Deviled Eggs
Makes 12
Coffee: Pure Black

From backyard barbecues to park picnics, this is “covered dish” season, when everyone pitches in by contributing to the meal. Over the next few weeks, we’ll post summer classics to share, like these deviled eggs, a church social staple typically made from inherited family recipes that include “secret ingredients.” Some cooks swear by pickle relish; Southerners claim it’s the addition of Duke’s mayonnaise, a South Carolina heritage brand still made according to the Sauer family from 1929. For us, it’s buttermilk for silkiness, bacon for an undercurrent of smokiness, and the freshest Friday morning farm eggs from Goodshall’s Poultry in the great Reading Terminal Market.

3 strips thick-cut bacon, sliced widthwise into thin strips (easiest when the bacon is cold)
8 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Paprika for sprinkling

Render bacon in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook until crispy, and then using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to cool, reserving the rendered fat for another use.

Place the eggs in a saucepot, cover with water by 1/2 inch, and bring to a rapid boil over moderately high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Immediately remove pot from heat, and cover, letting the eggs stand for 5 minutes. Holding the pot over the sink, pour off the hot water, and run cool water into the pot for 30 seconds to stop cooking. With the cool water still running, pull out the eggs one by one, and peel.

While the eggs are still warm, cut in half with a thin knife, and place on a plate. Carefully remove each yolk, place in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and mash with a fork. Add the buttermilk, Dijon, salt and cayenne pepper, and continue mashing until smooth.

Separate two-thirds of the bacon, and thoroughly chop into bits. Add to the egg filling along with the chives (saving a pinch to garnish), folding the ingredients together. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a tip of choice.

Pick out the 12 best egg white shells, fill with egg and bacon mixture, and sprinkle remaining bacon and chives over. Sprinkle paprika over, and serve.

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