Easter brunch is served: Deviled eggs with homemade pimento cheese

Everybody and their mother will be serving eggs — surprise, surprise — on Easter Sunday. Why not shake things up with this unexpected twist on a classic brunch dish?

Chef Eddie Hernandez, who grew up in Mexico but now describes himself as a born-again Southern boy, says he "can't get enough" of these deviled eggs with homemade pimento cheese, which he features in his new cookbook "Turnip Greens and Tortillas." Hernandez can't take all the credit, though: The dish itself takes inspiration from the family of David Waller, a North Carolina native who works as the head chef of Hernandez's Sol Catering.

"[It's] a great example of how the right chile can add a welcome and unexpected jolt to a classic Southern dish," says Hernandez.

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Put a unique spin on this year's Easter brunch with a zesty plate of devilied eggs — but be sure to consider doubling or tripling in case you, too, find that you "can't stop" eating them.

Ingredients

Pimento Cheese:
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pimentos or 2 tablespoons roasted, peeled, and finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons stemmed, dry-roasted, finely chopped jalapenos (remove some or all of the seeds and membranes for less heat)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce (such as Texas Pete)
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Devilied Eggs:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1½ cups pimento cheese (recipe follows)
  • 24 slices bread and butter pickles

Instructions

Pimento Cheese:

  1. Combine the cheese, pimentos, jalapenos, black pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise and gently stir to combine. Use immediately, or chill overnight to allow the flavors to develop

Deviled Eggs:

  1. Place the eggs in a large saucepan. Cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. 
  2. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest in the water until you can immerse your hand in it, about 20 minutes. Drain off the hot water and cover the eggs with cold water and then drain.
  3. Crack and peel the eggs. Halve them lengthwise, remove the yolks, and reserve for another use. Or mash some or all of them into the Pimento Cheese with more mayonnaise to moisten, as needed.
  4. Fill each egg half with 1 tablespoon of the pimento cheese mixture. Top with 1 slice bread and butter pickle. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 1 day before serving.