A hard-cooked egg that has been cut in half lengthwise and the yolk removed, mashed and mixed with any of various flavorings, such as minced fresh herbs, worcestershire sauce, mustard, curry powder, and so on. Other finely chopped ingredients including chives, toasted nuts, bell peppers, chutney, and so forth, may be added. Enough mayonnaise or sour cream is blended into the mixture to make it soft and moist. This mixture is spooned back into the egg-white halves, the top garnished with a sprinkle of paprika. Adding cayenne pepper or a hot sauce like tabasco pepper makes it a deviled egg.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.