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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Garden Variety Delicious:

There are very few things that are more humble and down to earth than creamy egg salad sandwiched between slices of toasty bread and crisp cool sheets of lettuce. Of course, this is the nostalgic memory of egg salad not the spongy, stick-to-your-teeth white bread and mayonnaise heavy reality you find in the refrigerated section of your nearest d-hall. But let's not dwell on the negative here, egg salad can still be your friend!

A really good egg salad has three elements. One, perfectly cooked boiled eggs. Eggs that are boiled to death make for grainy, tasteless egg salad. Two, a friendly but not obsessive ratio of mayonnaise "mixture" to egg. Shying away from the traditional "mayo only" base is a great idea. Sour cream, for example, partners perfectly with eggs and mayonnaise to create an even tastier, tangier base. Three, accompaniments that brighten the flavor and lighten the overall "heaviness" of your run of the mill commercial kitchen spread are vital. A recipe I found at Epicurious.com from "Bon Appetit Magazine" (2006) fit the bill quite nicely. I loved the smooth tang a little sour cream imparted when mixed with the mayonnaise. Initially, lemon zest seemed a strange here but it really does impart something special. (You already know how I feel about lemons). The addition of fresh peas, or frozen in a pinch, ads a subtle sweetness that is contrasted beautifully by the cheeky zip of Dijon mustard. The peas were inspired by another recipe I saw in passing that chalked the "salad" full of veggies. But, who doesn't like peas? With a little extra chopping "Sour Cream, Lemon and Herb Deviled Eggs" become the perfect summer sandwich spread ready for picnics, easy suppers or just a little TLC. I mean, whose Mom didn't make them egg salad sandwiches for field trips or car rides to summer camp?

Notes: Condiments like mayonnaise and mustard keep splendidly in the fridge which means you don't have to resupply very often. Before being opened these items can be stored in the pantry so stock up when there is a sale and save money later. Remember, use any older eggs first when making boiled eggs. They will be easier to peel than fresh eggs. If your roommate's six pack is taking up too much space lemons can always be left at room temperature before being used. If a picnic is in your future sandwich the egg salad with pieces of lettuce and then your bread of choice. This will keep the bread from getting soggy. Wrap tightly with sandwich wrap and be sure to keep in a cooler or refrigerated lunch box before enjoying.

Shopping List:
1/2 dozen eggs
1 lemon
sour cream
fresh (frozen) peas

Serves 2 generous sandwiches

3 eggs, boiled and shelled
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon spicy mustard (Dijon or whole grain would be great)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas (defrosted and drained)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, covered.
2. Let the eggs boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the eggs sit, still covered, for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water until the eggs are no longer warm. Peel, discarding shells.
3. Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest and mustard in a bowl.
4. Cut the eggs lengthwise, scooping out the yolks into the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Reserve the whites.
5. Using a fork break up the yolks and mix evenly into the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Dice the egg whites and mix into the yolk mixture along with the peas. Stir to combine.
7. Serve on toasted bread with lettuce and tomato if desired.
Updated from original 6/25


  1. Score! Egg salad is always a fave with my mom and me :)

    Request? Spice Rack Essentials!

    Also, I realize this isn't a spice (even though it *is* in my spice rack to help kick up a dish, maybe it's more of a garnish?) but lately I've been sprinkling toasted sesame seeds on a lot of things (egg salad sandwiches included - which reminded me to bring it up). Perhaps it should make its way into that spice list?
    Those little seeds are quite magical :D
    Also, any other suggested meals my sesame seeds can make their way onto...

    Hearts & Stars

  2. This is very exciting! I saw cupcakes disguised as "hamburgers" recently and they had sesame seeds sprinkled on little "vanilla buns"! Too cute. I can think of a few recipes already in my file that could use some sesame seeds... your wish is my command. Thanks!

    If you make the egg salad tell me if you added more mayo or sour cream. Just curious :-)