Charles E. Drew, Jr. was a talented playwright and a good friend from my college days at NYU. He loved entertaining, and always threw the most wonderful cast parties with friends from all walks of life. Cooking was one of his favorite hobbies, and he would often make a grand entrance with a plate of homemade deviled eggs in hand. I was fortunate to learn the recipe from him one afternoon many years ago. He explained that what made his deviled eggs so good was contrast. The flavor is a mix of sweet and savory. The smoothness of the yolk mixture also contrasts with the crunchiness of the pickles and crispy bacon.
For years, I've made this recipe when I entertain. Charles passed away in 2016, and is greatly missed by his wide and eclectic circle of friends, affectionately known as "Munsters." Last year at Eastertime, I posted a photo of the deviled eggs I made, and received many requests for the recipe.
1 dozen eggs
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 sweet gherkin pickles
6 crispy bacon strips
Paprika to taste
Boil eggs and cut in half.
In a medium size bowl, combine egg yolks, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, and kosher salt. Add approximately two tablespoons of pickle juice from the sweet gherkins.
Dice the sweet gherkins and add to the egg mixture. The gherkins should be thick and chunky so you can see them in the mixture.
Chill the egg mixture for at least 30 minutes. Chilling overnight is ideal for maximum flavor.
Fry the bacon strips until they are very crispy- nearly burnt. Drain the bacon grease, and tear the bacon strips by hand into large bacon bits.
Spoon the white mixture into the egg white halves. Garnish with deviled eggs with the bacon bits. The bacon bits should be large and chunky. Sprinkle paprika on top.
A note on consistency: Charles liked to make his yolk mixture very runny (almost the consistency of pudding or yogurt) and pour it into the egg whites and let it flow over the sides. To do this, he used considerably more mayonnaise and he didn't chill the mixture. This recipe maintains the flavor, but the yolk mixture is thicker- similar to thick chunky peanut butter- and chilled, making the deviled eggs easier to pick up and manage. Charles also prided himself on the crunchy consistency of the gherkins and the bacon. He didn’t use relish or chewy bacon.