My Schmaltzy Valentine

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This past Sunday, a group of us were invited to participate in the annual Valentine's Tea event at the J ames Beard House.

Among the visiting chefs were Amanda Freitag from The Harrison, as well as pastry chefs Jennifer Giblin of Blue Smoke, Ellen Mirsky of Public, and Melissa Murphy from Sweet Melissa Patisserie.

Katherine, Miriam, our newest team member Leah Brickley, and I prepared an array of tea sandwiches to accompany a tea tasting held by Linda Villano of SerendipitiTea.

Our menu:
  • Cucumber, crab and cress on brioche
  • Hanger steak with shiitake mushrooms and endive jam on sourdough
  • Tea-smoked trout with beets and horseradish on multigrain
  • Grown-up ham and cheese with quince and arugula

Sounds fancy, huh? Well, that was until the Lower East Side egg salad on pumpernickel made its way to the menu. What makes it Lower East Side egg salad? That'd be schmaltz, the key ingredient.

As a virgin schmaltz egg salader but a huge fan of egg salad in general, I was needless to say very curious. The egg salad was not only smooth and luscious, but it took on a chicken flavor that was comforting and familiar. No mayonnaise needed here at all. It is also incredibly rich, making it, in my opinion, perfect for tea-size (that is, smaller) sandwiches.

This Valentine's Day, I fell in love with something not quite as sexy as chocolate-dipped strawberries but with a lot more heart and soul.

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer
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