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Mixing The Best Egg Salad Requires Getting Your Hands Dirty

egg salad sandwich
egg salad sandwich - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Few things hit the spot as much as a highly-realized egg salad sandwich. Creamy, eggy, and bright, with a little crunch -- this repast is the soul of home cooking. We're not here to sell you on a specific list of ingredients (although it never hurts to master a classic egg salad recipe), but rather to suggest a certain methodology, with the caveat that it involves getting your hands dirty. Not literally, of course: Putting dirt in egg salad would be bad. Instead, consider crushing your hard-boiled eggs in your fingers along with the other ingredients to the desired consistency. It'll be as fun as making mud pies when you were a kid, except actually appetizing.

The tactile among you will not need much more convincing. There are few dishes, after all, that are so hands-on; most are made at arm's length using a utensil. For the cautious but curious, however, consider this: By using your hands, you can get the whites to the size you like while at the same time mashing the yolks into the mayonnaise to bring the creaminess factor to a whole new level. This simply won't happen by using either a knife or a whisk.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

The Hard-Boiled Egg: A Wonder Of Nutrition And Chemistry

eggs is a saucepan
eggs is a saucepan - New Africa/Shutterstock

Raw eggs undergo an amazing transformation when cooked. In the case of hard boiling -- when eggs are lowered into (and submerged in) boiling water for around 10 minutes -- what starts as a liquid comes out as a solid. The reason for this is a chemical process known as denaturation, which involves heat disrupting some of the bonds in the chains of amino acids, changing the nature of their state. When you hard boil an egg, proteins in the white and yolk clump together, which leaves you with something that can be peeled as well as cracked.

So, what's inside that shell, soon to be turned into a creamy salad? According to Healthline, there's protein, to be sure (one large hard-boiled egg contains over 6 grams of the stuff), along with healthy fats, nutrients, few calories, and, yes, some cholesterol. While it's true that a large hard-boiled egg has over 200 mg of cholesterol, for people not suffering from diabetes this dietary cholesterol is not associated with heart disease, nor does it have any effect on the levels of "bad" cholesterol in your bloodstream. Consuming an egg a day is perfectly safe.

Salad First, Sandwich Later

A bowl of egg salad
A bowl of egg salad - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

Historically speaking, the egg salad was inevitable. Few people could afford to eat chicken very often, but they could certainly go out and gather eggs. Once the French invented mayonnaise in the 1700s (thanks guys!), it was only a matter of time before somebody realized that you could make a relatively cheap, meatless, high-protein salad and got down to business. Soon, some genius (perhaps England's very own Earl of Sandwich, the early inventor of the modern sandwich), put egg salad between two slices of bread and thus, an immortal lunch menu item was secured in the annals of history.

If you're interested in inventing your own egg salad recipe, here are the rules of the road: Start with the foundation of hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise (or some form of binding agent), and salt; then choose whatever herbs and spices strike your fancy (celery seeds, chives, what have you); add some kind of crunch, be it pickles, celery, or daikon radish; and finally, mix in something bright like mustard or lemon juice (if not using pickles). Once it's all in the bowl, dive in bare-handed to create your preferred texture. You can easily taste for seasoning and balance as you go.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.