Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ei Candy: Viennese Eiersalat, Two Ways, for the International Incident Eggs Party

International Incident Party

Welcome to the September International Incident Party!  Because this is my birthday month, I'm thrilled to be co-hosting with the fabulous Penny aka Jeroxie. These little shindigs she started back in February just keep growing - not only is this the biggest party yet, but Epicurious just did a write up about the Incidents. Cool stuff.

In the past, party themes have included gnocchi, noodles, pizza, and tacos, but I don't think we've ever had a party with such a wide-open theme as this one: eggs. Eggs! The sheer number of possibilities made this one tough to nail down. I had so many ideas: a souffle? eggs en cocotte? a cake for my birthday? Too bad I already made Julia Child's gateau omni omelette!!

But then I remembered those tiny little sandwiches I fell in love with in Vienna.
Remember? The artfully arranged ones from Duran Sandwich:
The Emmenthaler (top) was one of my favorites
How beautiful is that!
And the brotaufstriche, or bread with spreads, from Buffet Trzesniewski, which we always had with a little pfiff of beer ...
Ah, look at those eggs on top!
We became so obsessed with these tiny sandwiches that we even took them on a picnic at the Schloss Schonbrunn on our last full day in Vienna:

Please don't take my sandwiches away!
Do you notice the one thing many of these sandwiches have in common? Yes - ei, or eggs. Eggs on top, eggs in salad, eggs in noodles - the Austrians are an egg-crazed nation, it seems. Even the light fixture at the Trzesniewski Maria Hilf location is an egg:
I really want one of these for my kitchen
So for this party I decided to make to different kinds of eiersalat, or egg salad, and dress them up, Duran and Trzesniewski-style. For the first kind of salad, eier-hackerle, I turned to this recipe book I got in Vienna:

Yes, it's all in German, and no, I don't speak the language (except for a few food and menu words!) but with the help of my Austrian Mother-in-Law-Trix and the Google translator, I managed quite nicely.

The first step of course is to hard boil the eggs:
Actually, I never really boil them. I put them in a pot with the water covering them by about one inch. Then I allow the water to just boil and turn off the heat and cover them for 10-20 minutes. Next, I put them in ice water until they cool. This generally makes them very easy to peel:
The incredible, edible egg
I made a dozen. I used five for my eier-hackerle from the Dr. Oetker Austrian recipe book ("for party-buffet or picnic!"), five for a Trzesniewski-style spread (aufstriche), and two I saved for awesome egg slice garnishes. I even bought a new gadget for that:
Why is this so much fun to do??
The Dr. Oetker recipe recipe called for :
  • a can of Gemusemais, or corn, but I used 2 ears of fresh sweet corn that I boiled and cut off of the cob.
  • hard boiled eggs (I used 5)
  • 100 g mayonnaise (I used mayo with olive oil for a more European flavor)
  • 150 g yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1 T mittelscharfer Senf, or (I think) medium hot mustard. I used some Zwiebel, or onion mustard, I got in Vienna
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • a small shallot, finely chopped
  • Kresse ... which is a peppery green. I used a handful of arugula
  • Schnittlauch, or chives
The rest of the directions were beyond my translation skills, so I just mixed together the mayo, yogurt, mustard, shallots,  salt, and pepper until it tasted right,  and then gently folded that into the rest of the ingredients. The corn was a very surprising component of the salad, and it added a lovely crunchy sweetness. Poppa Trix declared that it tasted Austrian, and I agree. A big hit!

For the spread, I simply mashed up five eggs, added a bit of Zwiebel mustard, mayo, salt, and pepper and whizzed it until it was smooth:
It seems odd that something so simple would taste so good and so very distinctively Austrian, but it took me right back to Trzesniewski. For variety, I added chopped dill to half of this mixture.

But now for the really fun part - putting the tiny sandwiches together! I had a bunch of toppings and garnishes lined up - dill, Camembert, radish, paprika, purple frisee, chives, and of course, Emmenthaler. You must be very careful and neat when putting the aufstriche on the bread:

But it's really all about using your imagination and having fun with your little constructed sandwiches.

Emmenthaler with paprika!
Pretty purple frisee

A little of Camembert with a line of paprika ... egg slices ... real Trzesniewski style!

Radishes add great texture ... plus they're cute

Iconically Trzesniewski

And what kind of picnic would it be without a lovely beer?

Thanks to all of the Eggs Party participants this month! Happy birthday to my fellow September babies, and thanks Penny for letting me co-host. Don't forget to check out all the other amazing egg dishes!


  1. Wow, Trix!!! We absolutely love your creations and how artistically you put them together! Soy has now declared that we must visit Austria since it's an egg nation, and she is an egg monster!

  2. geez, that's a lot of fancy eggs! everything looks amazing! glad we can swap egg salad recipes now! :) enjoy your birthday!

  3. amazing these are incredible as you are so creative and talented beautiful!!!~

  4. Happy Birthday Trix - you have created an amazing feast with your ei! I declare them eggscellent!

  5. How fun to re-create the sandwiches you fell in love with. They are almost too pretty to eat!

  6. Such pretty little sandwiches! I love all the combinations! Happy birthday!

  7. Happy birthday!
    These sandwiches are so awesome, you've done a sterling effort in recreating the magic. I would invite you along to a picnic in a heartbeat!

  8. Happy belated birthday Trix! Austrians are an egg-crazed nation - I think I need to find out for myself... LOL

    The sandwiches are wicked... beautiful and just so you - FABULOUS.

    Thanks for joining the party!

  9. Aw, each of these sandwiches made with eggs were so different. You've got a stream of imagination to create them.
    Happy belated birthday, Trix!

  10. Happy Birthday!! Such lovely little gourmet sandwiches you have created here. They would be so darling on the picnic.

  11. Outstanding! A very happy birthday to you. These pics are sure to get you into Top9

  12. Happy birthday Trix! I love the variations of sandwiches and different ways to use egg in them. YUM

  13. oh wow.....i am sooo making these and looking for that book. i do speak german! thanks for showing all of this!

  14. These look so pretty and delicious!

  15. As usual an awesome contribution to the party!!! Love the back story too! I am feeling foolish that I just *made* a recipe using eggs - I kind of didn't realise it have to be all about the egg... {sorry}

  16. Yum Austrian food! I am in the midst of planning another trip there next summer to vist some family and will have to check out some of the sandwiches!
    I sent the email yesterday at 7:22 EST, I think that converts to like 9:22 AM your time. Let me know if I need to resend it or send to an address other than the International Incident one!

    Amanda P

  17. Babe, they are GORGEOUS!! The presentation, the photography ... oh la la! I am so in love with everything you made. Emmenthaler with paprika is mine, mine, mine! You rock.

  18. These look great -- they remind of the Danish open-faced sandwiches I grew up with. So pretty that sometimes it takes a moment of appreciation before you dig in! Theresa

  19. Happy Birthday! And what a beautiful presentation, yeah they have gorgeous open sandwiches in Austria and you did a beautiful personal version.

  20. Wow your Viennese sandwiches look delicious. I love your photos and the presentation, just perfect. I live in Czech Republic and those sandwiches are also very popular here. In fact they are my favorite Czech thing to eat :) Thanks for co-hosting, congrats on feature and Happy Birthday to you!

  21. Eggs are indeed a versatile ingredient, as demonstrated in the variety of egg salad sandwiches. These sandwiches are so cute and elegant to eat, a great appetizer for parties. Happy birthday!

  22. I love how you got the book in German and worried about figuring it out later; truly a September girl I say! (me too)
    These sandwiches look like an egg lover's dream come true! With the dark bread and beer sounds and looks like a heavenly lunch by the Rhine (hope that's the river there! )

  23. Beautiful photos! And I would have one of those sandwiches... yes... yum.

  24. i already ordered a book on brotaufstriche. i didn't order the same on you have because it cost like 50.00 on amazon! i entered you in my drawing. i am going to be obsessed with these sandwiches now!

  25. this took me back to your post on these sandwiches, so clever to do them for the party... great sounding and I must confess, I think these are darn cute too

  26. not really a fan of egg sandwiches, but i'd be willing to give these a go.
    Love that egg light!

  27. Fantastic sandwiches... so perfect for any occasion... thanks for the pix and sharing...

  28. Happy Birthday Trix:) Oh those egg sandwiches with all those toppings, especially radishes, the crunch factor is beyond perfect on these little gems.

  29. Happy birthday, Trix. I think I'm in love with the egg salad with corn.. great idea and how I love egg salad! You made them look as good as the Viennese varieties.. just put them in your own Trix box and you are good to go!

  30. i am in love with this post. I adore eggs and sandwiches and this is something VERY different for me.

  31. These really are fantastic sandwiches. I love eggs and plain old egg salad is a favorite of mine. You can imagine my reaction on seeing these beauties you've created. I am new to your blog but love the food and recipes you feature here. I'll e back often. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  32. I can see why you fell in love! And I want one of those egg "lights" too!

  33. YUM!! They all look amazing. And makes me want to go to Vienna. =)

  34. What awesome plating aesthetics - looks scrumptious and too good to eat! Hope all is well with you Trix - missed ya!