Thursday, April 9, 2009

74. Classic Egg Salad

Date Cooked: March 24, 2009
Page: 122
Rating: B+

I have more eggs than we can reasonably eat so I am looking for recipes in the book that use large quantities of eggs. I figured this was a good go… and it definitely used more eggs than required.

The first part of this recipe is to make hard-boiled eggs. Now most of us probably have our own timing conventions for creating the best hard-boiled egg. Well the book has its own recipe for Foolproof Hard-Boiled eggs. For the record I am now lower in status than a fool. Seems a fool could make these eggs but not I, The Mediocre Cook! You place the eggs in water and then bring to a boil. Once boiling you remove from the heat and let sit in the water for 10 minutes. After that they get 5 minutes in an ice bath before being ready to peel.

Ok, so I am supposed to peel the shells off these eggs. The book gives a nice little illustration that shows how easy it is. The shell will slip away from the egg in a nice strip attached to the thin membrane surrounding the egg. SO I gently crack the egg all over and from the air pocket in the egg I begin peeling. A huge chunk of egg breaks away still attached to the shell. Mmmm.., maybe I was too rough, let’s proceed carefully. More egg comes away with the shell before the entire thing splits with a slightly undercooked egg white spilling out from around the creamy golden yolk. I’m frustrated at this point. I have not elevated to cursing yet because my kids are within earshot but this isn’t going well. Maybe this is just one bad egg. I move on to the next one. Well before I did that I popped the yolk in my mouth. It was perfectly cooked and delicious.

Egg number two. With the care of a surgeon I gently crack the shell all over and begin to peel. The shell carefully slips away from the egg. I pause so I don’t get too excited before proceeding. A little more… then the whole egg splits and a huge chunk comes off with the shell. The same undercooked egg white interior with a creamy golden center. That yolk saw the inside of my stomach before I tossed the rest in the compost. I figured these little buggers needed some more time in the boiling water. So I placed two eggs into boiling water (to replace the two I broke). I figured that I was going to try the original method of boiling eggs. Boil them until done. As these neared completion I added the other four back into the water. Once all were done I started the process of peeling again.

The first one peeled cleaned and I was thinking happy thoughts, like I had pulled myself back from the edge of despair. The second showed similar results and I was confident that these eggs were going to work. Until I tried to peel number 3, 4, 5 and 6, These must have been the originals. They didn’t improve one bit. They were cooked on the inside better but the shell, inner membrane and egg white formed a single inseparable bond. Into the compost they went. So I have ruined 6 eggs and need to boil 4 more. This is becoming a full-time job and the only reason I was doing all this was to make sandwiches for work the next day.

Anyway the four eggs came out nicely and I was ready to move on the supposedly hard part, mixing them together. The book says to chop the eggs and then mix them with the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, minced celery and red onion. I chopped only the egg whites since the yolks kept sticking to the knife. I then mashed the yolks into the mixture. I liked this much better.

Rating: B+. The egg salad was good. Maybe a little runny but the flavor was really good. I remember hating egg salad sandwiches growing up as I always associated them with the food trashy people would eat. I don’t mean to offend but there was this one kid in my elementary school that brought one every day and he was filthy and always wore clothes that were dirty and absolutely didn’t match. I am not one to talk fashion but even I didn’t wear dress shirts tucked into sweat pants. Anyway, kids can be mean and I always thought of him when I saw egg salad sandwiches.


  1. Don't fret, it wasn't you. Fresh eggs don't peel for crap. They need to be several days old before the airspace in the shell is large enough to let them peel easily when hard-cooked.

    I've had trouble with that 'foolproof' method too. One theory I've come up with is that the eggs need to be covered with water by *at least* an inch so the water has enough mass hold enough heat to cook them all the way through off the heat. I cheat, though, and boil them for a minute or two before removing from the heat and covering.

    I don't care if there's green stuff around the yolk -- I hate them undercooked!

  2. 10 minutes is not enough near enough time sitting in the hot water. I used to let mine sit for 13 but even then the yolks sometimes were a little runny--now I let them boil for a minute, take them off and cover for 15. Then the cold water bath.

    And Liz is right--fresh eggs are a pain in the ass to peel. I do mine under running water, which helps me get under that papery "skin".

  3. That egg salad sandwich looks good!


LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs