The Bell’s Restaurant Egg Salad Sandwich Will Soothe Your Soul
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The story of Bell’s Restaurant is a homecoming. Chef and Owner Daisy Ryan grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. As an adult, she spent several years in New York. She first attended culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde park, and then cooked in a handful of New York’s best restaurants: Per se, Chef’s Table Brooklyn Fare, Gramercy Tavern. When it came time to open a restaurant of her own, Daisy and her husband Gregory Ryan relocated to Los Alamos, and together they opened Bell’s.
Bell’s is both elegant and welcoming. The Ryan’s menu features French classics and comfort food. It’s the type of place where drinking a glass of organic wine alongside a bag of Utz potato chips makes perfect sense.
Even though the restaurant has temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ryans are still hard at work feeding people and supporting their community. They quickly realized that one of the standouts on their lunch menu, an egg salad sandwich with savory tomato jam, would be easy to deconstruct and repackage as an at home “egg salad survival kit.”
Those in Los Alamos can order a kit with loaf of buttery bread, a quart of egg salad, and homemade pickles. It’s enough food to keep you assembling egg salad sandwiches all week. For those not in California, here’s your chance: recreate this rich and savory egg salad sandwich with tomato jam at home using the recipe below.
Recipe: Bell’s Egg Salad Sandwich
For the egg salad
15 large eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chives
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
For the tomato jam
16 Oz canned whole tomatoes
2 cups medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
Make the egg salad
1. Fill a large pot halfway with water. The pot should be large enough to fit all the eggs in one layer on the bottom, with water deep enough to cover the eggs by an inch.
2. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and bring to a boil on the stovetop over high heat.
3. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice water.
4. Once the water is boiling, add all of the eggs. Lower them with a strainer, spider, or spoon, so they don’t hit the bottom of the pot and crack open.
5. Boil eggs for 8 minutes and then plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking.
6. Allow to cool completely and then peel and quarter.
Make the tomato jam 1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
2. In a large heavy bottomed pot melt the butter and olive oil.
3. Add onions and cook over medium heat until they become translucent.
4. Add salt, sugar and pepper and stir.
5. Add tomatoes, including juice, and cook over high heat until liquid has reduced by half.
6. Put the pot in the oven uncovered. Stir every 20 minutes, the surface should start to blacken a little bit, and the consistency should be similar to tomato paste. This will take approximately 3 hours.
7. After the mixture has reached the consistency of tomato paste, approximately three hours, transfer to a food processor and process until smooth.
Assemble the Sandwich
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a cookie sheet or sheet tray in the oven.
2. Butter two sides of the bread, and spread the tomato jam on the inside of one piece.
3. Toast the bread butter side down for about 7 minutes, or until the bread appears to be turning golden.
4. Spread your desired amount of egg salad on one slice of bread, add a pinch more salt, top with the other slice and serve.