“So, you vant to know how to mek Ek Seled?”
Some years ago a group of friends (known by the arcane name of “the Mordies”) initiated our own Pesakh Seder – held usually between 2nd and 5th night. It was based on a traditional Seder, with some fairly queer sensibility thrown into the mix. As well as the usual fare, egg salad was de rigeur for all others sitting around the table, but not for me!
Oy – let me explain something about our regular fare at Pesakh. Pesakh (Passover) in our family involves the formal food of the Seder (hard boiled eggs, salt water, green vegetable like parsley or rocket, horseradish, matza) and then elements of the traditional Ashkenaz meal. We begin with gehakte leber (chopped chicken liver with onions) and gehakte beytse (chopped egg and onions) to accompany the extra matza. Then we have goldene yoykh mit kneydlekh (clear chicken soup with matza balls). We avoid gefilte fish. After this is the main meal: usually roast chicken or brisket, roast vegetables, salad, etc. And then a pareve dessert – usually a fruit based dessert.
So how is egg salad different to chopped egg and onions, and what makes this egg salad different from all other egg salads? In the context of our family, my mother doesn’t like it very much – I don’t know whether it’s the onion, or the mayonnaise, or something else. So she just minced eggs with spring (green) onions, and that was it. Fairly simple.
HOWEVER: this egg salad, brought by Sue-Ellen Rosenberg, has particularly special meaning. First, it’s pretty much the nicest one I’ve ever eaten. Second, it has yikhes (lineage) – passed to Sue-Ellen from her mum Raie. Third, it reminds me of those special Seders. So here is Raie’s recipe as interpreted by me, with extra input from Sue-Ellen’s great instructions.
- 12-18 eggs (I used 15)
- Good quality mayonnaise (I made my own quirky one with egg yolks, tarragon mustard, lemon juice, rice bran oil, salt and fennel fronds, but you can buy a good quality whole-egg commercial variety – at Passover time I would replace the rice bran oil with a light olive or sunflower oil)
- 1 spanish (red) onion
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- Sea salt
Sue Ellen’s instructions: Boil the eggs.. Not too long.. You don’t want them to turn grey. Like 8 to ten minutes. Mum used to go off at me if I did and she would force me to work with soft eggs. Once she made me do this with two dozen eggs and it was a nightmare! Soft eggs…. Urggggghhhh
My input: I used this method to boil the eggs – it was perfect! Use this link below:
Sue Ellen continues: Finely chop spring onions by hand.
Chop Spanish onions finely in magimix and squeeze out excess moisture with your hands. Fun! I always leave this step out. It’s entirely up to you.
My comment: I did this – actually it was a very good addition. A helluva lot of moisture comes out of the Spanish onions when you squeeze them – see pic 2 and pic 3 above.
Sue Ellen continues: Chop eggs in your magimix too. I don’t have one so I use an egg slicer and mash with the fork. I think you get a better texture that way to be honest. My comment: I would agree about texture – the hand-chopped is better, but the magimix does a serviceable (albeit a bit uniform) job.
Sue Ellen: Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Add mayo and fold in. Avoid too much stirring. Mum used to go spack at me if I did, so it has stuck in my head! Season with sea salt and garnish with some more spring onions. Dead easy … The worst part is peeling the eggs really!
So that is it. Simple things are almost ALWAYS the best. And I used this on sandwiches for my niece’s 1st birthday party today. Within 5 minutes they were all gone. You snooze … you lose.