Basic Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 halves.

Note: From Lee Svitak Dean.

• 12 large eggs

About 6 tbsp. mayonnaise, more or less as needed for preferred consistency

3 tsp. mustard (Dijon, yellow or your preference)

• Salt and white pepper

Paprika or minced fresh herb for garnish (flat-leaf parsley, chives, dill, chervil, tarragon)

Directions

Place eggs in a large saucepan, add water and cover by 1 inch, and bring just to a boil, uncovered.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Immediately drain the water and run cold water over the eggs, or plunge them into a bowl of ice and cold water. Cool the eggs.

If using them later, refrigerate unpeeled for up to a week.

If using them immediately, lightly crack the eggs, all over, on a hard surface and remove the shell in pieces. Rinse the egg to remove any bits of leftover shell.

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and place the yolks in a medium-size bowl. For the creamiest (non-lumpy) filling, push the eggs through a sieve. Otherwise, mash the yolks with a fork. Add mayonnaise and mustard and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill the hollow of the egg white with the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Sprinkle with paprika or herbs immediately before serving.

Smoked Salmon Stuffed Eggs

Makes 24 halves.

Note: From "The Herbal Kitchen," by Jerry Traunfeld, who suggests 18 minutes (rather than 15) for large eggs to be cooked in the hot water.

• 12 large hard-cooked eggs

• 1/2 c. sour cream

• 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/2 c. (3 oz.) diced cold-smoked salmon

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives, plus extra for garnish

• 2 tbsp. chopped chervil, plus small sprigs for garnish

• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. For the creamiest (non-lumpy) filling, push the eggs through a sieve. Or mash the yolks with a fork. Beat in the sour cream and salt. Stir in the salmon, chives, chervil and black pepper. Spoon into the hollow of the whites. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with chives and chervil immediately before serving.