This dish is an excellent accompaniment to smoked or preserved fish. Finish off with some oven baked beetroot and dill pickles.
2 large free-range eggs
1 tbsp snipped chives
2 tbsp very finely chopped inner stalks of celery
For the mayonnaise
3 egg yolks
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
300ml olive oil
white pepper or Tabasco
Make mayonnaise first
Choose a comfortable basin and rest it on a damp cloth, so it cannot slip.
Work egg yolks with salt and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice for a minute until smooth. Gradually beat in oil using a wooden spoon or a whisk, adding the first few tablespoons one at a time and beating very well after each.
After a third of the oil has been added, the rest can be added in a thin, steady stream, beating all the while. (This is easiest to do if you have a helper to pour while you beat.)
Taste for acidity and adjust with drops of extra lemon juice, salt and pepper or Tabasco. Refrigerate with plastic film pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin forming.
To use, allow to return to room temperature.
For the side dish
Hard-boil the eggs for 8 minutes. Tap the shells while still hot and then run eggs under cold water. Peel and then slice and chop roughly.
Mix with the chives and celery and spoon in just enough mayonnaise to make a firm mixture. It should not be at all sloppy. (The remainder of the mayonnaise can be used over the next few days - for a potato salad, for example.)