best egg salad recipes?
March 30, 2004 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Qs about hard boiled eggs and egg salad: a. What's your fave recipe for egg salad? b. how long do shelled hard-boiled eggs keep? c. is there a good formula for hard-boiling multiple eggs?

I really like egg salad sandwhiches but don't really know any recipes besides eggs mixed with mayo and some pepper and a few slices of tomato. Also, I like to boil a half dozen eggs at a time but have yet to find the right amount of time to cook them for (sometimes they crack in the water and sometimes they're not as hard as I'd like). Suggestions?
posted by dobbs to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I love hard boiled eggs [don't really eat them all too often, but that's beside the point]. This is how I cook multiple eggs at one time.
I start with the eggs in a pot covered with water. I heat the water to a boil, then turn down the heat so there is a simmer/rolling boil and the eggs aren't really moving very much, but the water is moving a little bit. I keep the heat at this setting [once the water starts boiling] for 11-13 minutes, depending on how attentive I am. Usually, though, 12 minutes is a good amount of time. Then, once this time is done, I pour out some of the hot water and put the pot under the faucet, running cold water into the pot until all of the water is cold. I keep the faucet on [yeah, I suppose I should find a less wasteful way to make eggs] a slight trickle so that the eggs cool and the water in the pot with them never gets too warm due to their cooling.
You could probably just dump out the hot water and cool them with cold water for a bit and then maybe put them in the fridge until they are chilled. The thing is you want to get the eggs cold so they stop cooking.
Hopefully this will help.
posted by zorrine at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2004

How about deviled eggs? You slice each hard-boiled egg in half length-wise, and scoop out all of the yolks. In a bowl, mix them with some mayo, salt, pepper, good green olives (minced finely), maybe a dash of horseradish. Mix until smooth, and spoon the mixture back into your halved egg whites, or, if you're feeling really festive, pipe them back in with a pastry bag or even a baggie with a corner snipped off. Garnish with a sprinkle with finely chopped fresh chives or a thin slice of the olive and a dash of paprika. Arrange attractively on a plate and then gobble piggishly. Good for bringing to picnics; everyone loves the person who brings the deviled eggs.

I do basically what zorrine does, except that as soon as I get the water in the pot cold, I bang each egg against the side of the pot to crack the shell. Then I leave them sit in the cold water for about 10 minutes, and never have any problem peeling them.
posted by iconomy at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2004

I am not sure how long hard-boiled eggs will keep, but I am sure that they keep for at least a week.

And, as an aside, water that has been used to hard boil eggs is supposed to be great for watering plants - it's mineral and calcium rich.
posted by orange swan at 11:49 AM on March 30, 2004

I always add some Dijon mustard to the mixture of eggs and mayonnaise. Really gives it zip!
posted by debralee at 11:54 AM on March 30, 2004

I put all the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with water by at least an inch or two . Bring it to a rolling boil and remove the pan from heat and put a cover on it. Then I leave them sit about 15 minutes (a touch longer for more eggs). Rinse them under cold water. This has always worked for me really well, although if you let them sit in the fridge for a while they get tougher to peel.

I don't remember where I learned to do this (Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, maybe?) but it happens to be the hard-boiled egg method endorsed by Cook's Illustrated.

I've let hard-boiled eggs sit in my fridge up to a week before consuming and never had a problem.

I make egg salad by mixing in mayo, deli mustard and/or powdered mustard, perhaps a bit of horseradish if I feel like it, salt and pepper, and any or all of the following: chopped green onion, chopped celery, chopped sweet red pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, dillweed, chopped sweet gherkins. Serve on toast with lettuce and tomato.
posted by Melinika at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2004

No discussion of egg-salad recipes is complete without a nod to What's Up Tiger Lily.
posted by adamrice at 12:37 PM on March 30, 2004

If you put cold eggs in hot water, they will break and you will have poached eggs on the half shell. Once they are cooked, a less water-intensive way to cool them quickly is to put a lot of ice and some cold water in a big bowl. Pluck the eggs from the cooking water and place them in the ice bath. The faster they cool, the easier they are to peel.

I like chopped ripe olives in egg salad.
posted by Alylex at 1:26 PM on March 30, 2004

I have little to add, but I will second Melinika's method of hard-boiling as the guaranteed way to achieve the perfect egg. The yolk is tender without being wet, firm without being overly-cooked or discolored. Bringing the eggs up to temperature as the water comes to a boil prevents the shells from cracking (unlike dropping cold eggs into boiling water). This method does make them slightly harder to peel, but it's well worth it.
posted by Danelope at 2:00 PM on March 30, 2004

I learned to boil eggs from Delia Smith (English cooking goddess), who tends to boil them for a LOT less than you guys. Do your yolks often get gray around the outside? She recommends putting them in the pan, bringing the water to a boil, then turning down so it just simmers for 8 minutes. Then cool immediately. If you overboil them, that's when you get the grayness. Still edible... just not as pretty.

As for peeling them, the biggest trick is to use OLD eggs. With fresh eggs, the membrane inside is really tough and that's what makes them hard to peel. On older eggs, it's weaker and they peel much easier. (Conversely, you want to use the freshest eggs possible for poached and fried eggs because the yolks will stay together much better.)

My favorite "egg salad" is actually chicken salad. I poach a couple chicken breasts (simmer in a pan with water til cooked) and then dice. Mix in a bowl with chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped green onions, diced dill pickles, capers, mayonnaise, sour cream, and black pepper. Makes great sandwiches but you can eat it on its own too!
posted by web-goddess at 5:45 PM on March 30, 2004

Hard boiled eggs: cover eggs with cold water, after water gets to a boil, let boil for at least 10 minutes. Mine usually end up boiling for 15 minutes or so.

Egg salad: mayonnaise, dijon or "country" type mustard, chopped onion (green or whatever), dill pickle relish, seasoned or lemon pepper to taste.

Deviled eggs: as egg salad, only no onions and add poultry seasoning and a wee bit of salt. Sprinkle tops with paprika if desired (it's only for colour, not taste).
posted by deborah at 6:03 PM on March 30, 2004

They go grey if you don't cool them enough - running cold water into the pan for a while has always worked for me for preventing grey rings, and I definitely overboil by Delia Smith's standards (I like hard-boiled eggs to be hard-boiled, not dark yellow in the centre), which leads me to believe it's more about the cooling than it is about the boiling (I also seem to recall Alton Brown getting all sciencey about this, and I believe he too said it was inadequate cooling that caused ring around the yolk). Either way, I never get grey rings when I cool them properly, no matter how long I boil them for.

I take the eggs out of the fridge to let them warm up a bit while I bring a pan of water to the boil, take it off the heat, add the eggs slowly (lowering them in with a spoon), cover, place on low heat (keeping the water just below boiling, or at the "few bubbles" stage), cook for 15-20 minutes, run under cold water for about 5 minutes or so. If they crack while cooking (mine never do using this method), add some vinegar to the water (or do so anyway, just in case) - I've only had cracking if I left the water at full boil.

For egg salad, I like simple (onions and relish are an abomination in egg or tuna salads, and I am unanimous in that). I mash the eggs up, add enough Heinz (or Crosse & Blackwell) salad cream to give me a good texture (I'll also use Miracle Whip if proper salad cream isn't available, which has the right kind of tangy sweetness), spreadable, not goopy. Add some salt, a TON of fresh-ground pepper, a good-sized pinch of hot curry powder, and some parsley or sage or dry mustard if I feel like it.
posted by biscotti at 9:20 PM on March 30, 2004

Vinegar will stop the cracking problem and make the eggs a breeze to peel. 2-3 tbsp. per 12 eggs does the trick for me. I still add a few pinches of salt but, I'm not sure why anymore. It doesn't lower the boiling temperature of the water until you get to the 1 to 3 ratio and then only by a few degrees.

The vinegar breaks down the calcium carbonate that eggshells are made of, so thats something I'm pretty sure about.

I start my eggs, no more that 2 dozen at a time, in cold water and raise the temp moderately to a boil... then cut off the heat and cover them. I leave the eggs in the hot water for exactly 17 mins... then to the ice bath. If they are extra large eggs, I'll let them boil for an extra minute.

This is exactly the method that Julia Child used for many years... the difference being the vinegar. She would put her eggs directly into boiling water again, for 10 seconds to allow the shell to expand for ease of peeling. But, the key is the chilling to prevent the dark yolk perimeter.

Too much info probably but, eggs are one of my life long loves.

As for egg salad. Simple.

2 Dozen boiled eggs,
1-1/2 Cups Mayonnaise. Make your own!
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
(That's it... I like things simple)

Make your sandwiches with thick slices of home-made bread (hit the bakery or, buy frozen dough if you want) add lettuce or, even tomato and you have pure bliss. Or, at least I do.

As for shelf-life. That's always calculated by the lowest common denominator. Meaning the ingredient that will give up first.... whatever that is... that's your date. Peeled, boiled eggs will easily keep for up to 14 days at fridge temps.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 9:38 PM on March 30, 2004

Speaking of movies, I always peel my hardboiled eggs like DeNiro in Angel Heart.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:18 PM on March 30, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks all. Wow, can't believe how many responses. I thought I was gonna get run outta town on a rail--"I can't believe you asked about cooking an egg!"

gottabefunky, so do I. ;)
posted by dobbs at 11:31 PM on March 30, 2004

« Older Any useful recommendations for lower budget (i.e....   |   Question from a very beginner guitar player about... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.