An original comfort food
Egg salad sandwiches are a comfort food to many of us because they are a special occasion food. They are popular for picnics, family luncheons and other special occasions. Many of us busy parents haven't continued the tradition because egg salad sandwiches are something that has to be planned a bit.in order for the eggs to be chilled.
Jorj Morgan, author of At Home In The Kitchen: The Art of Preparing the Foods You Love to Eat, says comfort food was what your Mom gave you when you were needing attention or is attached to a special time. For her that was egg salad sandwiches.
"I love it because we ate it almost every Friday afternoon growing up," remembers Morgan." We had a Friday fasting tradition of no meat until midnight. We snacked on egg salad until the clock struck 12 -- and then we were on to barbecued sausage sandwiches -- now that's comfort!"
Like Mom used to make -- only better!
Some of the egg salad sandwich recipes you find now are a far cry from the kind your Mom used to make. Why is egg salad so easy to change? Morgan feels it's because of the innate flexibility of eggs. "I think that an egg is easily "accessorized" because of it's ever-changing texture," she says. "The taste is not overwhelming and lends itself to fresh herbs and ground spices. My curried egg salad sandwich recipe is an excellent example of bumping up the flavor of an hard boiled egg."
The list of what you can add to an egg salad sandwich is only limited by your imagination and taste buds. Hummus, olives, different types of cheeses and vegetables are only a few of the ways you can spice up your sandwich. Once you have the basic recipe down, the sky's the limit!
As far as condiments, it's up to you. "I think that this is definitely personal preference," Morgan believes. "I use Vidalia, Spanish and green onions and all types of mayo in my salads. I also like to incorporate a touch of spicy mustard with egg salad."
Morgan feels that absolutely all breads work well with egg salad. "I suggest whole wheat when topping egg salad with avocado and sprouts, rye bread for egg salad topped with red onion, tomato and mustard and good old white butter bread for egg salad, with extra mayo and a slice of white cheddar."
Pitfalls to watch out for when creating your egg salad sandwich
As easy as they are to construct, there are a few things you need to look out for. "You have to be careful not to make a soggy sandwich," Morgan advises. "Overcome the mushy problem by layering your sandwich with moisture catchers. Layer bread, condiment, well-dried lettuce and then the egg salad. Top with more lettuce or a slice of Swiss cheese and then the remaining slice of bread."
Another flavor buster is over salting the salad. How much salt you add is personal preference, but egg salad seems to be an easy dish to go overboard on. You don't want to end up with an entire bowl of sandwich fixings no one can eat!
A word on egg safety
Morgan says keeping the eggs in the container they come in is the best way to store them. "Do not transfer them to the cute egg holder on your refrigerator door."
Fresh eggs are best used within two weeks. Refrigerated boiled eggs will keep for about a week. Egg salad should be kept chilled at all times. If you are using egg salad on a buffet table, keep it on ice. If that is not an option, discard leftovers that have been sitting out for more than an hour. Store egg salad in an air tight container in a refrigerator for one to two days.
Basic Egg Boiling 101
Place eggs gently in a pot and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring the pot to a boil over high or medium high heat, then lower the heat and simmer. They will need to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs. Drain the hot water off the eggs and rinse immediately in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Jorj's Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
Here is a delightful salad that is full of flavor and makes an excellent sandwich.
12 hard boiled eggs, peeled, sliced in half
4 green onions, thinly sliced (about ï¿½ cup)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 thin white bread slices
1 medium cucumbers, cut into thin diagonal strips (about 2 cups)
1. Place eggs, onion, and parsley into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop thoroughly.
2. Add the mayonnaise to the bowl and pulse to combine.
3. Add the curry powder and pulse briefly. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Lay 6 pieces of bread onto a work surface.
5. Spread each slice with mayonnaise. Top with thin cucumber slices, egg salad, and a second bread slice.
6. Trim the crusts from the sandwiches and cut into triangles.
Serves 6. Preparation time: 20 minutes
Greek Egg Salad Roll Up
6 eggs, hard cooked and diced
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Garlic salt
1/8 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/2 cup kalmeta olives, chopped
1/4 cup feta
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix together the eggs, Miracle Whip and seasonings. Mix in chopped olives. Refrigerate till chilled. Place a small amount,1/4 to 1/2 cup, in each pita and wrap. Makes four to six sandwiches depending on how much egg salad you like in each pita.
Open-Face Deviled Egg Sandwich
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickle
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar or American cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon Dried mustard
Combine hard-cooked eggs, celery, sweet pickle, green onion and pimiento. Stir together mayonnaise, shredded cheese, mustard and salt; toss with egg mixture. Cover and chill. Serve open faced on a bagel.