QUESTION: What's the best use of leftover hard-cooked eggs?
ANSWER: The egg hunts are over and you've got a mess of hard-cooked eggs on hand. What's a cook to do? Why, of course, make egg salad.
After hard-cooking some eggs for a story on dying Easter eggs using whipped cream, I was in the same boat with leftover eggs. And so, I made egg salad and served it to the staff.
I wasn't prepared for the barrage of kudos of how good the egg salad was. Staffers told me it was the best they ever had. After that, of course, they asked "what did you put in it."
Like many cooks have their secrets and twists on dishes adding a dash or pinch of something that puts their mark on it, egg salad is one of those for me.
And so, I am going to tell you what I do.
Egg salad and an egg salad sandwich is like the turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving. Both are the sum of all their parts: the eggs (or turkey); the mayo, the seasoning and the condiments. All should complement one another in between a equally important, but carefully selected slices of bread.
What I think makes egg salad is making, and serving, it fresh. Also you have to add just the right amount of mayonnaise for creaminess. And when it comes to mayonnaise, I am a flat-out a Hellman's gal. But when I can get it, Duke's mayonnaise which is typically only available in the south, is the ultimate.
What makes Duke's so good is the texture and zippy flavor. A highlight is there is no sugar in it according to the list of ingredients. Once, I found some small jars of it at a local dollar store. Duke's is a southeastern staple and it's home is in Greenville, South Carolina. Last April Duke's celebrated its 100th anniversary. It's really hard to come by in the north. Usually, when I head down south I bring a few jars back with me.
My other secret is using chopped capers and a few dribbles of the caper juice from the jar. Capers add that smidgen of briny and saltiness to the the egg salad. But it doesn't eliminate the need to use salt all together, I still add a bit of salt or use all purpose seasoning like Morton Nature's Seasons Seasoning Blend. This all purpose seasoning has no MSG and is a mix of salt, onion, garlic and celery.