I read about the Earl of Sandwich--said to be the originator of the sandwich and thus, the namesake--a couple of weeks ago in The New Yorker. The Earl and his son have decided to capitalize on their famous name with an eponymous restaurant. And there are franchises located in the US, including a fair number clustered around the Brit-heavy Orlando area.
Not only was it a Brit who created the first sandwich (dubbed The Original 1762 by the restaurant), but I think the Brits still make a heckuva a sandwich (note the number of sandwiches I mention in this post about my trip to England a few years ago). There is even a British Sandwich Association, which organizes the The Sammies awards for the best sandwiches each year. These people are serious about sandwiches.
The restaurant's UK menu includes several of my favorite sandwiches: caprese, egg salad (egg mayonnaise), and cheese and pickle. But only the caprese shows up on the US menu (along with a veggie that looks pretty good). So, I'll share my recipe for egg salad. I go for a very traditional version with no pickles (or pickle, for that matter) or celery. And I like mine creamy, so if you're not a huge fan of mayonnaise, you might want to start with 2 tablespoons instead and add more if you like.
makes approximately four servings (2 eggs per serving)
Eight large hard-boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon mustard
splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
First, the most important part--boiling the eggs. Place the eggs (older eggs are easier to peel) in a large pot and cover with water about an inch over the eggs. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt to the water, cover with a lid and bring the water to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat but leave the pot on the eye (reduce flame to ultra low if you have a gas stove) and let the eggs cook for about 10-15 minutes. During the cooking process, stir the eggs every other minute to center the egg yolk (more important for deviled eggs, but a centered yolk makes for an easier-to-cut egg white).
While the eggs are cooking, prepare a large bowl filled with ice water. When the eggs have finished cooking, drain the water and transfer the eggs to the ice bath. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the graying of the egg yolk.
When the eggs have cooled, roll each one in a towel or between your hands to crack the shell and peel the eggs. Older eggs' shells will come off in a solid sheet. Set the eggs on a cutting board and slice each egg in half to remove the yolks. Dice the yolks and put them in a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and a little salt (and pepper, if you like) and mash with a fork.
Next, dice the egg whites and stir into the egg yolk mixture. Add more salt and mayonnaise as necessary. If you're so inclined, you can add a little pickle juice, too.
For sandwiches, I like to spread the egg salad on some toasted whole grain bread and top it with some leafy green lettuce and a slice of tomato.