By Sherrie Norris
While some things are changing by the day, others are staying the same, and as far as I can tell, May is still National Egg Month.
According to the American Egg Board, which is the official link to consumers in communicating the value of the egg, eggs are good for us, despite the contrary cholesterol-related data we’ve heard about in the past.
Recent studies now indicate that it’s really OK to eat eggs, without the worry of negative side effects. Those of us aiming for the low-carb, high protein way of life love this tidbit of information.
A bit of trivia, according to the Egg Board, tells us that eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the fridge, and that white-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and earlobes; brown-shelled eggs come from hens with red feathers and red ear lobes.
Referred to by old-timers as “hen fruit,” the egg is one of the most utilized kitchen staples, with estimates of over 99.1 billion produced every year by about 340 million commercial laying hens. And, we are also told that it takes a hen 24-26 hours to “lay” an egg, from start to finish — and 30 minutes later, she starts all over again. (Moms, can you imagine?)
Without the egg, we would never know the joys of omelets, soufflés or quiche, and it’s one of those things, so versatile in nature that it can be fried, scrambled, poached, baked, boiled and enjoyed in many different ways. Hope you enjoy a few of our ideas.
While there seemed to be a surge recently in egg prices at the grocery store, you can still find them quite reasonably priced, in general.
Baked Eggs and Ham
¼ lb. country ham, sliced, or 8 slices Canadian Bacon
½ lb. Swiss cheese, sliced
1 cup cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 450; Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with either the ham or bacon.
Top with a layer or Swiss cheese. Break eggs onto cheese, being careful not to break the yolks. Drizzle cream over egg white until the yolk peaks through. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes more. Cut into squares to serve.
Spinach and Cheese Casserole
1½ cup Bisquick
½ cup milk
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup cooked spinach, drained well and patted dry
¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese for topping
In a large bowl, combine Bisquick, milk and two of the eggs. Add onion; spread mixture in bottom of greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix together Parmesan and Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, garlic, spinach and remaining 3 eggs. Carefully spoon over first layer. Cover and refrigerate over night. Next day, preheat oven to 350; bake for 30 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and let stand for several minutes before cutting. Sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbsp. Cheddar cheese.
Makes about 12 servings.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Pie
1 (9-inch) prepared piecrust
6 slices bacon
3 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
4 eggs – lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
2 cups light cream
Dice bacon, fry crisp; drain, and spread into pie shell. Cover with cheese slices. Combine other ingredients and spoon into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees for
- To add a shiny glaze to the surface of pastries and breads, brush with an “egg wash” before baking: beat one egg with a Tbs. of water until just combined, lightly brush pastry or dough just before baking. For a golden color, substitute an egg yolk for the whole egg.
- When poaching eggs, add white vinegar to the poaching water (1 Tbsp. vinegar for each 2 cups water.) This helps the egg whites to coagulate, resulting in a more compact shape.
- Eggs separate more easily when cold. To separate an egg from the yolk, gently tap the egg against a hard surface, such as the kitchen counter or side of a bowl. Gently break the egg in half over a bowl, holding a shell half in each hand. Gently transfer the yolk back and forth between the two shell halves, allowing the white to drip into the bowl. Place the yolk in another bowl.