View Full Version : What exactly does "devilled" mean in cookery?

01-09-2006, 08:55 PM
Devilled kidneys -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devilled_kidneys:

Devilled kidneys is Victorian British breakfast dish consisting of lamb's kidneys cooked in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, mushroom ketchup, English mustard powder, butter, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Devilled eggs -- http://thefoody.com/cheese/devilledeggs.html:

6 Eggs, hard boiled and shelled
4 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Fresh Parsley

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
Remove the yolks and mash them with the mayonnaise, mustard, until smooth and velvety.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place equal amounts into hollows of each egg half.
Garnish with chopped parsley.

Devilled ham -- http://serve.com/CZBrats/Books/Breadalone/chap7/devilled.htm:

Cut some slices of raw ham rather less than 1/4" thick and cut two or three slits in each to prevent them from curling up when cooking, then spread one side of these slices with devil paste and sprinkle lightly with browned breadcrumbs. Place the slices on a greased baking tin and bake them in a good oven from 8 to 10 minutes or, if preferred, cook them under the broiler. When ready arrange the ham on a hot dish and serve immediately.

What do these things have in common, that they all come under the same name of "devilled"? What exactly does it mean to "devil" a dish?

01-09-2006, 09:02 PM
Mr. Webster says it means "to highly season."

01-09-2006, 09:06 PM
I looked up a couple different food dictionaries, and the most common definition is:

To combine a food with various hot or spicy seasonings such as red pepper, mustard or Tabasco sauce, thereby creating a deviled dish."

This is the definition on both epicurious.com (http://epicurious.com/cooking/how_to/food_dictionary/entry?id=2281) and HungryMonster.com (http://hungrymonster.com/Foodfacts/Glossary-Terms.cfm?Start_Loop=1&Types_Food_id_int=0&Food_vch=Demiglace&page_type=Search&pid=8) .

A slightly different definition is found at Linda's Culinary Dictionary (http://whatscookingamerica.net/Glossary/D.htm): "deviled - (1) A term describing food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating it is "deviled." Means a highly seasoned, chopped, ground, or whole mixture that is served hot or cold. Many foods, including eggs and crab, are served "deviled." (2) The term "deviled" referring to meat, fish, and cheese spreads, is somewhat different. Spiced potted meats have been popular for centuries. William Underwood introduced his famous deviled ham in 1867."

I think they're both basically the same thing; the second definition I posted is just in greater detail.

Mmmmmm, devilled eggs...mmmmmm! :D

Cat Jones
01-10-2006, 12:19 PM
Make it hotter than hell - hot enough for the very devil hisself ;-)

Paul in Qatar
01-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Dear Sam Johnson mentioned dining on 'deviled bones,' and that might be the first printed use of the word. It was a common word in cookery in the 17 and 1800s to describe a highly spiced dish. Kettner's Book of the Table (1877) noted the existence of two types of devil, wet and dry. The entry complained that the spices were getting out of hand at that time and threatened to 'annihilate ... the sense of taste.'

Devil's Food Cake, not 'Deviled' is an American invention from about 1900. It may have been a bit of a joke because of the sinful nature of such a rich cake. On the other hand, it may have simply been an excuse to say the 'curse word' devil in polite company.

01-10-2006, 01:29 PM
Kettner's Book of the Table (1877) noted the existence of two types of devil, wet and dry. The entry complained that the spices were getting out of hand at that time and threatened to 'annihilate ... the sense of taste.'

Knowing the Brits, that probably means some reckless cooks were using pepper as well as mustard . . .

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