Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tea and Crumpets Egg Salad sandwiches

So Saturdays are usually sandwich days in our house with so many things going on and housework to be done, sandwiches of some kinds are almost always on the lunch menu. I decided today would be the perfect time to try out a new egg salad recipe from my brand new Tea and Crumpets cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson. I received this book in the mail on Wednesday and have enjoyed flipping through the pages of tea ideas. Each spring I try and help host a women's tea at our church, so trying out new recipes for the tea is a fun pastime leading up to the event. I was unable to do the tea this year and really missed the fun, but perhaps I'll decide to host one at Christmas this year instead. I collect tea items throughout the year, including cookbooks, tea cups and pots, etc. and this book is a wonderful addition to my library. I hope to have time to actually sit down and read it soon as it is full of information about European tea houses and the art of having tea. Here is a link to the book which was just published in April.

One of the first recipes in the book is for Spiced Egg Sandwiches from the Clarence hotel's tea room in Ireland. This hotel is owned by Bono and The Edge of the band U2. The author explains that this salad is called "egg mayonnaise" in the UK and Ireland and is used as a filling for tea sandwiches. This version has both curry and chutney in it.

The Recipe

Spiced Egg Sandwiches

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Major Grey's chutney
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 slices whole grain or multigrain bread, crusts removed
In a medium bowl, mash the eggs. Stir in the mayonnaise, curry powder, chutney, and lemon zest until smooth. Spread the egg mayonnaise on one side of each of 6 slices of bread and cover with the remaining slices. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally into 2 triangles. Cover with a damp tea towel or paper towels until ready to serve.

Makes 12 sandwich halves.

Note: Try Pepperidge Farm 12-grain bread (from its Farmhouse bread collection) for these sandwiches.

My results:

First comment is that I LOVE curried egg salad, so the idea behind this one immediately appealed to me. That said, I would definitely increase the amount of both curry and chutney were I to make this again. I also would strongly suggest a little salt (perhaps 1/4 tsp) be added to the mix as I ended up salting the salad after spreading it on the sandwiches. Here is a photo of my ingredients:

You will notice I had 5 eggs in my bag. I always make one extra in case of problems in the peeling department and in this case it was a good thing I did as one egg literally self destructed when being peeled. So make an extra if you want to be on the safe side.

For those who don't have a good way to boil eggs and avoid that gruesome gray ring around the yolks, here's the trick: Put your eggs in the pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Put the pot on to boil and once it comes to a rapid boil, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes with the lid on, then rinse the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking. No more grey ringed yolks!

It usually helps to peel the eggs right away after boiling and cooling enough to handle. That tends to keep the inner membrane from adhering to the whites. I refrigerated my eggs overnight and had a devil of a time getting them to peel well, so strongly advise you to peel them while still slightly warm to avoid this.

You'll also notice that my curry powder is in a mason jar. We buy curry powder in bulk at the Asian market and then keep it in a mason jar or two in the freezer. To help keep it fresh, stash two or three bay leaves in the powder before freezing. This helps keep it fresh for a good long time.

The only other thing to notice is that I did not have fresh lemon zest to use and instead substituted dried. As a result I decided to make up the spread in the morning and allow it to meld in the fridge until lunchtime to rehydrate the peel as well as get the flavors to blend. As I mentioned, should I make this again, I would probably double the curry and the chutney as well as add salt. I also did not have any wholegrain bread on hand so used white instead and since it was just for our lunches, I didn't bother to cut off the crusts :)

Here is the completed spread right before I refrigerated it:

Now, the recipe states that it makes enough for 6 sandwiches...but unless you were to mash the egg up quite a bit more than I did (as in, smooth) and the spread it thin on the bread, I can't see this making more than 4 sandwiches at the most. As is, we made 3 sandwiches and they were still not as "filled" as I usually make them. So perhaps if I were to cut off the crusts and puree the mix, then spread it super thin...but I would say that it's better to say it makes 3 regular sandwiches than 6.

All in all it had good flavor and is worth a second shot with the additions I mentioned. My husband, brother-in-law and 10-month-old daughter seemed to enjoy it so that's always a good start. Hope you're enjoying reading along and will post some comments to let me know if you're trying any of the recipes or enjoying just reading along.

You may also notice the addition of my "Library Thing" on the sidebar of my blog. If you click on the Library Thing title, it will take you to my cookbook library where you can browse the titles on my cookbook shelf. I will be adding to it over the next few days as I get the chance to catalog my books but if you see a book there you'd like me to try a recipe from be sure and let me know. Or if there is a book that is on my shelf that you'd like to cook along with me from, give a holler. I'd love to hear from you!

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