My grandmother’s chopped eggs and onions got their flavor boost from griebenes, the cracklings of fat and skin that are a by-product of making schmaltz, poultry fat. I add well-browned onions and their oil for the same effect.
For Passover, serve on soft lettuce leaves, or for a gussied-up presentation, in radicchio or alternating pale green and red Belgian endive leaves. Or pack into small custard cups or cleaned tuna cans and invert onto frilly greens. Grated Black Radish and Endive Salad in Shallot Vinaigrette is a superb complement.
This should be rather coarse and crumbly, not at all paste-like. Using a food processor—even in pulsing motion—usually results in some overly large chunks and some paste. I find it much easier to chop this in an old-fashioned wooden chopping bowl with an inexpensive curved hand-chopper (like the half-moon-shaped Jewish hockmeisser or crescent-shaped Italia mezzaluna). It’s much quicker to clean than the food processor, too.
Scrape the sautéed onion and all the oil remaining in the skillet into a wooden bowl, and chop coarsely. Add the eggs and raw onion, and continue to chop until the mixture is well blended but not pasty. Mix in salt and lots of pepper as you chop, or blend in the seasonings afterwards with a fork. (Using a spoon will make the mixture too smooth.) The mixture should hold together loosely; you will probably need to add some of the schmaltz or a bit more oil. Chill well, but remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.