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The Masters’ Egg Salad Sandwich

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Every spring, when I was a little girl my mother would take me to The Masters. I loved our mama-daughter dates and it was always a very special occasion. We would walk the course for hours. I was taught to stand still when the golfers were putting and to only speak very quietly in my “indoor voice.” Not a single blade of grass was out of place. The greens were tightly shorn and undulated like velvet. I was in awe of the church-like atmosphere and beauty of the well-manicured gardens.

After a few hours, we would pick up Egg Salad sandwiches, crisply wrapped in green waxed paper for lunch at one of the concession stands and sit on an adjacent bench to enjoy our simple feast. Those egg salad sandwiches were the absolute best! Creamy diced eggs combined with mayonnaise and served on fluffy white bread. Their taste was far, far greater than the sum of its simple parts, only in the way that a special time in a special place with a special person can be. Later in the afternoon, we’d walk back towards the clubhouse and claim our spot at the 18th hole and watch the golfers come in to end their day.

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The Augusta National Golf Club

The Masters is synonymous with Augusta. Mama used to cut class in the late 50’s and jump the back fence to be a part of Arnie’s Army, the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer’s hordes of fans. A cousin on my grandfather’s side worked at the Augusta National. I remember as a child not quite understanding why he mowed grass  when all my father’s friends wore suits and worked in an office. Later, I realized he actually didn’t mow the grass and was the Assistant Superintendent of the Augusta National, effectively the VP of those famous greens.

Masters Egg Salad on www.virginiawillis.com

Azaleas

The Augusta National Golf Club creates an absolutely perfect world that consists of shades of vibrant green, interrupted only by bursts of red, white, pink, and garishly coral azaleas. It’s long been rumored that the groundskeepers ice or heat the azalea bushes in the weeks preceding The Masters to ensure they will be at full peak during the tournament! (It’s a solid fact that the ponds are dyed dark blue for optimal reflection of the powder blue skies and that the snow-white sand is pure ground quartz.)

Anything artificially introduced into this rarefied world is also a carefully chosen shade of green and designed to blend in – think golf camouflage – from the TV camera optic points stationed throughout the course to the concession tents to the green translucent wax paper wrapping the sandwiches. The attention to detail is incredible and the very reason a patron’s badge to The Masters is one of the world’s most sought after tickets in the world. 

Designed by Georgia native Bobby Jones, it sits on land of a former commercial nursery and is right around the corner from the cemetery where much of my family is buried.  I’ve passed those green fences more times than I could say. The Augusta National  is credited as being one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. The fairways are punctuated with tall, majestic pines and pink and white dogwoods, redbud, camellia, and banks of azaleas surround the emerald-hued greens. Each hole is named for a plant or shrub — for example, Number 3 is called Flowering Crab Apple and Number 16 is called Redbud, and perhaps most famous of all is Number 13, known as Azalea. Augusta is synonymous with azaleas.

Masters Egg Salad on www.virginiawillis.com

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Sadly, I am not able to attend The Masters very often. However, on the last day of the tournament I find myself watching, thinking back to those special times of my childhood. Other things have changed, too. The club has purchased all of the adjacent neighborhoods. The homes have been removed and the lawns once used for rogue parking are now perfectly landscaped and manicured, as one would expect. The famous Egg Salad Sandwich once produced offsite and brought in is now produced on site. However, the recipe is still top secret and even with most sports concessions prices through the roof, the price still remains less than $2.00. The Masters Egg Salad Sandwich is as legendary as the greens. To this day, when I eat an egg salad sandwich, I always, always think of my Mama and The Masters.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis

PS For other great EGG recipes take a look HERE.

Masters Egg Salad on www.virginiawillis.com

The Masters' Egg Salad Sandwich

Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel. For deviled eggs, the trick is to think ahead and buy and refrigerate eggs for about seven days in advance of cooking. This allows the eggs to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shells. With egg salad, it's less important because you're going to mash them up, but something to remember if you don't understand why your eggs are easy to peel sometimes and sometimes not.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: bread, lunch, sandwich
Cuisine: French, Southern
Keyword: Egg Salad
Servings: 4
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread, cut ½ inch thick

Instructions

  • Place the eggs in a saucepan and add water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. (You will see bubbles around the sides of the pot.) Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes for slightly soft eggs (for egg salad), or 12 minutes for firmer eggs (for deviled eggs and such). Drain the eggs and rinse them under cold running water. Let cool completely.
  • To peel the eggs, tap each egg gently on the counter or sink all over to crackle it. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel, starting at the large end, while holding the egg under running cold water; this facilitates peeling and also removes any stray shell fragments.
  • Halve the eggs and place in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or a fork, mash the eggs until slightly coarse. Add the mayonnaise and sweet paprika to the mashed eggs; season with salt and white pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Place 4 slices of the bread on a clean work surface. Divide the egg salad equally among the bread and top with the watercress. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Using a serrated knife, halve on the diagonal. Serve immediately.

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Lost me at watercress. I don’t recall that on the Egg salad sandwiches in the National.

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