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Le Uova #ChefsSecret

Ask anyone and you will get a family-favorite recipe for deviled eggs. Trust me. They are easy to make, portable, and almost universally adored. I myself have even taught a version at a kids' cooking class at a local museum when we made Cracked China Deviled Eggs. I have also shared recipes for Umami Deviled Eggs, with miso and picked red onions; Herbed Deviled Eggs; and Bacon & Bleu Deviled Eggs, yes, bacon makes everything better, right?!

But most versions are fairly similar and include egg yolks and mayonnaise. For the antipasti course for our Ab Ovo Usque Ad Mala Thanksgiving menu, I was inspired by this passage in Crystal King's The Chef's Secret* - "I slaved over...eggs stuffed with their own yolks with raisins, pepper, cinnamon, orange juice, and butter" (pg. 200). No mayo, huh? Challenge accepted.

I have never piped my deviled eggs, but I wanted these to look extra pretty. I'll probably do that from now on; they looked great and were pretty quick to do!

Ingredients makes 24 deviled eggs
  • 12 large organic eggs
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 T zest from an organic orange +  more for garnish
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil, as needed (I probably used 1 T)
  • 24 raisins for garnish
  • fresh herbs for garnish (I used dill)
  • piping bag and tip completely optional


Hardboil your eggs. Cover eggs completely with cold water by 1 to 2" in a heavy saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer eggs, covered with a lid for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand - covered - 15 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice to stop cooking. Let stand 5 minutes.

Peel eggs and halve. Remove yolks as carefully as you can so you don't split the whites. Place in a mixing bowl with all of the other ingredients. Use a hand-blender to create a smooth mixture. Mine was a little bit dry, so I added olive oil to help it come together.

Stuff the yolks back in to the whites and smoothe the tops. Pipe more filling on top, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, fresh dill, and orange zest. Press a raisin into the top of each egg and serve immediately. 

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