There are many holiday favorites that bring an array of warmth to the table. This holiday season include eggs as a part of your celebration. From quiche, to custards, pies, sauces, candies, cakes, mayonnaise, and yes even ice cream, eggs can prove to be an important holiday baking ingredient as well as the main course.
First things first, consider the safe handling of eggs so no one gets sick. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend that consumers store their eggs in the refrigerator. Salmonella is bacteria that can be found inside and outside eggs. You cannot see, smell, or taste it. Without proper storage, this bacterium could be present in high numbers. Proper refrigeration prevents the growth of Salmonella. Also, if eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, it can cause illness. Therefore, cook eggs until done and do not consume eggs in raw products like cake mixes and cookie dough. If eggs are needed for raw consumption, use pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been heat treated to kill 99.9% of Salmonella and could be used in recipes that will not be cooked: such as, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, and some ice creams. How will you know if eggs are pasteurized or not? Read the egg carton. If the eggs are pasteurized, it will be displayed on the carton.
Functions of eggs in holiday dish
Eggs are not just amazing to eat; they also have unique properties. “In fact, the cooking properties of eggs are so varied that eggs have been called “the cement that holds together the castle of cuisine”.
Eggs bind ingredients in dishes such as meatloaves or crab cakes, leaven such baked high-rises as soufflés and sponge cakes and thicken custards and sauces.
Eggs emulsify mayonnaise, salad dressings and Hollandaise sauce and are frequently used to coat or glaze breads and cookies.
Eggs clarify soups and coffee and retard crystallization in boiled candies and frostings.
Eggs add color, flavor, moisture and nutrients to baked goods such as cakes. As a finishing touch, hard-boiled eggs often serve as a garnish.” Source: www.IncredibleEgg.org
All of this and they are good for you too. The American Egg Board states, “Eggs have a high nutrient density because they provide a number of nutrients in proportion to their calorie count. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, high-quality protein, and antioxidants, all for 70 calories. Eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high quality protein, vitaminB12, phosphorus and riboflavin. The nutrients found in eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more.” Egg Fact: Adding eggs to green salads increases the absorption of antioxidants. Source: www.IncredibleEgg.org
Try out some of the recipes below for your next holiday meal.
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sweet relish (more if desired)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
Paprika, for dusting
Place eggs in a large wide saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Remove eggs and cool in ice water bath. Remove shells from eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Separate egg yolks and place into a bowl. Place whites on a separate plate. Add mayo, mustard, relish, paprika, dry mustard, sugar and salt and pepper, to taste, to yolks and mash together with a fork until creamy and smooth. Using a large plastic bag, spoon yolk into the bag and cut a small piece of the corner of the plastic bag, making a hole for filling to come out of. Pastry bag and decorating tips work nicely as well. Fill yolk holes completely. Dust tops with paprika. Refrigerate. Serve cold.
Variation: Stuff egg white halves with favorite chicken salad, tuna salad, or potato salad.
Holiday Meringue Kisses
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
36 milk chocolate candy
In a small mixing bowl, beat whites with vanilla, cream of tartar, extract and salt until soft peak forms. Very slowly add 1 cup sugar and beat until peaks are stiff. Do not overbeat. Drop 1 tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. You can also use parchment paper. Press a candy into each cookie. Carefully use a spatula or butter knife to fold meringue onto top of candy and swirl the top. You can sprinkle with holiday sugar sprinkles if desired. Yield 36 cookies.
Mommy’s Special Eggs
Breakfast for Dinner
2 large or extra large eggs
1t chopped green onions
1T green bell peppers
1T chopped ham
1T spinach (fresh or frozen)
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in skillet. Sauté ham, bell peppers, green onions for about 1 minute. Beat egg and milk. Add egg and spinach to the cooked ham, pepper, and onion mixture. Cook until eggs set and are done. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cheese grits and biscuits. Enjoy!
CLASSIC COOKED EGG NOG
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1 quart milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
In large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar and salt, if
desired. Stir in 2 cups of the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring
constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon
with a thin film and reaches at least 160 F. Remove from heat.
Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate
until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before
serving, pour into bowl or pitcher. Serve immediately.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts or 12 (1/2-cup) servings
COOKED HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup firm cold butter, cut into eighths
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/8 teaspoon paprika
dash ground red pepper
In small saucepan, beat together egg yolks, water and lemon
juice. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until yolk
mixture bubbles at edges. Stir in butter, 1 piece at a time, until
melted and sauce is thickened. Stir in seasonings. Remove from
heat. Cover and chill if not using immediately.
Yield: about 3/4 cup