Pickled jalapeño deviled eggs
A reader once wrote and asked: “My concern is deviled egg recipes that don’t contain vinegar, including yours. My mom taught me that to be deviled, the yolk mix must contain vinegar. Several times lately I’ve argued my point. Have I entered the twilight zone?”
In my reply, I said that my philosophy is anything tangy and acidic works. My family has always fallen in the mustard camp when it comes to deviled eggs, though vinegar, lemon, or lime juice would also get the job done. I then asked where his mom was from, curious if the preference for vinegar over mustard was regional.
It turned out his mom was a Dallas native who grew up in Houston. And the family recipe had come from a German ancestor who’d lived in Galveston. Taking these geographical clues in hand, I began to investigate.
While I didn’t see a vinegar trend in North Texas, when I set my sights on Southeast Texan historical newspapers and cookbooks, I hit vinegar deviled-egg gold. There were several recipes from Houston beginning in the early 1900s, and I found ones from Beaumont, too.
Considering German cuisine’s penchant for adding vinegar to dishes, I wasn’t surprised to see current German stuffed-egg recipes using vinegar. Likewise, in an Appalachian cookbook, an area where Germans also settled, there was a vinegar deviled egg recipe, as well.
Though oddly, I didn’t find any vinegar deviled egg recipes from the Hill Country of Texas, which was unusual as many Germans had settled there.
A 1915 La Grange newspaper article, however, advised that pickle juice was the best way to add zest to one’s deviled eggs. Since pickle juice is also largely vinegar, I decided to follow its lead when making my own version of vinegar deviled eggs.
First, I tried using dill pickle juice, but the flavor failed to impress. Someone suggested sweet pickles, but they’re not my preference either. Instead, my favorite pickles are hot and tangy pickled jalapeños. Inspired, I grabbed my ever-present jar from the refrigerator and continued with my research.
While I had seen vinegar deviled-egg recipes prepared with butter or olive oil, for the fat component in mine, I decided to stick with my family’s tradition of mixing in mayonnaise.
But all past practices ended there, and I veered from the usual by spooning in some of the pickled jalapeño juice, along with a few shakes of ground cumin, garlic powder, celery salt, and cayenne. For more heat and flavor, I chopped up some pickled jalapeños and added those as well
The blend was creamy and tangy with a kick. Satisfied, I stuffed the whites with the filling, then topped each with a pickled jalapeño slice to let everyone know what to expect. I loved each zesty bite, and I didn’t miss the mustard at all.
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Pickled jalapeño deviled eggs
- 6 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice
- 2 tablespoons diced pickled jalapeño slices
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne
- Salt, to taste
- 12 pickled jalapeño slices, for garnish
- Scoop the yolks out from the eggs into a bowl and mash until smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise, pickled jalapeño juice, chopped pickled jalapeños, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne. Adjust seasonings, also adding more pickle juice or mayonnaise if needed. Add salt to taste.
- Scoop or pipe mixture into halved eggs and top each with a pickled jalapeño slice for garnish. Serve immediately or they can be chilled before serving.
Doesn’t mustard have vinegar in it?
Grew up among folks who typically added some variety of pickle juice, mayo, with a touch of mustard to the yolk mixture. My mom always used sweet relish juice and often left out the mayo and/or mustard. She was trying to reduce the fat content, I think. It simply taught me to love deviled eggs no matter how they are prepared.
Pete–Ha! I reckon that mustard does indeed have vinegar in it! And I’m with you–I’ve never met a deviled egg that I didn’t like.
I have yet to try a recipe of yours that I haven’t loved. I cannot wait to try this. I always keep pickled jalapeños in my fridge, and I am a big fan of deviled eggs.
Pattie–Thank you for the kind words! And this recipe sounds like a perfect match for you! Enjoy!
We loved these! Added the topping slices as extra chopped jalapenos into the mixture. I think we decided to also add a tablespoon of mustard next time as well. Great idea – they were Very Good – didn’t last long at all lol
Mike–Glad you enjoyed them! And a little mustard never hurt!
I felt the amount of cumin,celery salt was a bit heavy handed so I will reduce them next time even though the flavor combo is good.I used Mexican canned jalapenos b/c that is what was in the fridge,next time I will try chopping some of the carrots in place of the chopped jalapeno as well. Whad duh yuh think?
Lowandslow–I think the carrots would be a brilliant addition!
I keep both miracle whip and mayonnaise on hand as they are not always interchangeable. I have found people prefer devilled eggs with miracle whip even if they hate miracle whip.
Michael–You’re not the first person to tell me this! I haven’t had Miracle Whip in years but may have to pick up a jar so I can taste the difference.