During the past year at The Chopping Block, I have taught a lot of cooking classes. One thing that I can always count on is students asking questions, which I love. And if I don’t know the answer, we can figure it out together, which I also love. There's always something new to learn in cooking! One topic I get asked about constantly, regardless of the class, is eggs. People want to know the best way to hard boil them, how to poach them, etc.
I like to think that cooking eggs is a true test of a chef’s ability, because they are very easy to overcook and take a decent amount of skill to accomplish well. This was my inspiration for working with Chef Sara Salzinski, who creates the class curriculum, on coming up with an entire class about cooking eggs, Culinary Concepts: Egg Cookery.
In this new class, we will teach you how to make eggs several different ways, but for this blog we are going to focus on making hard-boiled eggs and turning them into egg salad. I think egg salad is one of those dishes that gets overlooked a lot because chances are we’ve probably all eaten some pretty terrible egg salad in our time.
I really like this recipe because of the addition of Dijon mustard and fresh herbs. I love the tang that this dish gets from the Dijon mustard, the subtle oniony flavor it gets from the chives, and the nice earthy flavor it gets from the addition of fresh dill. The versatility of this dish is a nice factor as well. It can be eaten on its own or scooped up with your favorite cracker or turned into a delicious sandwich. I actually like to add tuna to this egg salad recipe to make a pretty fantastic tuna sandwich. If it pleases you, you could actually make a really great tuna melt!
Egg salad is one of those dishes that always makes me think of being a kid. My mom made egg salad a lot when we were kids. There were four hungry boys in the house, and eggs were are very easy and inexpensive way to keep all of us fed and a good source of protein for growing boys. My mom is a great cook, but she kept her egg salad a little simpler than the recipe we use here at The Chopping Block. It was still very good, but I like the recipe I have included at the end of this blog because it is a little more fancy but still very easy to make.
There are a few tricks to making a really good egg salad:
1. Always start the eggs in cold water. This will cook the eggs more gently and by shocking them in cold water after boiling we can avoid the green yolk factor that we’ve all done by overcooking our eggs.
2. Use just enough mayonnaise to bind everything together. No one likes egg salad that is drowning in mayonnaise.
3. Chop your herbs and veggies very finely so that they don’t overshadow the eggs which are the star of the show. Also, chopping everything finely will make the egg salad easier to eat as a sandwich.
Following these simple tips will lead to delicious and easy to make egg salad which is always a good thing! If you are interested in other egg dishes be sure to check out Culinary Concepts: Egg Cookery Sunday January 5 at The Merchandise Mart.
Hard Boiled Eggs
TCB Kosher salt to taste
1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 9 minutes.
3. Using a skimmer, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Allow to cool completely.
4. Once cool, peel the eggs, sprinkle with salt and enjoy.
8 hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 rib celery, small dice
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, very thinly sliced
TCB fine sea salt and pepper to taste
8 slices rye bread, lightly toasted
4 leaves red or green leaf lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1. Rough chop the eggs and place them in a large bowl.
2. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, celery, dill, chives, salt and pepper. Gently stir the mixture until well combined.
3. Check the seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
4. To build the sandwiches, distribute the lettuce on four slices of the rye bread followed by 1-2 slices of the tomato. Top with the egg salad followed by the remaining slices of bread.
5. Cut the sandwiches in half, and enjoy.