Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tarragon-Shallot Egg Salad Sandwiches (Page 185)


  • Date: Monday, July 7, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I was looking for some lunch-fare last week, so I made this egg salad. It never made it into the lunches though because I ate this instead of the red snapper the night the red snapper disappointed me. This egg salad was pretty good. Matty, who declared before tasting it that he doesn't like egg salad, then named this the best egg salad he has ever had. I wouldn't go that far. It was pretty good. The tarragon flavor was strong (notably the recipe gives a choice between white wine vinegar and tarragon white wine vinegar. I used the latter so that probably intensified the tarragon flavor), so it is definitely for tarragon lovers only. But that herbiness cut the richness of the egg salad a bit, giving it a cleaner, lighter taste than typical egg salad. The flavor of the salad was nicely complemented by some Boston lettuce and rye bread. My main complaint was that the egg salad was a bit runny. I wasn't particularly hoping for a super-stiff egg salad, but this one was too oozy for my taste. It made for a perfectly respectable sandwich, but if I needed to make egg salad again, I'm not sure I would use this recipe.

Here is the recipe.

Today is my mother's birthday: Happy Birthday Mom! When people ask me why I started cooking I sometimes joke that it was out of rebellion. Cooking was the one thing my parents wouldn't let do when I was growing up! Seriously, though, I started cooking because my mother is a great cook, and baked a lot when I was growing up. I always enjoyed being in the kitchen with her when she was making cookies, cakes, pies... It is true though that I was not allowed to cook when my parents weren't home until a very late age (in my opinion an unreasonably late age!). This was my brother's fault. I have just one sibling, my brother Spencer, who is nearly two years older than me. Many of the guidelines my parents set for me when I was a kid were based on how successful the analogous guidelines had been with Spencer. At some reasonable age, Spencer was allowed to use the oven without parental supervision. He was not at all interested in cooking as a kid, so his oven use was limited to frozen pizza. Simple enough, no? Frozen pizza attempt number 1: he put the pizza in the oven still wrapped in plastic. This is not good. My mom was not happy. He learned from that though, and eventually he was given a second chance. Frozen pizza attempt number 2: he somehow managed to flip the pizza upside down while putting it in the oven, resulting in all the pizza toppings falling to the bottom of the oven and burning there. My mom wasn't too happy about that either. My brother is a brilliant, brilliant person, but as an adolescent he was apparently not ready to make frozen pizza. So my parents learned from this that one should not let their kids use the oven too soon. As I recall, it took a lot of battling to get cooking privileges. Eventually, though, I proved I was responsible, and was trusted in the kitchen alone. By that time I was already quite interested in cooking (well, baking really). So did it come out of a spirit of rebellion? Perhaps... it's hard to say! One thing is for sure: without my mother's influence, and my early introduction to the wonder of homemade baked goods, I certainly wouldn't be cooking now with the passion that I do.

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