I find that tinkering with classic recipes can yield great results, as long as the underlying flavors of the classic recipe remain intact. For example, with this recipe, I made sure to stay true to the original flavors of deviled eggs (creamy, savory, little hints of spiciness, background flavors of fresh lemon), but I have reduced the amount of mayonnaise and replaced it with fresh avocado. The addition of smoked salmon and fried capers completes the dish, resulting is something familiar yet new. Feel free to get creative and use crispy prosciutto instead of smoked salmon or kimchi instead of fried capers. Experiment with fresh herbs. Have fun. —Josh Cohen
Rinse the capers under cold water to remove excess salt, then lay them out on a paper towel to dry. Pat them with an extra towel to remove excess moisture.
Set your smallest small pot over high heat, and add enough canola oil so that a caper would be fully submerged when added to the pot. You don’t need too much oil; just enough to barely cover the capers. When the oil is between 385 and 400 degrees, add the capers. Be careful, they will splatter.
The caper buds should open slightly like flowers in the hot oil. If the capers do not open slightly, then your oil is not hot enough. The capers will bubble a lot when you first add them to the oil. As the bubbling subsides, this is an indication that your capers are becoming crispy. When the capers produce almost no bubbles in the hot oil and they appear slightly golden brown around the edges, remove them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels . Let the capers cool to room temperature. They can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
For the Deviled Eggs
Peel the hard boiled eggs. Cut each egg in half. Transfer the yolks to a small mixing bowl, and set the whites aside.
Add the egg yolks to a food processor, along with the mustard and mayonnaise. Cut the avocado in half, remove and discard the pit, and scoop the avocado flesh into the food processor, along with the lemon juice and hot sauce. Pulse the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula as necessary, until the ingredients look smooth and homogeneous. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Add the finely diced smoked salmon to the avocado deviled egg mixture, and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine. Taste the filling. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as necessary. Add more lemon juice if you want. Continue to taste and season the mixture until you are happy with the flavor.
Use a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the egg whites. Or, just use a spoon to add the filling into the egg whites. Whatever works. Garnish each egg with a few fried capers. If you want, you can use a fine microplane to zest a lemon, and add a little lemon zest as additional garnish. Serve and enjoy. If you have leftover avocado deviled egg filling, you can schmear it on toast as a snack.
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.