Occasionally a catering event comes along that makes me think, man, I love what I do. Usually, the first thought bubble that pops into my head after packing-up the Tupperware containers is: ouch, my feet hurt, perhaps I should use my tip money to pay a nice Korean woman to rub them. But the party for Thomas McNamee’s book, The Man Who Changed The Way We Eat, was one of those rare service gems.
First of all, the book we were honoring was all about food. My client was also the author of Alice Water’s biography, so he was pretty legit. The food he requested was 60’s themed – deviled eggs, cucumber sandwiches, and chopped liver. That’s it. And last but not least, the party was taking place at the apartment of an acclaimed food magazine and cookbook editor.
I was a little worried about the chopped liver. It was my first time making it, and I am not a fan. I thought my version tasted awful, so hopefully right on target?
Dorothy’s kitchen was warm and well-loved, her fridge packed to the gills with homemade this and that. As I finished plating the deviled eggs, the first guest arrived. She introduced me, and the man shaking my hand casually said: “Danny Meyer, nice to meet you.” My reaction was “oh wow,” something I immediately wished was just a thought bubble and not actually said out loud. In my head, I also wished that my hands were a little less yolk-y.
An hour later, I looked on in horror and ecstasy as Gael Greene shoveled a rye toast with about an inch of chopped liver into her mouth. She seemed pleased. I felt like I might pass out.
If success can be measured in how much food I had to repack into my containers, I did a pretty good job. I was a Jew cooking Jewish food for Jews, so I didn’t skimp on the quantity. But all I had leftover to take home was some deviled egg filling – hopefully more than Danny Meyer ended up taking home on his palms.
When I got home, I put my feet up and ate a sandwich slathered with just the filling. It was kind of a sad meal after a rather wonderful night. But it tasted so good, I decided to recreate it, whites and all, as part of an actual sandwich.
Egg salad is one of my favorite things to have in the fridge for a busy week of easy lunches, and lazy dinners. This version with capers and chives takes me back to the best catering event ever, as I plunge into fall and hope for many more days of sore feet and delicious leftovers.
This salad will keep for up to a week in the fridge. It's also great open-faced if you aren't packing your sandwich for lunch and want to cut back on the carbs.
- 1 dozen extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 8 slices white sandwich bread (I use Udi's gluten-free)
- In a medium lidded saucepan, arrange the eggs in an even layer and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to bubble, remove from the heat and cover for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse under cool water. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool completely. Remove the shell and place eggs in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, smush the eggs into small pieces with the mayo mixture. Stir until the egg is finely chopped and everything is well incorporated. Egg salad will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
- Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a sheet pan. Toast the bread on both sides under the broiler until golden brown.
- Divide the egg salad among four of the slices of bread and spread into an even layer. Top with the remaining bread.
This post is brought to you, along with many other fabulous back-to-school recipes, as part of Food Network Communal Table series. What are you making for back to school? Tweet me @PhoebeLapine @FoodNetwork #pullupachair and let us know! Also, check out the other participating sites below.
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