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Eggs

Contributed by: Jennifer Wickes

Varieties

The hen's egg is the most popular egg consumed, though duck, quail and geese eggs are also eaten. The color of the shell indicates the breed of the hen, whereas the intensity of the color of the yolk, indicates what kind of diet the hen was on. A high wheat diet results in an orange yolk!

Freshness

A fresh egg is heavy due to its high water content, so it will rest lengthwise at the bottom of a pan filled with water. If the egg floats, then the egg is stale due to its high air content, and it should be thrown away.

The chalazae is the thick supporting strands used to hold the yolk in the center of the shell. If it is more prominent, then the egg is fresher. If you can barely see it, then the egg is older.

Storage

Store the eggs in their carton in the refrigerator on a shelf. In the door, is too warm for them. Always keep them away from strong smelling foods, such as garlic and onions. It can maintain its freshness for 4 – 5 weeks!

If you have any leftover yolks, cover them with cold water and place them in an airtight container. They will keep fresh for 3 days. If you need more time to use your egg yolks, mix the yolks up with a fork, and add 1/8 tsp. salt OR 1 1/2 tsp. sugar to every 1/4 cup egg yolks. Then freeze in ice cube trays, placing 1-1 ½ tbsp. in each cube (equivalent to 1 egg yolk). They can maintain freshness up to 6 months!

Store leftover egg whites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. If that is not enough time, add 2 tbsp. of egg white per cube on an ice cube tray (equivalent to 1 egg white). They can maintain their freshness up to 6 months!

If your eggs are frozen, then defrost before using.

Nutritional Qualities

1 egg supplies an adult 15% of his daily protein. Egg White: protein and riboflavin Egg Yolk: fat, protein, iron, Vitamins A, B, D, E & K, calcium, choline, iodine and phosporus

Despite their high cholesterol (213 mg per egg), new evidence supports that foods high in saturated fats increase blood cholesterol levels, not foods low in fat with high cholesterol. Please consult your physician to find out how many eggs are safe for you to consume!

Trivia

Blood spot on the yolk is naturally occurring. It does not indicate whether an egg is fertilized or not.

Sizes

  • Jumbo: 30 oz. per dozen
  • XL: 27 oz. per dozen
  • Large: 24 oz. per dozen
  • Medium: 21 oz. per dozen
  • Small: 18 oz. per dozen
  • Peewee: 15 oz. per dozen

Most recipes use a large egg!

Equivalencies

  • Serving size = 2 eggs
  • Whole: 1 dozen = 2 1/3 cups, 5 eggs = 1 cup, 1 egg = 3 tbsp.
  • Whites: 1 dozen = 1 1/2 cups, 7-8 whites = 1 cup, 1 white = 2 tbsp.
  • Yolks: 1 dozen = 7/8 cup, 1 yolk = 1 tbsp.

Substituting

  • 1 Whole: 2 yolks + 1 tbsp. water OR 3 1/2 tbsp. egg substitute OR 2
  • 1/2 tbsp of egg powder + 2 1/2 tbsp. water
  • 1 White: 1 tbsp. powder + 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 Yolks: 1 whole egg

Preparation

Separating Egg Yolks: Over a bowl, crack the shell on a hard flat surface. Break the egg in half while keeping one shell horizontally. Pass the yolk back and forth between the two halves until all the white is in the bowl. ~ If this makes you nervous, you can do a similar method by placing the whole egg in a cup and then pour into one hand. Allow the white to pass between your fingers.

Egg Wash: Mix an egg yolk along with a tablespoon of water and 1/8 tsp. salt. Whisk until they are incorporated. Then brush over bread or pastry items before baking.

Soft Boiled Eggs: Place eggs in a pan of boiling water. Once the water resumes a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. The white should be set and the yolk runny.

Hard Boiled Eggs: Simmer eggs for 6 – 10 minutes. Then place in iced water to stop the cooking process.

Tips

When whisking egg whites, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and that all of your equipment is free of grease!

If your hard-boiled eggs have a green ring around the yolk, then the egg has been overcooked. Try turning these eggs into deviled eggs to hide the mistake!

If your hard-boiled eggs are too hard to peel, then the eggs you used are too fresh. Try using these eggs in an egg salad, or anywhere else you would need chopped eggs!

Salting eggs while they are frying toughens the white. Instead, salt the eggs immediately after cooking, but before they get cold, so the eggs have time to absorb the flavors of the salt.

Always fry eggs on a low heat. They will absorb less fat this way and do not toughen up and get that hard material around the edge.

Safety

Salmonella is a foodbourne infection of the intestinal tract. It can occur from eating raw or undercooked eggs. The bacteria are found in healthy hens' ovaries producing healthy looking eggs. The bacteria can be passed on to the yolk of the egg, and in lesser instances, even in the whites. The temperature at which salmonella can be destroyed is at 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). Pasteurized eggs are held for 3.5 minutes in 140 degree F (60 degrees C) water. This will kill any possible salmonella bacteria.

Spices

Basil, chervil, chili powder, chives, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, marjoram, paprika, parsley, savory, tarragon, thyme.

Additional Information (Web Sites)

American Egg Board
Egg Nutrition Center

Recipes

Deviled Eggs

Recipe By: Jennifer A. Wickes

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1-teaspoon parsley
  • 1-teaspoon chives
  • salt and pepper -- to taste

Add the eggs into salted water, and bring to a boil.

Boil for 10 minutes. Then drain the water and add ice and cold water to the eggs.

When the ice melts, the eggs are cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes).

Slice eggs in half. Remove the yolks and place in a bowl.

Mash the yolks. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.

Using a cookie press or a pastry bag (or you can just spoon in the yolk mixture), refill the eggs with the yolk mixture.

Sprinkle each egg with paprika.

Garnish the eggs by putting them on a plate of lettuce.

Yields: 12 servings

Potato and Cheese Omelet

Recipe By: Healthy Choice

  • 1-teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small potato -- thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion -- thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Healthy Choice Cholesterol Free Egg -- (1 container)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Healthy Choice Fat Free Cheddar Shreds -- (6-oz.) shredded

1. In 10" non-stick skillet, cook potato and onion in olive oil over medium heat until potato is tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. In same skillet add egg product and pepper. As egg begins to set, run spatula under edge of omelet, lifting cooked portion and allowing uncooked portion to spread to bottom of pan tilting pan as necessary.

3. When eggs are almost set, sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Continue cooking until cheese just begins to melt.

4. Spoon potato-onion mixture into half of omelet. Lift unfilled side of omelet over filling. Sprinkle with 1/2-cup cheese. To remove from pan, tilt pan slightly, turn omelet onto plate.

Yields: 3 servings

Sweetheart Meringues with Crème Brule and Raspberry Sauce

Recipe By: California Egg Commission

  • 8 large California Fresh Egg Whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

Cream Brulee

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 8 large California Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Raspberry Sauce

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 10-ounce package red raspberries frozen in syrup
  • 2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

Preheat oven to 325ºF

Whip egg whites until frothy, then gradually add sugar a little at a time, until sugar is dissolved and whites are very stuff.

Using pastry bag and large plain tip, pipe meringue into 8 heart shapes about 3 inches across on parchment-lined baking sheet. Build the hearts up to about 1/2" in height. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let sit in oven with door open until cool. (This helps the meringues dry out thoroughly.)

Place hearts on serving plates.

Crème Brule Instructions: Mix egg yolks with granulated sugar until thoroughly blended.

Whip in cream.

Place in top of double boiler and heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the spoon in a thick layer.

Remove from heat and stir in liqueur. Let cool slightly.

Pour into meringue hearts and refrigerate for several hours. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the brulee to prevent a skin from forming or dot the surface, while still warm, with a stick of butter so that a thin film of fat is on the surface, protecting it from the air.

Raspberry Sauce Instructions: Thaw raspberries.

Dessert Assembly: Place two or three dollops of raspberry sauce around the brulee-filled hearts. Garnish with a couple of fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

Use caution and care when separating eggs. Make sure that no egg yolk gets into the white. The fat in the egg yolk will prevent the whites from whipping.

If suitable for the recipe, add a source of acid, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar before you begin the whipping process. This stabilizes the foam and prevents it from separating quickly after whipping. Start whipping slowly to begin the aeration process, then increase the speed to a rapid whip to develop the foam.

When adding the sugar, test the meringue by rubbing a little between the fingers.

NOTES: Although there are three components, the preparation is simple. The crème brûlée is cooked on the stove top, requiring no water bath or oven time. The meringues can be made up to a day ahead, if the weather is not too humid. The simple raspberry sauce will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Cooking Hints

Whipping Egg Whites Use very clean bowls and beaters. Any foreign material, but particularly grease or soap file can inhibit foaming. Metal or glass bowls are the best. Plastic is not recommended because grease may cling to plastic surfaces, even after cleaning.

Yields: 8 servings

This article was originally published at Suite 101.

Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cookbook Reviews", "Foreign Films" and "Cooking With The Seasons", which has been voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information about Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/CulinaryJen


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