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Fear Conquered: Homemade Egg Salad
“What are you doing?!” my mom gasps in horror, rushing to grab the pot from my hands.
I stare dumbfounded at the cracked, hard-boiled eggs draining in the colander. I don’t even remember doing it. “I forgot,” I croak, horrified at the little dents and cracks staring up at me. I quickly set the pot down and step aside to let my mom examine the graveyard of once perfectly smooth, hard-boiled eggs.
She half-groans, half-laughs. “Oh gosh, Mark. These were the last of the eggs…” She quickly checks each egg, turning each critically and slumping a bit with each inspection. “I don’t have any more,” she says, a tiny bit of frustration seeping through. “I need at least six to be able to do this.”
It’s Easter and I’m supposed to be in charge of cooking hard-boiled eggs for dying. So we can make little hard-boiled egg-sheep for my nephews. Still hot with embarrassment, I watch mom gingerly lift out six eggs with barely perceptible cracks. The survivors. But honestly, it’s a wonder any survived my rigorous dump-and-drain routine.
“I think we can use these six,” my mom says, her voice a little desperate. “Six,” she moans, “out of fourteen!”
“Sorry, Mom,” I say. And I am. Really, really sorry. “I’m so used to draining and peeling the eggs after cooking them, I didn’t even think about it.”
Which is true. I never dye eggs. But I hard-boil eggs for peeling all the time. Especially this year. I’ve been making egg salad for the past six months and since the eggs are the most time-consuming part, I’ve become exceedingly efficient at dumping, draining and peeling eggs.
And that’s great - if you’re making egg salad. Less so if you plan to dye the eggs.
But if you do end up destroying your hard-boiled eggs in a frenzy of draining efficiency, don’t fret. Make egg salad. It’s so easy, you can whip it up before you have time to cry over broken eggs. And it’s so beautiful, you can serve it to guests in a lofty homemade sandwich tower. Or as an appetizer with cracker rounds. Or - my favorite - as a simple lunch spread between slices of hearty bread.
Fortunately, mom is forgiving and a few cracked eggs can’t dampen Easter. “It’s probably a good thing we didn’t try to make 14 sheep,” my mom even confides as we finish transforming the last of the surviving eggs into a surprisingly adorable pink sheep. “These are a lot of work.”
“That’s true,” I say, still feeling bad about the eight mangled eggs. “But regardless, next year I think you should drain the eggs.” She laughs and agrees.
“Unless we’re making egg salad,” she says and we both smile. Because that I can do.
STORY | PRINTABLE RECIPE | HUNGRY FOR TIPS?
|12 hard boiled eggs.|
|Peel the eggs.|
|Dice the eggs (I recommend an egg-slicer).|
|Add the diced eggs to a medium-sized bowl.|
|Finely dice 2 stalks of celery.|
|Finely dice 2 Tablespoons of yellow onion.|
|Mince fresh dill (you will need 3 Tablespoons).|
|You will need 1/2 cup of homemade mayonnaise.|
|Mix all the ingredients together along with 4 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard, 2 Tablespoons of drained capers, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper.|
|Thoroughly mix all the ingredients, then cover and chill the egg salad for at least an hour.|
|Serve chilled egg salad with fresh homemade bread.|
STORY | PHOTO TUTORIAL | HUNGRY FOR TIPS?
Homemade Egg Salad
Prep Time: 30 min
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Ingredients (serves 6)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and thoroughly mix. Check seasoning and adjust as necessary. Cover and chill the egg salad for at least one hour; serve chilled with homemade bread.
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Hungry for Tips?
- Hard Boiled Eggs: Boiling eggs is the hardest part of this salad. And peeling the eggs is probably the most time-consuming. So check out my hard boiled eggs tutorial for technique and tips.
- Egg-slicer: You can slice and dice the eggs with a sharp knife if you insist, but a good egg-slicer makes quick work of an otherwise tedious task. With this admittedly single-purpose gadget, It only takes about 2 minutes to dice 12 eggs.
- Mustard: Some people don’t love mustard. Me, I love it. So I use a full 4 teaspoons for my egg salad. But if you’re less of a mustard fan, start with 2 teaspoons and go from there.
- Homemade Mayonnaise: There is one sure-fire way to improve almost any salad - homemade mayonnaise. So if you're serious about making a tastier egg salad, make your own mayonnaise. Then worry about everything else.