Do you love deviled eggs? Then you’ll love my Cuban Deviled Eggs. It’s based on the classic deviled eggs recipe with one important addition… saffron. My son says that I would add saffron to just about anything. But this is not true! Saffron is an expensive spice so I use it very judiciously, but it’s so worth it on deviled eggs. Especially for Easter Brunch!
Deviled Eggs In Spanish
The Spanish name for deviled eggs is huevos endiablados. I really couldn’t find a recipe for huevos endiablados in my Cuban cookbooks. So I’ll admit that deviled eggs are not much of a Cuban thing. But it’s about time that changed! It’s time we crashed the deviled egg party platter with our own version!
And I’m not the only one that thinks so. I did find a few recipes online for Cuban deviled eggs that included garlic, tomato sauce, cilantro, or Spanish olives. But I’m very fond of the classics so I wanted to keep this Cuban deviled egg recipe simple and try it with my favorite Spanish spice, saffron.
An Egg By Any Other Name
While deviled eggs may not be a Cuban thing, they are a universally loved appetizer. The deviled eggs’ origin dates back to ancient Rome and you’ll find it in cookbooks all over the world. They are called by other names such as stuffed eggs, mimosa eggs, Russian eggs, and dressed eggs.
In fact, I did find a recipe for Florecitas De Huevos Rellenos (stuffed egg flowers) in the classic Cocina Criolla cookbook. So, there is a Cuban deviled egg recipe! I was tempted to try this recipe, but it called for deviled ham and that’s just a deal breaker for me. So, I had to come up with my own version.
It turns out eggs are not the only things that are deviled. The term deviled refers to spicy or highly seasoned foods and originates in 18th century England, where it’s spelled “devilled”.
How Long To Boil Eggs
This saffron deviled egg recipe is easy to make. The hardest part for most is how to cook the egg. You want the yolk to be fully cooked without the green ring around it. And the egg shell needs to come away cleanly so your egg has a smooth surface without any gouges or pockmarks.
The trick for easy peeling is to shock the eggs by placing them in ice cold water immediately and letting them cool for about 15 minutes. Kenji Lopez-Alt gives a great explanation of why this works in this Serious Eats article. I love how many experiments he went through to help us boil an egg! Much appreciated here!
As for how to cook the egg… you want to bring a pot of water to boil. Gently place the cold eggs into the water using a spoon (if you drop them in you’ll crack them). Lower the heat to simmer and cook 18 minutes. Kenji suggests 11 minutes, but he covers his eggs and I like to check on the simmer to make sure they are simmering and not boiling. I found that 18 minutes uncovered worked best for me.
Earlier I referred to classic deviled eggs and that usually means a mix of mayo, mustard and vinegar. My version sticks pretty closely to this except for delicious, magical saffron. I love that stuff!!
Now, I went with a lot less mayo than I would prefer. I’m trying to strike a happy balance between my tastebuds and my health. I like to eat these a lot, so by cutting down on the mayo, I get to enjoy them more! So, I went with ¼ cup of mayo, but you can easily go to ½ cup and get a creamier filling. If you do that, then I would increase the mustard from 2 to 3 tablespoons. Another way to lower the calorie count is to use reduced calorie mayonnaise.
Deviled Egg Toppings
My favorite topping is smoked paprika, it works so well with saffron! In fact, saffron and smoked paprika are the key ingredients in my favorite Paella Mixta recipe. I also like to add some chives for color and texture. But here are a few more toppings you can try: bacon, cooked chorizo crumbles, Spanish olives cut in half, red onions and caper gremolata, and cilantro. I tried all these variations and my favorites were the smoked paprika and chives, and bacon crumbles. But you go out there and have some fun with it!
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The saffron adds a subtle but distinctive flavor to this classic deviled egg recipe with a Cuban twist! You can easily half this recipe for a smaller gathering. Party animals can easily double it too 😉
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and White pepper to taste
Generous pinch saffron threads
Chives and Smoked Paprika for garnish
Boiling: Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, use a spoon to gently place the eggs into the pan. If you drop them in, you can break them. Also, you can use cold eggs, straight from the fridge. Boil for 30 seconds, then lower to a simmer and cook for 18 minutes (check to make sure it’s simmering, the eggs will make a little rattling sound but you should not see bubbles). Once cooked add to a bowl of ice cubes and water, enough to cover the eggs. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before peeling.
Saffron: While the eggs are cooling, crumble the saffron threads between your fingers and place in a small bowl or cup. Add a tablespoon of boiling water and let it sit while the eggs boil.
Peeling: Once the eggs have cooled 15 minutes, gently crack the egg all over (don’t do it too hard or you can break the egg white). Peel under running water. Rinse the egg to make sure there’s no shell bits clinging to it.
Scooping the Yolks: Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and gently remove the yolk, it should come out cleanly. If it doesn’t, use a spoon to gently scoop out whatever yolk is clinging to the egg whites. I cannot stress gentleness enough. You don’t want to damage your little egg cups!
Mixing: Add the egg yolks to a bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until small crumbles. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, saffron threads with water. Mix with the back of a wooden spoon to make the mixture as smooth and creamy as possible. Add white pepper and salt to taste.
Stuffing: Use a mini scooper or a spoon to fill each egg cup. Or, you can pipe the mixture into the cups for a fancy look.
Piping: Take the yolk mixture and place it in pastry bag with a 1M star decorator tip. Pipe each egg cup until filled.
Garnishing: Garnish with smoked paprika and chopped chives.
Other great toppings you can use for these eggs are: crumbled bacon, crispy cooked Spanish chorizo, cilantro, Spanish olives.
I mentioned this in my post but it bears repeating… I used less mayo to lower the calories and guilt factor on these, but you can easily go to ½ cup of mayo and get a creamier filling. If you do that, then increase the mustard to 3 tablespoons. Alternatively, you can use reduced calorie mayonnaise.
If you want to add more complex toppings, I would suggest spooning in the mixture so you have more of a horizontal surface to work with. Also, the creamier the eggs (aka higher mayo content), the better the toppings adhere.
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