Posts Tagged astoria

On Harvest Dinners, Vacations, and Bacon-y Egg Salad.

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t feel the need to apologize for my lack of recent posts. I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you! Life gets busy and crazy and sometimes I don’t have a spare moment to cook (or write about cooking). So, then, rather than lament my lack of posts…I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to.

Most of my energies were focused upon one event: The Montavilla Farmer’s Market Harvest Dinner. I’ve been volunteering with the Market all year, but I was especially excited to help with their annual fundraising dinner. The dinner was comprised of 6 courses (omnivore or vegan), wine pairings, a silent auction, and music by a string quartet. The purpose of the dinner is to raise funds for the Market’s Everybody Eats program, which helps with food stamp matching and food accessibility.

I was charged with the task of heading up the decor and ambiance for the dinner. I had a very specific vision for the look and feel of the dinner and I if I do say so myself, it all turned out beautifully. The dinner was a great success! The food was fantastic, the wines were delicious, the ambiance was lovely, and the guests were happy.

Pictured: Harvest dinner place setting.

The day after the Harvest dinner, Nich and I escaped to the coast. I knew that we’d be exhausted from the event and thankfully I had the foresight to book us at a room at cute little hotel in Astoria, Oregon. When we arrived in Astoria, we were greeted with never-ending and miserable rain. We decided to make the best of it and proceeded to wander about the quaint little town, and ended up getting positively soaking. I looked like a drowned rat. But, we made sure to warm ourselves with a few tasty brews at the Fort George Brewing Company.

The next morning, we awoke and everything had changed. The skies were blue and the seas were calm…it was downright gorgeous. We walked along the pier, drank coffee, and read a lot of Harry Potter. Since we weren’t in a hurry (nor did we have a schedule!), we wandered around the coast aimlessly until we felt it was time to head back home. We drove home with the windows down and the music turned up loud. I sang along at the top of my lungs as the sun warmed my face and I felt that all was right with the world. It was the perfect getaway.

Pictured: Nich & I at the coast. Happy.

We arrived home feeling refreshed. Nich jumped into projects mode (he built us a picnic table!) and I set about making egg salad sandwiches. Why? Because I happen to love egg salad sandwiches! And I had a ton of eggs in the fridge. And I was too lazy to go to the store. And egg salad is delicious! This particular batch of egg salad was extra delicious, as I had the genius idea to add in bacon and caramelized shallots. These additions transformed the egg salad into something special. This is not your typical soggy deli egg salad. No, my friends, this is egg salad all grown up. You must try it for yourself! I beg of you.

So, there you have it…

This week I helped throw a fundraiser dinner, escaped to the coast, returned home, and made a damn good batch of egg salad. Oh, and I helped put on this food swap. I didn’t do much in the way of cooking or writing, but that’s OK. I wasn’t blogging, but I was busy doing a lot of wonderful things. All that to say, I had a really fantastic week. I hope you did too.

Pictured: Egg Salad Sandwich on Dave’s Killer Blues Bread with Spring Greens and Tomato

Egg Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Shallots, and Whole Grain Mustard
Note: This is what I would call a German style egg salad. The egg salad has all the classic flavors of german pub food. It is bold, smoky, and full of flavor.

4 strips bacon
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
10 eggs
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey mustard (or yellow mustard)
2 dill pickle spears, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste

For sandwich:
Dave’s killer bread (or other tasty whole grain bread)
Slices of heirloom tomatoes
Greens, such as arugula or spinach

My tips for perfect hard boiled eggs: Place eggs in a large pot and cover with water, until eggs are covered with about an inch of water. Place pot on stove and heat over high heat until water just barely begins to boil. Once the water boils, turn the stove off and remove pan from heat. Cover the pot and set your timer for 15 minutes (allowing the eggs to sit in the hot water during this time). After 15 minutes, pour off hot water and rinse eggs with cold water to stop the cooking process. You should now have perfectly hard boiled eggs.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon and shallots. For the bacon, cook strips in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered. For the shallots, cook in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Allow the shallots to slowly brown and caramelize. If they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down to low. The shallots should caramelize in 15-20 minutes. Set aside bacon and shallots and allow to cool.

To assemble the egg salad:
Peel and dice all the hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Mix in the mayo, mustard(s), salt, pepper, paprika and dill. Adjust mayo & mustard levels according to your personal preference. The egg salad should be moist but thick (not runny).

Chop bacon strips and dill pickles into a fine dice. Gently stir in the bacon, pickles, and dill until just combined. Serve egg salad on a piece of toast with lettuce and tomato.