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~ Simplicity: Creamy, Crunchy "Classic" Egg Salad ~

IMG_6302Do you remember the first time you ate the best egg salad you ever tasted in your life?  The one that changed the way you felt about egg salad forever?  The kind that when you "smooshed" down on it, the bread melted around and into every bite?   I do and I was 18.  I had just graduated from high school a week earlier and was dating my future fiance at the time.  His mother invited me to lunch on her patio.  She made egg salad sandwiches and served them with a simple cucumber and tomato salad dressed with, to this day, my all-time favorite vinaigrette.

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd pay tribute to a mother-in-law today!

Is there such a thing as "classic" or "traditional" egg salad?

IMG_4783In my opinion, just like its tuna salad cousin, not in terms of a formal recipe.  When I use the words classic or traditional in the context of egg salad, I think of the special way my mother made it for me or your grandmother made it for you. After all, egg salad only really requires four things:  eggs, mayonnaise, celery and onion. That's what I thought until I tasted my future mother-in-laws, which contained no celery or onions!

(Note:  For the other staple of our office-sandwich generation (pictured just above), you can find my recipe for ~ Creamy, Chunky, Crunchy "Classic" Tuna Salad ~ in Categories 2 or 4!)

Meet the egg salad recipe that doesn't make you miss the tuna!

IMG_6378Until that afternoon, I had always considered egg salad a bit of a letdown.  To me, egg salad was just tuna salad without the tuna.  Good, but nothing to write home about. Then, I tasted Phylliss's: The eggs were tender, perfectly cooked, and, she chopped the whites separately from the yolks, which gave it a lovely visual appeal.  It got its crunch from sweet pickles rather than celery, and, it contained no onion, which allowed the other ingredients to be the star of the show.  Dijon mustard provided the classic egg salad tang, and, a bit of sugar and sweet gherkin juice gave it a sweet edge that made me want to eat it all day long!

6a0120a8551282970b0147e274afe9970b-800wiShortly after I got married, I asked her for her recipe and to this day I haven't changed one thing, except:

6a0120a8551282970b016767f23475970b-800wiI always serve it on my recipe for ~ Bread Machine Basics & My Brioche Recipe ~, which can be found in Categories 5, 15 or 18.  I also make it with with homemade mayonnaise. ~ How to: Make Mayonnaise ("Mayo") ~ is in Categories 8, 15 or 20!

IMG_6257If you're a purist like me, make the bread and the mayonnaise first.  If not, decide on your favorite bread and substitute ONLY Hellman's Mayonnaise, which is what Phyliss used.  Now you need to hard-cook:

8  jumbo eggs

as directed in my recipe for ~ A Little Thing Called:  Boiling Eggs ~, which can be found in Category 15.

Note:  I decided I like to use jumbo eggs for egg salad because of their 2:1 ratio of white to yolk.

IMG_6274Peel the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.  Dice each into 1/4" bits and pieces.

IMG_6279There's no need to point out these are liquid measures.  I am using them to show:  8 jumbo eggs will result in:

2  cups diced egg whites

1  cup diced egg yolks

which you'll need for this recipe...

IMG_6282... along with:

1/2-3/4 cup diced, sweet midget gherkins, I use 3/4 cup

6  tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade, Hellman's may be substituted

2  teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons gherkin juice

2  teaspoons sugar

freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend, to taste

IMG_6297 IMG_6293                                        In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, Dijon, gherkin juice and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste (I used 8 grinds of salt and 24 grinds of pepper).  

Add the diced egg whites, yolks and gherkins.  Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold until thoroughly combined.  Transfer to a food storage container and place in the refrigerator until well-chilled, several hours or overnight.

IMG_6366Simplicity:  Creamy, Crunchy "Classic" Egg Salad:  Recipe yields 3 cups or 6, 1/2 cup servings or enough for 6 sandwiches.

Special Equipment List:  8-quart stockpot; cutting board; chef's knife; whisk; rubber spatula

6a0120a8551282970b015391a193c2970b-800wiCook's Note:  If you'd like to try my mother-in-law's vinaigrette (the one I spoke about above), you can find my recipe for ~ A Roasted Beet, Apple, Onion, Orange & Toasted Walnut Salad w/:  My Favorite Vinaigrette ~ in Categories 2, 4 or 14.  I keep a bottle of it in my refrigerator at all times!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)


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