I'd like to offer a very delicious and simple solution - egg salad. Egg salad is great because it is generally a pretty flexible dish in that you can add or take things in and out of it and still end up with a great salad that works well on a cracker or slapped between two slices of bread served with soup for an easy lunch or dinner. I am offering the most SIMPLE of egg salad recipes - with the most basic ingredients for filling, but will offer some options for additional add-ins for those who want to punch things up or take the salad in a different direction.
The MOST important thing for me in egg salad is TEXTURE. How does it feel in your mouth? I lean towards very small pieces of crunchiness in the middle of lots of fluffy bits of egg. How do you achieve this fluffy texture of egg? The answer is this - a FORK. It's not hard to do, but the BEST texture for egg salad occurs when you fork chop the egg. That means in a big bowl, you take the tines of the fork and you press it up against the egg and you keep using the tines of the fork to break up the eggs into fine and finer bits, until you have a very small pieces of egg, the whites and the yolks, all mixed up together. This cannot be achieved with a knife or a food processor; it must be done with the tines of the fork. It is amazingly easy to achieve and once you start you'll find lots of ways to entertain yourself while pressing the soft egg with the back of a fork. (I generally imagine myself squeezing different people who have upset me in my past.)
I thought I'd offer a quick tutorial on how to perfectly bowl an egg, because, after all, it's all about the texture, and there is truly something wrong with an egg salad that feels rubbery from over cooked eggs.
Egg boiling tutorial
In a pot large enough to fit your eggs, place eggs and add enough water to fully cover the eggs.
Place pot onto stove, covered. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. AS SOON AS THE WATER IS BOILING, turn off the heat, and let the eggs sit in the water, covered for 11 minutes. (12 if you are perhaps doing a LOT of eggs)
After the eggs have sat in the water, drain all the hot water, and quickly add cold water.
After eggs have cooled in the cold water for 5 minutes, peel.
Basic Egg Salad
Makes 3 sandwiches
6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup of mayo
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. With the back of a fork, press on and squish the egg pressing the pieces of egg through the tines of a fork.
Continue pressing on the eggs until all the pieces are uniform in shape and very fine.
Add mayonnaise, shallots, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve on bread or eat as it is.
*Different add in options
1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, omit parsley from this version
1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped (reduce salt if you do this)
2 tablespoons finely chopped smoked salmon with 2 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoons finely chopped green olives
Basic egg salad on whole wheat bread, with crispy bacon and crunchy romaine lettuce.