So here’s the deal. I don’t like mayonnaise. It’s my dirty little secret… well, that and the fact that I also don’t like peanut butter. Have you ever noticed that there is not a single recipe I’ve ever posted that includes peanut butter? Sometimes, though, there’s a recipe out there that has mayonnaise in it that I sorta like. Or that I want to like. It’s just that mayonnaise is given the starring role when it should really just have a bit part. And so I’ll remake that recipe to my liking, which generally doesn’t even have a mild family resemblance to its gloppy ancestor.
This week, I took on egg salad. Because I sort of really like egg salad, just not the kind that’s falling all over the place with may and is more dressing than sandwich filler, not that I normally even put egg salad on sandwiches. I actually like this by itself of wrapped in a couple Bibb lettuce leaves or on crackers or even wrapped in a tortilla. If it’s going on bread, the bread has to be toasted; I really don’t want anything even pretending like it might be or get soggy.
Bacon Egg Salad
2 slices bacon, cooked
2 T mayonnaise
1 t lemon juice
1/4 c parsley chopped
1 T whole grain mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: red pepper or celery – I just happened to not have any on hand, but chop to match the size of the bacon and add about a quarter cup or either or both
This is all about the egg. Go ahead and cut your bacon into matchsticks and then half the match sticks and start cooking them, but your focus is really on getting a well boiled egg if you want good egg salad. I know that many recipes call for you to place your eggs into already simmering water and blah blah blah, but I have a few too many burns doing it that way, so I go the lazy man’s route.
I put my eggs in a pot with cold water, covering the eggs by about an inch. I cover the pot and turn on the heat to medium high. And then I listen. The second I hear water boiling (which usually means the splash of water on the burner as it bubbles out of my pot), I run into the kitchen and turn off the heat. I set the timer for fourteen minutes for my large eggs and then prepare an ice bath. When the timer goes off, I put the eggs straight into the ice bath (a bowl I fill with ice cubes and then water so it stays cold) and let them sit there for about five minutes. Only then do I attempt to peel my eggs. Lesson on boiling eggs? Don’t use your fresh eggs. This works so much better when your eggs are a little older. They’re less likely to stick to the shells, but hey, we aren’t going to be pretty with these eggs anyway, are we?
Once you have your eggs peeled, you want to slice them. Since I don’t want a gloppy, mushy mess, I literally only slice them one way and that’s it. I want to retain as much of the original texture of the egg as possible because we are celebrating the egg in the egg sandwich, right?
By now your bacon should be long done and well cooled, right? If not, the eggs aren’t in a rush, so go ahead and cook your bacon until it’s crispy. The halved matchsticks should turn into a great size for the salad by now. Drain them on a paper towel, as we don’t want all that grease going into our salad.
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Yes, I cheated with this one and used dried parsley because I thought I’d bought parsley but didn’t check the fridge, and my memory failed me. It was cilantro. The dried works well, just remember to use 1/3 the quantity of the fresh herb you’d use when you’re substituting a dried herb.
Use a large fork to mix gently until it’s all combined. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Serve on toasted bread, crackers, in a roll up, by itself, wrapped in lettuce leaves, however you want. Just be grateful that this isn’t the goopy, gloppy mess you used to get in the cafeteria.