes and ingredients mashing them into a paste, snip off one small corner of the baggie, and pipe the paste into the cup of each boiled egg white.
Sprinkle with paprika or bacon crumbs or both.
If your egg plate is made with a relish dish in the center, fill this section with drained green olives stuffed with either blue cheese, almonds or a combination of the two, but never pimento. It's too passe.
Keep in mind presentation is everything. Although it is considerate to take food to the home of a grieving family in a container that need not be returned, for the reception the food must be presented in your finest dish. (Don't forget to bring a silver serving piece, if needed.) Don't worry about how you will get your egg plate returned, you'll simply take it with you when you leave. Every deviled egg will have been eaten and the plate empty. Guaranteed.