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.
- 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
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.