I'm the kind of person who wants to eat deviled eggs all the time, but doesn't want to make deviled eggs all the time. Removing egg yolks from their cooked whites only to put them back again is a little too extra for me to do on a regular basis. But recently, I came across a recipe from chef Todd Richards that cracks the code-one that gives me all of the delicious deviled egg flavor in a way that makes sense for any random Tuesday afternoon: the deviled egg spread in SOUL: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes.
Richards makes the deviled egg spread with boiled egg yolks, mayo, punchy Dijon mustard-plus a hit of red wine vinegar and hot sauce-then slathers it onto a crispy slice of toast before piling on other ingredients like canned smoked oysters, crunchy veggies, chopped egg whites, and fresh herbs. It's a toast that sits somewhere between fancy deviled eggs and an easy egg salad sandwich, bringing together all of the creamy, tangy, and savory flavors I love about the classic appetizer with much less fuss.
"The egg spread has a good amount of fat in it, which makes it really rich and flavorful," says Richards. He adds: "Putting some pickles or acid in the mix makes it even more delicious." The vinegar and hot sauce cut through all of that richness and add brightness to the dish.
The spread is essentially deviled egg filling, but this recipe puts that good stuff to even better use. "Anyone who's ever made deviled eggs knows that you always have extra filling" in the end, says Richards. "There are never enough egg whites to fill in, but you don't want to waste it." Making deviled egg spread allows you to tackle two things: use up something that you don't want to throw away, and simultaneously make an easy dish that's guaranteed to please-"because everyone loves toast," Richards adds.
While its elements are similar to egg salad, this deviled egg spread is extra-creamy and smooth, not thick and chunky. All of the ingredients become well-incorporated and the flavors more concentrated, Richards explains. "Egg salad can sometimes be really loose, this spread is really soft and smooth-which makes it the perfect companion for crunchy toast."
While you can get really fancy with these toasts, I love their flexibility: All you really need are eggs and toast. The rest of the toppings are up to you. In SOUL, Richards chops the reserved egg whites and layers them on top, along with smoked oysters, smoked trout roe, and chives. "The oysters add some salinity and even more texture, while the smoke brings umami," he says.
He also likes topping his toast with chicken hearts, because even though they don't have much flavor by themselves, they're great for absorbing other flavors. "When you've got the richness from the egg yolk and the Dijon, the chicken hearts just embrace all of that," he says. "The hearts' outer layer also gets really crispy when pan-fried, like chicken skin." But you can top your toast with anything you have on hand: crispy roasted mushrooms or bacon, canned tuna, anchovies, cured salmon, sliced radishes, or sugar snap peas. That's what's great about this dish-and soul food as a whole-says Richards, "It's very sophisticated and flavorful, yet simple at the same time."