Wife Jan’s Ethno Breakfast has rolled around again. Usually, I will make deviled eggs for these events, but Jan said that someone else would be bringing bagels and she wanted a schmear to spread on them. She suggested that I make an egg salad. Since my curried eggs are always popular, I chopped it up to make my salad and added more of the vegetables.
Karl’s Curried Egg Salad
½ cup red bell pepper, diced finely
3+ Tb. chives, minced
1 Tbs. Madras curry powder
Pinch Kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
¼+ cup Japanese mayonnaise
1+ Tbs. half and half
1. Put a wire rack in a large pot and add about an inch of water.
Tip: You want the water no higher than the height of your wire rack.
Note: I have a round wire rack that came with a wok that fits my Western pot perfectly. You can buy these separately in some large Asian stores.
2. Bring the water to a boil and then add the cold eggs.
Note: By adding the eggs after the water boils, you are controlling the exact cooking time of the eggs, preventing over cooking.
3. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low.
Tip: You want your water to continue steaming, but you do not want it to boil away.’
4. Steam the eggs for exactly 15 minutes—for large eggs.
Tip: Steam small eggs for 14 minutes and extra large eggs for 17 minutes.
5. Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice.
6. When the eggs are done steaming, transfer them to the ice water for 10 minutes.
Tip: This shocking pulls the membrane away from the whites and causes the egg to fill the “dimple.”
Note: When you slowly cool an egg, the air bubble at the large end of the egg is filled with steam and creates a dimple at one end of the egg as the white firms up. The cold water quickly chills and condenses the steam and allows the still soft egg white to push into this space, making a smoother, uniform egg.
7. Remove the eggs from the water and move them to the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Tip: The firmer the egg white is, the less likely it is to break as you peel off the shell.
Note: For an egg salad, you do not need to be as worried about ending up with pretty, perfect, peeled eggs.
8. Cut each egg in half on the long axis.
Tip: Hold the half egg gently by the thick white ends and press the back of the egg to pop the yolks into a medium mixing bowl. remove any yolk remaining in the hole.
Note: Lay the egg half hole side up on a paper towel to keep it from sliding around.
9. Use a fork to mash the egg yolks into a fine powdery mass.
Tip: It is easier to catch any hard lumps of yolk before you start adding other ingredients, rather than trying to chase them around in a slurry. You do not want any lumps larger than about half the size of a pea.
10. Add the most of the red peppers and chives to the powdered yolks.
Tip: Reserve some of each vegetables as garnish for the finished salad.
11. Sprinkle in the curry powder, salt, and pepper and mix them in with the fork.
Tip: It is easier to get a good distribution of the dry additives throughout the dry powdery yolks, if you do it before adding the wet ingredients.
12. Chop the egg white up into fine bits— ¼+ inch dice—and mix them into the bowl.
13. In a small bowl, stir cream into the mayonnaise.
Tip: It is easier to blend these wet ingredients together before adding them to the salad.
14. Fold the thinned mayonnaise into the eggs.
Tip: Start with less than you think will be necessary and add more—slowly—to get your desired consistency.
Note: You want to add as much of mayonnaise and cream as is necessary to moisten all of the dry yolk, but you do not want to turn it into a messy slurry.
15. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and smooth out the top.
16. Garnish the egg salad with the remaining red peppers and chives
17. Serve chilled.
Tip: If you are making this ahead, or transporting it to serve elsewhere, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.