You know how sometimes, there’s a food that you’ve never tried, but it just… weirds you out? And despite the fact that you’ve never had it, you’re just certain you won’t like it? Egg salad has always been one of those foods for me. Despite the fact that I really love hard-boiled eggs, egg salad has always just seemed kind of vaguely gross – the egg salad that exists in my head is overly gloppy, just a bit too warm, kind of flavorless, and sandwiched between two mushy pieces of white sandwich bread. Not awesome.
I randomly had a craving for egg salad a couple weeks ago (is it normal to have cravings for a food you’ve never eaten before?), and I decided to try my hand at crafting MY perfect egg salad sandwich. Something with a lot of flavor and texture, that felt like a MEAL, instead of a sandwich. And if I do say so myself, I was quite successful!
Not Your Mama’s Egg Salad Sandwich
makes enough for 4-6 sandwiches, depending on size
1/4 cup mayo
1 T whole grain mustard
1/2 t ground mustard
scant 1/4 tsp kosher salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup pickled cherry peppers (or pickled jalapeños), finely chopped
8-12 slices of bacon, cooked crisp (2 per sandwich)
one tomato, sliced into 4-6 slices
4-6 english muffins, toasted (I prefer Bay’s brand)
*Before we get into making our sandwiches, let’s chat briefly about hard-boiling eggs. There are as many “foolproof” methods for making a perfect hard-boiled egg as there are people who make them. Now, I can tell you how to cook them well – but I cannot help you when it comes to peeling them. The difficulty in peeling hard-boiled eggs is one of the great mysteries of the world. Some people will say that adding a splash of vinegar to your cooking water makes them easier to peel, some people say that letting them gradually cool is the secret, others day that you MUST use week-old eggs if you want them to peel cleanly…. and I am here to tell you that all of that advice is useless. I have tried every single crazy method I can find to make my hard-boiled eggs easier to peel, and none of them consistently work. I have found that fresh eggs have a TENDENCY to peel more cleanly – but that’s just MOST of the time, not all the time. Your mileage may vary. And since we’re going to be chopping them up for egg salad anyways, who cares if they’re ugly??
1.) First, we have to hard-boil our eggs. Place your eggs into a small pot (one that has a tight-fitting lid), and cover them with cold water, until there’s about 1/2″ of water above the surface of the eggs. Set the pot over high heat, and allow the water to come to a boil.
2.) Once the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat, and place the lid on the pot. Set a timer for 13 minutes, and go about your business elsewhere.
3.) Once the timer goes off, prepare an ice bath – just fill a large bowl about halfway with ice cubes, and then add cold water to fill the bowl 3/4 of the way to the top. Use a slotted spoon to move your eggs from the hot pot to the ice bath.
4.) Allow the eggs to sit in the ice bath until all the ice has melted, about 10 minutes. Then drain the water from the bowl, and add a second round of ice and water. After another 10-15 minutes, your eggs should be cool to the touch, which means they’re ready for peeling!
5.) Peel your eggs, and roughly chop them into a 1/4 – 1/2″ dice, adding them to a bowl as you go. Add your mayo, mustard, ground mustard, salt, and pepper, and gently mix everything together. If the mixture looks a little dry for your taste, feel free to add in some extra mayo until you reach your desired consistency.
6.) And now, it’s time to assemble our sandwiches. Make sure your toasted english muffins have had time to cool, and then top the bottom half with a couple heaping spoonfuls of egg salad. Top that with a healthy sprinkle of your pickled peppers, then a slice of tomato, two slices of bacon, and the top of the muffin. Devour immediately.
Of course, you don’t have to use english muffins for these sandwiches. My reason for using them was that I wanted something that could hold up to a hefty sandwich, and also provide some texture. I think the chewiness and crunch of the english muffin is a great balance for the really soft egg salad.
So, let’s just say that my husband and I have eaten more egg salad sandwiches in the last 2 weeks than we have in our entire lives, to this point. It’s just such a great combination of flavors – the nice earthy flavor of the whole grain mustard, the slight sharpness of the ground mustard, the smokiness of the bacon, the rich creaminess of the mayo, which is perfectly cut by the spice and acid of the pickled peppers… Heaven on a plate, I tell you.
Looks like egg salad is all grown up,