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Creamy good egg salad

  • s

The thread on tuna fish sandwiches a few days ago made me think about egg salad sandwiches which is one of those things that I can't seem to get right, or at least to make the way I've had them in restaurants and delis.

I have a feeling the answer is "lots and lots of mayo" but it also seems to me that maybe the stuff I buy has a higher yolk to white ratio than what I make. Or, maybe the yolks are mashed separately. Mine seems too chunky and loose. And, I probably shouldn't add pickles since they seem to increase the looseness factor.

Any ideas for marvelous egg salad?

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  1. Instead of black pepper, I use white pepper and then add a pinch of garlic powder and salt. I don't personally like a lot of mayonnaise, I use just enough for the egg to stick together.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lulu

      I always slice my eggs in half and remove yolks. I break up yolks in a bowl, and I usually omit 2 or 3 yolks. Then I add the hardboiled whites to the bowl and dice them with a knife and fork in a cutting motion. This makes the yolks superfine, I don't like alot of yolk chunks in my egg salad. Add mayo (for me, it has to be Hellman's), salt, pepper, paprika and a dash of chili powder. Sometimes I add ranch dressing and omit the chili powder.

    2. Just saw a show on the food network last night where the 911 guy (can't remember his name) made what appeared to be a very good "egg salad", replacing the egg with tofu, adding lots of mayo, pepper, salt and a number of fresh herbs. His guest was impressed...less calories even with all the mayo. You should be able to locate the recipe on the foodtv web site.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bacchus

        Oh, yes. Tyler Florence. Or as he's known in my house "Tyyyyyyyyyyyler... sigh..." Wasn't he making Italian food last night?

        I made his Chicken and Dumplings on Sunday, which was wonderful (and even good reheated) but I had a Food 911 moment with my Food 911 recipe as the recipe for the sauce had two different flour measurements, 1 Tbsp and 1/4 cup. The first was probably the wrong one. Guess which I used? I don't always read all the way through.

      2. This recipe is really good. Not deli-style, but worth trying anyway.

        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Caviar

          Wow, that's a good looking recipe. I'll have to try that next.

          As it happens I just finished making some egg salad about an hour before logging onto Chowhound. Here's the recipe I used (first time). It came out pretty good, a little too olive-y for my taste, but I didn't use precise measurements. I prefer diced egg white.

          6 hard boiled eggs, finely grated or sieved
          1/4 C plus 2 T minced pimiento stuffed olives
          1/4 C plus 1 T mayo
          2 T minced green onion
          2 T minced parsley
          1 T prepared Dijon mustard
          Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
          Lettuce for garnish

          1. re: Caviar

            I'm really looking traditional here. Despite the fact that I love olives, I don't really want them in my egg salad. Same for pickles. More than ingredients, I think my problem is texture.

          2. d

            My way of making a creamy egg salad is to put the boiled eggs through a food mill(I can't stand chunky egg salad), then I add mayo, a touch of dijon and a small amount of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper...I also add finely sliced chives too. The food mill is the secret though and you can add whatever you like.

            7 Replies
            1. re: DodinBouffant

              I'm beginning to think this is the way to go and wondering, food mill or sieve? Which is less bother? I wonder if boiled eggs would go through a ricer? (Not that I have one but I do wonder)

              1. re: Sandra V

                Sieving the eggs will provide you with a similar texture but the food mill is much easier.

              2. re: DodinBouffant

                A food processor makes the creamiest egg salad.

                1. re: ironmom

                  The food processor doesn't provide the textural consistency that a food mill does. It's also pretty easy to overprocess and turn the eggs into a puree(which definetely has its uses, but that's another topic).

                  1. re: DodinBouffant

                    I like the creaminess it gives the yolks, as a dressing for the separately chopped whites.

                  2. re: ironmom

                    I also pulse with a food processor...I do that with all my "salads" (i.e. mayo-based tuna, chicken, turkey, ham, egg, etc.) But I am careful to only pulse to ensure the big chunks of white (which gross me out for some reason in egg salad) are sufficiently pulverized to the exact dimensions of the yolk. I find if I do this, I need less may to make a creamy egg salad.

                    1. re: IrishPotato

                      Someone on CH (on this thread?) said that they pushed hard boiled eggs through on the small part of the grater; I tried it and now I do it that way (I don't like big chunks of the white, either). I have to wear the mesh glove or I scrape my knuckles, too.

                      (I wouldn't like to clean the whole food processor.)

                2. Here's yet another prep variation: I hardboil the eggs, cool them, separate the yolks into a separate bowl and mash them fine. To the yolks, I add the mayo and mustard and seasonings, which makes a thick "dressing." Then I coarsely chop the egg whites (as large or fine as is preferred) and add them to the yolk dressing. Mix well.

                  1. Here's one that looks interesting, although I haven't yet tried it. Now I know what I am doing for lunch on Saturday, though!

                    Link: http://mmm-eat.com/dinner/spot.htm#eg...

                    1. You can reduce the chunkiness factor by chopping, grinding or mashing your eggs into tiny bits. I mash the whites right in with the yolks, with a fork. I suppose if I ever had to make a large quantity (I've never done more than six eggs at a time) I'd try a meat grinder.

                      Then I add just enough mayo to hold the mixture together. I'm a mayo fan as a rule, but too much here and you end up with a squishy sandwich. You can always spread a little more on your bread.

                      I like to flavor my egg salad with salt, pepper, and a bit of mustard. Sometimes I add a little chopped scallion. On rare occasions I fancify it with finely chopped, sauteed onions and mushrooms (no mustard or scallion then).

                      I'm not into pickles, but if you do add them, they too should be finely chopped and well drained.

                      Now here's the tip I learned on this board and now take great pleasure in being able to pass on to you: Make your sandwich earlier than needed, and place it in the refrigerator for an hour or three. Again, I don't normally like sandwiches made in advance, but egg salad seems to defy all the rules. This will firm up your sandwich, reducing the squishiness yet again.

                      Dunno if this will produce the deli sandwich of your dreams -- I've encountered too many different styles of egg salad sandwich in delis and restaurants to be able to come up with anything like a classic format -- but this, FWIW, is my favorite way.

                      On rye, with a schmear of mayo and nothing else. Or maybe a sprinkling of grated carrot (though not with the onions-and-mushrooms version -- there, pure decadence is the order of the day).

                      1. egg salad may be my most favorite food (after deviled eggs). People like them different ways, but i don't really like the loose stuff. i like it kind of smooth and creamy, almost like an egg spread.

                        for a few eggs, i mash them up in a bowl with some salt pepper and not too much mayo. the salad comes out smooth. if you have a lot of eggs, try the food processor. skip add-ins like pickles or celery or even scallions, as these are what can make it loose.

                        by the way, if you like indian food, the absolutely best thing in egg salad is a tiny bit of indian chili pickle (you know, like patak's brand) a little goes a long way, but it adds just the right amount of salty, spicy yumminess.

                        1. s

                          After I boil my eggs I rinse them under cold water to peel, drain on paper towels. I put them in a bowl and mash with an old-fashioned potato masher. They are still warm and I add just enough mayonnaise to bind, not a lot. Because the eggs are still warm they absorb the mayonnaise instead of just being surrounded by it. This adds a richness. I do add salt (just a little) ground pepper, and dill (just because I like it). I think mustard is distracting, but you could certainly add a tiny bit of dijon, or a couple of dashes of hot pepper sauce. I like a "fresh" egg salad, I don't think it immproves by being ice-cold or days old.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: sylvesterrussell

                            Probabably not what you are looking for, but I am midwestern - cook the eggs, chill down in cold water; peel; cut up using an old fashioned egg slicer, turn the egg once or twice so you get small cubes or strips rather than slices; mash in a bowl with a potato masher, pastry blender or foley fork - this pulverizes the yolk while leaving little pieces of white and keeping a light texture; add mayonnaise and yellow mustard in about a 4:1 ratio; a yellow vinegary salad mustard like plochmans or maybe one of the NY spicy brands is good for this-not dijon. Add salt and maybe some finely chopped scallions (we always used onion salt) and herbs to taste, or add just a bit of celery. This egg salad holds together quite well - we always added chopped salad olives to flavor it up and I still like this addition a lot.

                            1. re: sylvesterrussell

                              I always find that if I mix the mayo in while the eggs are still warm, it looks and tastes greasy. Another one of those taste-perception differences... that's what keeps it interesting, right?

                              1. re: sylvesterrussell

                                My mom always used an old fashioned potato masher for egg salad and it does come out extra creamy that way. Plus, no need to separate whites/yolks. Add mayo, celery and onion, salt and pepper to taste. Plain and simple, but oh so good!

                              2. I tend to remove the yolks, mash those, mix with the mayonnaise and THEN add the egg whites. That makes a more binding paste and then it doesn't glop everywhere. I'm not very precise about chopping the egg whites, but I've found that I like longer slices rather than small pieces. I also add either a little bit of dill relish or capers. Salt, pepper, maybe some garlic powder (depending on how I'm feeling). What really matters to me on an egg salad sandwich is the tomato. Deep red, vine-ripened tomatoes with salt over them. Actually that sounds good with or without the egg salad!

                                1. LOL I got a kick out of reading this thread. I love egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs, too and use the same recipe for both. (It made me make a 'batch' of egg salad while reading this thread. LOL)
                                  Now, since we're speaking of likes and dislikes, I don't think I have ever bought any mustard in my lifetime, (I'm 60). I hate the stuff and haven't eaten anything that I can ever recall that was good when it was in it or on it and, feel the same way about dill. Two very nasty spices in my opinion. I just don't think they belong in your mouth. LOL
                                  I prefer the sweeter side of life. I use sweet relish, red onion and a pinch of garlic salt and that's it. I also like it chunky and cold the next day. The flavours seem to be better when refrigerated overnight and gives you something to chew on, too.
                                  I also love Miracle Whip because of it's tangy sweet taste but, it doesn't go with egg salad. You gotta use real Mayo for this treat and don't forget the greatest side dish... Good old fashioned greasy potato chips... And a tall glass of real cold milk. (Well, maybe Sioux City Sarsaparilla if you can find it...)

                                  Enjoy it your way!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: thegrindre

                                    Although it takes a good bit of time and effort, running the whites and yolks (separately) through a fine mesh strainer will produce amazing results. The yolks go through quite easily but it takes some work with the back of a spoon or silicon spatula to run all of the eggs through the strainer. The result, though, is a very light, very tender, and very volumous amount of beautifully sifted egg. Mixed gently with mayonnaise and your seasoning of choice (for me it's a touch of Dijon, tarragon, chive, and minced cornichon), you'll be hard pressed to beat the texture and mouth feel. We served this version of egg salad (with the variation of minced red onion and minus the herbs and cornichons) with yukon gold potato blinis and caviar for a very special and decadent Christmas Eve dinner at our house at the end of last year.

                                    R. Jason Coulston

                                    1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                      My wife grates the whole egg on the fine part of a box grater. Makes for a very creamy but fluffy egg salad. Delicious.

                                    2. re: thegrindre

                                      thegrindre: with you on the mustard thing. easiest way to ruin a good sandwich.

                                    3. I have a tip for making egg salad: use a pastry cutter (that thing to cut in the butter for pastry) to chop the boiled eggs. It does a good job - just wash immediately after or else it's hard to clean.

                                      1. This is where homemade mayo comes in handy! I make mine with half OO and half canolla, lemon juice. I flavor it in accordance to what kind of salad I am making, and it is tastier and healthier than the store-bought.

                                        I like my egg salad to have some texture to it. Not so smooth that it is a "pasty pap" in the mouth. Small chunks of egg whites and small chunks of yolk. I also use chopped celery (tender inside stalks of the celery bunch), capers, parsley, celery seed, chopped up pickle, small pimento stuffed olives, a dash of hot sauce. At times I have some Italian olive salad to chop up and add.

                                        1. Mine is a simple version, but my kids love it and that counts for something in my house.

                                          6-8 eggs
                                          mayo (Hellman's)
                                          mustard (French's) 3 drops MAX
                                          Mrs. Dash
                                          garlic powder
                                          sweet pickle relish
                                          celery chopped fine

                                          I use a fork to mash the eggs, not pulverized but mashed. Add just enough mayo to bind together and I repeat 3 drops of French's, the spices, relish, celery, mix well.
                                          I think the bread is extreemly important. The kids love it on just plain white, but my favorite is a good dark rye, toasted.

                                          1. As far as bread goes, I forgot to mention that building an Egg Salad Sandwich or a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich is twice as good if made on a hamburger bun.

                                            1. this thread is very old, but I agree with grating the eggs, only I use the large holes on the box grater. Just a dab of Best Foods to bind, and less than a dab of dijon.

                                              A sprinkling of coarse kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper and by all means refrigerate before serving.

                                              1. I like the eggs simmered until medium boiled. Then I mix the yolks with salted sour cream or a sour cream/mayo mix, which forms a nice creamy, tangy binder. If you haven't overcooked the eggs, the whites should be solid but not rubbery, and then just cut them small and mix them in.

                                                Oops, I'm a decade too late.