Thursday, December 26, 2013

Egg Salad 101

Egg Salad
By The Covered Dish
Debbie Dance Uhrig

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 The Ultimate egg!   In this cooks opinion it doesn't get much better than eggs.  Homemade egg salad, deviled eggs, poached eggs, hard boiled, over easy any way you name it eggs provide us with some wonderful protein.  Experienced cooks will probably look at the column this week and say:  'What-who doesn't know how to make egg salad?'  Well gang there's a great deal of folks who have never made this scrumptious down-home delicacy. 

How do you eat egg salad?  Well, I've been digging around and asking folks, here are some suggestions on how to enjoy this dish:

1.  Between two pieces of white bread, lettuce added, maybe a thin slice of tomato.
2.  With Crackers or inside celery.
3.  In a canapĂ©.
4.  Stuffed inside a large tomato as a full meal.
5.  Piped into small cherry tomatoes.

Is there anything specific that goes in egg salad?  Well, boiled eggs are a must, ha!

I always use a pickle of some sort.  Usually I don't use dill; I'll pull out sweet or bread and butter most frequently.  Pimento is a nice choice for color.  For added zip consider horseradish and different mustards, small green onions, celery, olives, and sweet peppers.  In the spice department I sometimes like to take egg salad down the curry road for a different twist.  Paprika, peppers, garlic powder and different salts can also add their own zing. 

How you approach your dressing is all based upon personal choice.  If I'm in a hurry I just chop the eggs and pickles and throw in mayonnaise and pickle juice and that's it!  If I want a more glamorous approach I will reserve 3 or 4 egg yolks and blend them into the dressing.  This gives a nice color and taste to the entire salad.  You will note that I did not use any sugar in the dressing.  Sometimes you'll find cooks added just a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the dressing.  I was going to use a 'bit' of mustard in this recipe, but I enjoyed the taste without, so it was omitted.

Today when I chopped the eggs I chopped them using my egg slicer turning the eggs both ways.  This gave my salad a more uniform look versus a free hand chop. 

Isn't it funny how we can remember when and where we ate our best dishes.  I can remember driving to Colorado one summer and eating egg salad sandwiches all the way through the states of Kansas and Colorado!  I was convinced I was not going to spend money on fast food as I made my 13-14 hour journey to Steamboat Springs.  If you're on a budget egg salad is definitely a good choice for a family meal every other week or so.  Summer carry-in dinners would be complemented with a large dish of this salad.  You'll be surprised how fast it is consumed!

One of my biggest tips is directed towards the boiling of the eggs.  Your salad will look and taste better if you don't overcook the eggs.  My usual process is as follows:  Place eggs in cold water with 1-2 teaspoons of salt bringing eggs to a hard boil for ten minutes.  Remove from heat, drain off water and replace with cold water.  Shake the eggs around a bit cracking the shells.  Allow to cool in the cold water.  The water will find its way under the shell easing the removal later.  *Overcooked eggs turn green around the outer edges.  The longer they're overcooked the greener they will get.  Regarding the salt in the boiling water:  Many feel the salt added to the water helps the shell comes off easier.

Another method for boiling eggs is to bring the eggs to a hard boil, put a lid over the pot and then turn off the heat.  Leave eggs for about 20 minutes, and then cool.  I have never preferred this method.

Let's get to the recipe, it's easy, very tasty and oh so comforting.  Simply Yours, The Covered Dish.

Egg Salad 101
14 hard boiled eggs
   (Reserve 3 yolks for the dressing.)
1/2 cup finely chopped bread and butter pickles
1 tablespoon 'finely' chopped sweet onion

3 reserved egg yolks1 cup mayonnaise1/8 cup pickle juice1/2 teaspoon Black Kettle Seasoning, (Substitute with a nice all-purpose seasoning salt.)1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper 
Yields:  5 cups of salad

Hard boil the eggs, cooling in cold water.  For uniformity chop the eggs using an egg slicer.

Reserve 3 yolks for the dressing.  Chop the eggs, pickles and onion and combine in a bowl.  Using a fork crumble the 3 egg yolks then add the remaining dressing ingredients.  Make the mixture extremely smooth.  Consider using a submersible hand blender to make it very creamy.  Gently stir the dressing into the eggs, pickles and onions.  Place in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Yum...

*If you don't want an abundance of egg salad certainly cut the recipe in half. 

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