An Eggcellent Workday Lunch

I try to bring my lunch to work everyday.  That way I know I'll have something organic, it'll taste good, and it will cost way less!  For the amount of money I could spend on mediocre take out lunches at work, I can buy the very best lunch ingredients at gourmet markets and still have money leftover (for a fancy chocolate bar? a bouquet of flowers?).  Now that I'm pregnant I need lots of protein, and I also need options that Pete will like (I pack his lunch everyday too).  This egg salad recipe is delicious, easy to make and will make about six lunches.  They key is the homemade mayonaise.

How to Hard Boil Eggs:

Place 12 eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a large sauce pan.
Cover eggs with 1 inch of cold water.
Bring water to a boil (this may take 20 minutes).
Remove from heat; cover sauce pan with a lid.  
For extra large eggs, let stand for:
12 minutes for small and medium eggs
15 minutes for large eggs
18 minutes for extra large eggs

Add 2 minutes of standing time if the eggs came out of the fridge.
When finished, remove eggs from pan and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
I like to leave the eggs in the fridge overnight so they don't smell when I unshell them.

Note:  The Joy of Cooking is an excellent resource for basic information like this. 

The key to a great american salad of any sort - potato, egg, anything, is homemade mayonaise.  It's super easy and so worth it.  It's the best way to turn something ordinary into something fit for your favorite gourmand.  You can customize homemade mayonaise for any dish (add herbs, add lemon and garlic, add curry - you can use it for sandwiches or top meat, fish or vegetables with it).  The basic premise is that you emulsify oil, egg yoke and acid to make a sturdy, flavorful liquid.  This is my preferred basic recipe, which is heavy on the vinegar (a flavor I'm addicted to):

Annie's Homemade Mayo

2 room temperature egg yokes
1 cup oil (1/2 cup canola, 1/2 cup high-quality olive oil)
3 tbsp champagne vinegar (2 tbsp of lemon will also work fine)
1/4 tsp salt
white pepper to taste

Place egg yolks, vinegar, salt & pepper in bowl. Whisk until smooth and light (just a quick hand whisk).
Begin to beat the mixture with an electric beater on the lowest speed and add the oil very slowly.  
You will be able to add the oil a bit more quickly as the liquid emulsifies.
The whole process will take about 5 minutes.


Annie's Eggcellent Eggsalad Recipe

Finely chop 12 hard boiled eggs and add to large mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped.
Add 5 celery stalks, finely chopped.
Add 3 tbsp dill, finely chopped.
Add 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped.
Add 1/4 tsp salt.
Add 1/4 tsp white pepper.
Add roughly 1 cup Annie's homemade mayo (you'll use almost all of the recipe above and adjust more or less to taste)
Stir to combine ingredients.

Serve on seven grain bread with leafy lettuce for color!  Also an excellent picnic food now that we're headed into Spring!