Why do I like egg salad sandwiches? I believe that I like these sandwiches for much the same reason everyone likes them: my mom made egg salad often when I was a young child. As a result, eating them is both tasty and nostalgic.
When Antonia and I were deciding what to have for lunch today, we were close to making a tofu stir fry over rice. This plan made sense except for one glaring oversight: I had made baguettes this morning. A brief aside:
Last night before bed, I started the poolish for a French bread. Usually, my routine is to let the poolish go for about 7 hours then refrigerate it to retard the yeast. Last night, however, I decided to let the poolish go overnight, then I would wake up early to make bread. Upon a brief back-calculation, I learned that to have bread ready for a visit to a friend this morning, I would have to wake up at 5am to start the dough. Oh, to be the type of person who plans out projects before starting them. No matter - I was going to follow through with my plan. At 5, I woke up, started the dough, and by 5:30 I was back in bed. 7:30, the dough was formed, and by 9:30 the last loaf was out of the oven. One baguette went to our friend and the other was for us.
Now, back to the story. With this fresh bread in front of us, sandwiches were just a short logical hop. Now, what kind?
Our refrigerator solved that problem for us. Eggs. That was about the only sandwich-worthy foodstuff on the shelves.
I went online to find a hard boiled egg recipe - I have used so many over the years that I couldn't even keep them straight any longer. After a brief perusal of the available literature, I settled on this one from Adam Roberts, the Amateur Gourmet.
The Amateur Gourmet's Egg Salad Soliloquy, as modified by me.
Put the eggs into cold water and put the pot on the stove on high. When the pot starts to boil (I actually stopped at 90ºC), take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes (not about 15 minutes, but exactly 15 minutes. If one is going to be particular about the cooking time, punctuality can be expected, no?). After 15 minutes, place eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let them cool down for a few minutes, then peel.
Here is where this recipe sold me: instead of mashing the eggs, they are finely cubed with a knife. It gives the egg salad a different texture, as the yolks do not totally dissolve into the mayo.
Put all of the egg into a bowl, add a tablespoon of mayo, salt, pepper, spices, and mustard. Mix and eat.
I broiled the sliced baguettes to get them a bit crunchy, then built our lunch. I was quite happy with the outcome - the smoked paprika give it a bit of sweetness that was unexpected but nice.
I think this may become my standard egg salad. While it didn't have the spicy tang of Tabasco that my mom's has, it still produced the nostalgic pang that makes egg salad such a fulfilling dish.
I just found out that this is my 100th post. And it only took 3 years!