Deli-Style Egg Salad (and how to hard-boil an egg)

7 Jan

Egg salad, in my opinion, is one of the world’s best comfort foods. Slather a spoonful onto soft white bread (I’m aware that we’re not supposed to eat that anymore. Tough simple carb noogies) and flash back to elementary school and simpler times. Yum.

It’s taken me a whole long time to figure out why my egg salad never tasted as good as the stuff from the deli counter, but a Google search for simple recipes this morning educated me.

It’s sugar. Just a pinch turns this simple food from pretty good to yeah, that’s the stuff. Amazing that it never occurred to me.

The next hurdle is hard-boiling eggs, which can be tricky business. And the first tip here is to use eggs that aren’t the freshest in the case. You want a little oxygen between the egg and the shell to make for easy peeling, and uber-fresh eggs don’t have that.

Put your eggs in a saucepan and cover them with about two inches of water. Place that over a burner on medium-high and let it come to a boil, uncovered. As soon as it boils, shut the heat off, clap the lid on your pot. and let it sit there. Fourteen minutes. I know most people say 12, but I prefer my eggs a touch firmer. So 14 it is.

At 14 minutes, use a spoon to lift the eggs out of the hot water and plunge them into ice water in a bowl. Leave them there for a good 10 minutes, and then pop them in the fridge for later or peel right away for now.

So. Egg salad. There’s a lot of debate over crunchy vs smooth, relish vs. plain, celery vs. none. The rule is that there is no rule. Make it the way you like it. My recipe is for very basic, plain-Jane egg salad, but feel free to toss some pickle relish in, or a little dried dill, onions, celery…whatever you like. I doubt Mrs. Cleaver spent a lot of time obsessing over this one, and you shouldn’t either.

I had this for lunch yesterday and it really hit the spot. To make it, you’ll need:

2 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled.

2 tbsp mayonnaise (I use the light variety)

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/4 tsp sugar

a shake of salt

Chop eggs into small bits and place in a bowl. Combine with other ingredients, stirring gently with a spoon (don’t mush it up!). Add in crunchy, spicy, or savory bits at your whim. Refrigerate for a bit to let flavors combine, and then smooth it onto white bread and enjoy.

3 Responses to “Deli-Style Egg Salad (and how to hard-boil an egg)”

  1. krishna January 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    left a message on facebook about the green olives. i don’t like chunky egg salad so i discovered i can use my micro food processor to grind it up a bit to more of a paste. and i agree, fresh white bread with egg salad rocks!

  2. Megan January 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Best egg salad ever!!!

  3. mary m January 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    I have a bunch of eggs, and am planning to hard boil some….if I use lite mayo, it’ll work for weight watchers šŸ˜‰

    thanks for posting!

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