Even the most seasoned egg devil-ler makes mistakes. When paired with a stubborn refusal to measure anything, an unbridled enthusiasm for mayonnaise or a faulty mustard bottle can result in a devilled egg filling that’s just a little too heavy on the condiments. Instead of being creamy — yet fluffy — too much mayo or mustard renders the insides of your eggs liquidy and unpleasant. Luckily, all is not lost, you just need some instant mashed potatoes.
Instant mashed potatoes are an unfairly maligned product (due to classism, I’m guessing). Not only do they make a great pot of gnocchi, but the starchy flakes are an excellent thickening agent. They’re commonly used to thicken soups and stews, but you can also use them to save a batch of runny devilled eggs (or just bulk up your filling to make it stretch a little further).
Exactly how many potato flakes you use depends on how runny your filling is, so add them slowly — a few teaspoons at a time — and mix well between each addition. The flakes will be a little crunchy at first, but they will soften as they absorb the moisture from the filling. If you’re concerned about texture, you can always toss the filling in the food processor or blender to make it smoother.
Does this make your devilled eggs taste like potatoes? Only if you add a whole lot, but even then the result isn’t unpleasant. I pushed this tip quite far by adding two tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes to a mere four egg yolks — and I was (obviously) able to taste the ‘tates, but I liked it. It might not be the most traditional devilled egg, but it would absolutely rule with a crispy bacon lardon and a sprinkling of chives.