We’ve all seen deviled eggs countless times before, but what about deviled mushrooms? My first encounter was in James Beard’s American Cookery, that wonderful trove of American recipes that date back to when the U.S. was a wee infant. Though the practice of adding hot spices to eggs appears to date back to Ancient Rome, the term “deviled” came into common usage in the US in the late 1700s to early 1800s to refer to any spicy dish.
The index of American Cookery shows a couple handfuls of recipes for foods we used to devil often, including crab, scallops, beef bones, and veal kidneys. They all used either cayenne or Tabasco for flavoring. I ended up making the mushrooms, with a bit less oil and a bit more Tabasco than the recipe calls for; what was considered spicy generations ago is considered mild now.