Some might say that all my mayo salads are really egg salad, with some having a few potatoes or macaroni thrown in. Whatever.
6-12 hard-boiled eggs, based on your crowd
- Cold water start method:
- Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold all eggs on the bottom and deep enough to cover with at least 2 inches of water. I tilt the pan a little when placing the eggs, so they don’t roll around before I add the water.
- Cover with cold water. My mother always put a teaspoon of white vinegar in the water to prevent a cracked egg from running out of the shell, but I have never had one crack that badly. Poached eggs is a completely different situation where the vinegar really helps hold them together.
- Bring to boil over medium heat. I use a lid to hurry along the boil, but don’t go wandering away too far or you will return to boiling water and not know how long it has been boiling. If that happens, you’re just guessing on the remaining time!
- Turn off heat (if using electric, move pan to another burner). Cover with lid and wait 10-20 minutes. What? This part varies by cook. My mother said 20 minutes and it surely works. A comment on Twitter said 17 minutes to keep the yolks bright yellow. Others say ten minutes is enough, but that you need to test an egg and re-boil, if necessary (I’m not testing and wasting an egg or re-boiling).
- Immediately run cold tap water into the pan, pouring it off and filling until the eggs have cooled enough to touch. Remove to a paper towel or bowl.
While you can put the eggs in the refrigerator and make your dish later, the benefit to working with the eggs while still warm is that the flavors of your ingredients blend together better—kind of like in cooking.
Crack and roll the eggs to loosen the shells and good luck peeling. Yes, older eggs are said to peel easier, and sometimes I think that’s true, sometimes not. Except for the loss of egg white, poorly peeled eggs mostly matter for deviled eggs.
I have never measured how much mayo to use. I just eyeball it based on whether I want a creamy, fluffy egg salad, like for stuffing a tomato, or whether I want a sandwich filling, which I would make a little drier (and I might add some fresh dill).
For Egg Salad: Mash the eggs with the back of a fork or a potato masher if you are making a lot. The fineness of the eggs is a matter of preference. Mix in the mayo. That’s it, except for salt and pepper to taste.
For Deviled Eggs: Slice each peeled egg carefully, lengthwise with a thin, sharp knife. If you can see through the egg that the yolk lies more to one side than the other, I would place the yolk side up and slice through it so your halves have similar indentations for filling.
Carefully tip each yolk half into a bowl, using the tip of the knife. Unless you are only making a few eggs, use one extra yolk, leaving two halves with no filling. Mash the yolks with the back of a fork and mix with enough mayo to make a fluffy filling. You want a lot of filling and to do that you need a lot of mayo unless you have many extra yolks.
As you can see in the photo, I don’t just fill the hole where the yolk was, but cover the entire top of the egg half. This way you get filling in every bite.
I don’t sprinkle the eggs with paprika nor add any other herbs or spices, and I definitely don’t add mustard.