total eclipse of the heart

food detective

Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Supper, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on August 31, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten

As the countdown for the eclipse approached, I wondered how best to mark this extraordinary event. The moon was scheduled to block out the sun at 2:28 on Monday afternoon. Not the time I typically entertain. Then an idea came to me the night before just like a flash in the dark. With my Amazon procured ISO certified glasses in hand, I asked my husband for a date.

How often do we take the time to enjoy a leisurely lunch? Each time I do I recall how utterly civilized it is. So I decided to recreate one of my all-time favorite midday meals for my beloved.

In another life, I dated a lawyer who happened to love golf. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not much of one for the sport, but I was crazy about this amazing open-faced sandwich they served on the terrace of his club. So each time he asked me to play I willingly laced up my cleats and kept my sights on the nineteenth hole.

The most sublime meals are often quite simple to prepare. This holds true for this esteemed open-faced egg salad and smoked salmon sandwich.

Egg salad is one of those easy things that many mess up. The problem is that most don’t know how to properly boil an egg.

To begin place four large eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to barely a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Now for the secret to perfectly peeled eggs. Pour off the hot water and immediately cover the eggs with ice and cold water. Not only does this stop the cooking process, the eggs slightly constrict, pulling away from their shells.

Drain the water from the pan. Shake the eggs in the drained pan until they bump into each other and crack all over.

Then tap the end of each egg to discover its “air pocket”. This pocket reveals where there is a small space between the shell/membrane and the cooked egg. Under a slow stream of water, starting at the air pocket, gently peel the egg, shedding the shell and the membrane underneath. The shell should begin to slip off, if it doesn’t, carefully search for the air pocket, then start again.

Place the peeled eggs on a paper towel to drain.

I know we shouldn’t have one-use gadgets in our kitchens, but I’m mad for my egg slicer.

Slicing twice yields the perfect dice.

A quick chop with a knife to ensure all is uniform. Place the finely chopped eggs in a bowl.

Finely chop a sweet onion to measure half a cup, add to the eggs. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss with a fork.

Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise and half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the eggs.

Stir well with a fork to combine and distribute the yolk. Add more mayonnaise if needed. Taste for seasoning.

The egg salad can be made a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.

Lightly toast two slices of rustic country bread.

Allow to cool.

Top each slice of bread with a scoop of egg salad, spread to the edges.

Drape with slices of smoked salmon.

Be sure to choose one that is high-quality and very thinly sliced.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill or a dollop of caviar.

I love cavi-art which is actually made from seaweed. It’s quite affordable, has a long shelf life in the refrigerator, and never bleeds.

Accompany with an arugula salad. Simply toss the greens with a little extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of good balsamic, a pinch of kosher salt and a couple grinds of fresh pepper.

Arrange on the plate.

This heavenly repast is truly out a sight. 

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