Jacques Pepin’s Weird and Wonderful Recipe Is Better Than Deviled Eggs (2024)

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It's surprisingly delicious.


Sara Haas

Sara Haas

Sara Haas RDN, LDN, is a food and nutrition expert with formal training in the culinary arts. She works as a freelance writer, recipe developer, media authority, public speaker, and consultant dietitian/chef. Sara has over 20 years of experience as a registered and licensed dietitian. She has also been a professional chef for 15 years and a food photographer for 10 years.

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Published on 11/24/23

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Jacques Pepin’s Weird and Wonderful Recipe Is Better Than Deviled Eggs (1)

I always keep a carton of eggs in my refrigerator. They’re a lifesaver for when hunger strikes and I need something nourishing to eat that’s also quick and easy to make. I typically resort to the usual preparations, relying on either scrambling or frying. If I have some foresight, I’ll hard-boil a few as a gift to my future self. I’ll peel them and season with salt and pepper and that’s enough to satisfy. But when I came across the unique way that Jacques Pépin prepares his hard-boiled eggs, I knew I had to give it a try.

A Mother’s Touch

Pépin is a culinary great, known around the world for his impeccable cooking skills and impressive food. That’s why I was surprised to hear that one of his favorite meals was one that his mother used to make for him. It was a family favorite with a humble main ingredient: eggs.

She would hard-boil them, mix the yolks with seasonings, and stuff them back into the egg white halves. Then she would sear them, stuffed-side-down, in oil in a hot pan and serve them with a tangy vinaigrette. Pépin lovingly named them, “Oeufs Jeanette,” after his mother.

How To Make Oeufs Jeanette

Pépin begins the recipe as his mother did, with hard-boiling eggs. Once cool, peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk and place in a bowl along with a bit of minced garlic, fresh chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and a splash of milk. Smash and mix with a fork, then stuff into the egg white halves, leaving a bit of yolk mixture behind to make the vinaigrette.

Jacques Pepin’s Weird and Wonderful Recipe Is Better Than Deviled Eggs (3)

Heat a bit of neutral oil in a skillet, then add the eggs, stuffed-side down, and cook until the filling is golden-brown and caramelized, one to two minutes. To make the vinaigrette, whisk extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and water with the leftover yolk mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the eggs to a plate and serve with the vinaigrette.

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I’m Smitten

I’m often left feeling under-whelmed by recipes these days. They’re either too complicated or require steps or ingredients that don’t seem necessary. Or worse, they just don’t taste good. This recipe is none of those things. It’s absolute perfection.

The filling is deliciously seasoned and the caramelized crust of the filling feels rich and decadent. The accompanying vinaigrette is essential. It balances the dish, adding the perfect acidic kick to cut through the creaminess of the eggs. I’m a fan and forever smitten and am already dreaming of the next time I make it.

Jacques Pepin’s Weird and Wonderful Recipe Is Better Than Deviled Eggs (5)


The recipe is straight-forwad and easy to execute, but there are a few things that might be helpful to know before you give them a try:

  1. Prep the eggs: If you have the time, consider hard-boiling the eggs up to one day in advance of making. This will save you time and make prep much more enjoyable.
  2. Substitute ingredients: If you’re out of garlic, no problem! Substitute one-eighth teaspoon garlic powder for one clove of garlic (which is about what you’ll need for this recipe). As for the parsley, fresh is nice, but not necessary. You can substitute dried, about one-quarter teaspoon, or leave it out entirely.
  3. Heat your pan: Searing requires heat. Set your pan over medium-high heat and then add a neutral oil. It might need a minute or so to heat up. Once the oil moves around easily in the pan (it kind of looks like water, less viscous than the cold oil you started with), add the eggs and don’t touch them. They need constant contact with the oil and pan to get the caramelization you’re after!

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