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Jan 14, 2011 07:43 AM

Egg salad help, please...

Does anyone have an egg salad with pancetta recipe -- or variations thereof -- they can share?
Or, discuss the role of cream cheese vs mayo in egg salad if you will...!?

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  1. adding a little cream cheese helps with the goo factor... this is an approximate version of one i do...

    6 hard boiled eggs
    4-5 strips of crispy pancetta depending upon size
    2 - 2 1/2 tbsp of greek yogurt or mayonnaise
    1 tbsp cream cheese
    1 tbsp or so apple cider vinegar
    dash of dijon or dried mustard
    1 minced shallot, or more if preferred - cooked slightly and cooled to take the edge off (cook with pancetta if desired)
    salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
    tarragon or parsley
    (can also add dill pickle chopped if desired)

    i like to grate my eggs in one bowl, then mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the two. i don't know why, just the way i do it!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      Hmm...I usually just mash everything up in one bowl/container, but I might just try your method next time because it would definitely ensure proper distribution of ingredients if you're using more than just the basic: eggs, mayo, squirt of mustard, spices to taste.

      1. re: Emme

        Sounds really good. Thanks. Can't wait to try your version!

        1. re: lifespan

          mine is very similar to Emme's (as is often the case), but as i stated below, i prefer Greek-style yogurt to mayo or cream cheese. i also add a generous pinch of smoked paprika - the flavor is terrific with the pancetta.

          oh, and though i adore shallots, i prefer chives in my egg salad.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I could not agree more with combining yogurt and mayo. I find that gives it the best texture. I also love chives and smoked paprika. Some Dijon mustard is great too, and one cannot overestimate the importance of a little pepper in eggs. (I don't do pancetta.) When I have fresh herbs, I loosely follow Martha Rose Shulman's Egg Salad With Fresh Herbs from her NY Times column. I have it saved here:

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I like the idea of trying smoked paprika. Thanks.

          2. re: Emme

            What is the "goo factor" and followup question is how does the cream cheese 'help' it?

            1. re: c oliver

              c oliver, I too wonder what "goo factor" is. Perhaps cream cheese contributes smoothness to the mixture?

          3. I really prefer plain Greek-style yogurt in egg salad. Adds a nice creamy texture that's not oily while providing a nice tang. Esp. if you are using pancetta, I wouldn't want to increase the "richness" quotient by using either cream cheese or mayo.

            Just my 0.02.

            5 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                agree with ipse on the Greek-style now we're up to 4¢ ;)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  You're worth much more than a mere 2¢ ... I think we're easily now up to a whole dime.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  I'm in the greek yogurt instead of mayo group too. Never thought of using smoked paprika with pancetta though - thanks goodhealthgourmet : )

                  Now I'm craving egg salad and wondering if I can convince the kids to have sandwiches for supper...probably not. Definitely going on the lunch menu for the weekend though.

                3. You might want to try slicing the pancetta thinly (in rounds), pan-frying it and then laying a crisped slice on top of your egg salad before you put the second slice of bread on. Though this only helps if you're making sandwiches...and I always use mayo and mustard, just not very much - enough to hold it all together, but not so much that it's soupy. I like to add dill to mine, but probably not with the pancetta.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rafjel

                    thanks for suggestions. have you ever mixed lean chunks of pancetta in the egg salad itself?

                    1. re: lifespan

                      personally i've found that they get soggy/chewy...and not in a good way. i like to fold them in just before serving.

                  2. Onion or scallion, celery, mustard, Old Bay, mayo.

                    1. I agree with rajfel & goodhealthgourmet; better to top with crisped pancetta or bacon at the last minute so will stay crispy.

                      A little cream cheese can indeed help tighten up the result a bit ( I like the phrase "goo factor") and yogurt adds a certain tang that I like.

                      In general I would second the recs for smoked paprika and chives and a pinch of English (dry powdered) mustard. Given the presence of pancetta or bacon in this instance, it may be that simpler is better and extra complexity unnecessary. I'd season with restraint, perhaps a little fresh ground pepper and just one other flavor rather than three or four.

                      The benefits of seasoning the binder separately are twofold- the herbs and spices are evenly distributed throughout, and because of this you can fold it gently into the eggs with a minimum of mashing, thus preserving the texture somewhat.

                      But I admit when I make a quick batch for myself I usually just mix it in one bowl.