Avocado Makes This Classic Hors d’Oeuvre Devilishly Good

April  2, 2017

When I am a guest at a cocktail party—which is rare, because I’m usually the chef at a cocktail party—I like to scope out the hors d’oeuvres. The challenge to making a good hors d’oeuvre is creating something delicious yet easy to eat in a social setting. My mantra is that every successful hors d'oeuvre needs a “vehicle,” something you can easily pick up with your fingers. Guests should be able to hold on to their drinks. If you can’t pick it up easily, it won’t work.

The usual suspects tend to be skewers, crostini, and crackers. With these three vehicles at your disposal, you can turn almost any preparation of ingredients—say, toasted goat cheese, or duck breast—into a successful bite of food. However, if you find yourself bored with these mundane vehicles and yearning for new ideas, consider the egg.

Photo by Kyle Orsosz

Deviled eggs are a classic party snack. I am drawn to the classics because they actually offer the best opportunities for creativity. In the context of a classic recipe like deviled eggs, cooks have the ability to make a couple of clever substitutions while keeping the essential flavors intact, thus ensuring a final outcome that is inventive yet comforting. Plus, it is far easier to tinker with a classic than to invent something brilliant out of thin air.

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In this case, the amount of mayonnaise has been reduced, and it has been replaced with fresh avocado. The essential flavors of the deviled egg remain the same (creamy, savory, a little spicy, hints of lemony freshness), but the avocado refreshes an old classic. To make this recipe even more compelling, I decided to add little pieces of smoked salmon to the filling, and garnish the eggs with fried capers. The subtle taste of high-quality smoked salmon pairs naturally with eggs and avocado, and I like its textural interplay with the creamy yolk mixture. The word sultry even comes to mind. In a different mood, I might have added crispy prosciutto instead of smoked salmon—and called it “deviled green eggs and ham.” Feel free to get creative with these avocado deviled eggs.

The best part about using an egg as an hors d’oeuvre is that it functions as its own vehicle—with no toothpicks to discard or crumbs to dust off. So as spring arrives and we begin to ponder rebirth and the new season, embrace the egg as a symbol of hope, renewal, and a new breath of life—for your hors d’oeuvres, at the least.

Any other ideas for how to top these avocado deviled eggs? Tell us in the comments!

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Josh Cohen

Written by: Josh Cohen

Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.


mary April 5, 2017
i've heard of caviar on deviled eggs, but I've not tried it. Also, fresh herbs, such as baby sage leaves or sprigs of dill would be good.
Yvonne April 5, 2017
Caviar is ideal! Sage is a good one, you could crisp the fresh leaves up first. Mmmm. Also anchovy works really well.
Anne April 5, 2017
Real caviar is ruinously expensive, there is something called lumpfish roe (really unattractive name!) which are small black fish eggs that look and taste good, for a fraction of there;. There is also a red version.
Yvonne April 5, 2017
Yes you can buy it in most supermarkets. Its full of dyes etc usually but the flavour is salty against the creamy egg. Salmon eggs are a cheaper fresh alterative..they are a little plumper and an orange colour.
Yvonne April 2, 2017
I sometimes add a little duck pate to the egg yolk and mustard mayo base.
Joy April 2, 2017
Who doesn't love Deviled Eggs? This variation sounds delicious!