Eggs Du Jour

Sunday May 14, 2017

I remember one lunch catering job where my client was having lunch negotiating a contract with a tennis pro. He looked at me and asked, so what is your opinion on all of this on eggs not being good for you? There I was serving lunch, and giving my take on eggs and heart disease. Well, the official news on eggs has gone back and forth a few times since then, and it ends up eggs are not taking the bad rap anymore. They are considered a part of a healthy diet. And there are a whole new batch of egg types to choose from to streamline the most subtle dieter. Who could have known.

All my brunch catering jobs featured eggs, either in a strata casserole, made to order omelets, or eggs Benedicts. And no one was complaining. Spring brunches usually always called for smoked salmon, which is luscious and rich. Even the little children love it.

Eggs got an undeserving bad rap some years back with all the hype about the natural cholesterol contained in the yolk. Luckily that is relaxed with a bevy of alternative egg products and diet consciousness, as well as the realization that the egg is not the total bad guy after all.

With the advent of the low-cholesterol diets and that cholesterol functions uniquely in each single body, individuals are more aware than ever where eggs fit in an overall diet abundant in ‘real foods’, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats, fish, and poultry. The egg is still the food to turn to when you want something high in protein, low in calories, fast to prepare, and tastes good. It is necessary for baking and is the essential ingredient in frittatas, fried rice, and quiches.

The protein- and mineral-rich egg is perfect in its entirety and has been known as a convenient source of nutrition for as long as man has been eating them. The yolk and white are synergistic nutritionally, so a long-term diet of all egg whites is discouraged. If you still love your egg white omelet, include one yolk per every 2 to 3 whites to prevent a nutritional imbalance.

I only use Grade AA brown or white free-range or cage-free eggs for I find they taste better and it works for my environmental commitment for fair treatment of farm animals, but of course, the eggs you buy are a personal choice. There is a marked difference between organic and conventional eggs, since the chickens dine upon organic unsprayed vegetarian feed and are not treated with hormones and antibiotics. If you live in an area where someone sells their extra eggs from their own chickens, or if you like having your own flock of ‘girls’, you will be assured really fresh eggs. The nutritional value of all eggs are the same, except for the DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the label, which designates that the chickens were fed flax seeds and/or fish oils with their regular grain diet. If you cannot use fresh eggs, commercial egg substitutes abound (powdered, refrigerated or frozen), so that even restricted diets can enjoy egg dishes now and then. There are also low-cholesterol, low-sodium fresh eggs, created by the hens using a special feed.

Buy refrigerated eggs. I was surprised to learn that eggs refrigerated for 1 week are fresher than eggs kept at room temperature for 1 day.  The sell date stamped on the end of the carton is the store pull date; it has nothing to do with the freshness of the eggs. Store the eggs with the pointed ends facing down (the yolk will stay centered as well) and away from strong foods since the porous shell can absorb refrigerator odors resulting in an off taste. Discard cracked eggs or use in cooked dishes.

Eggs for supper take center stage. Poached, boiled, fried, scrambled, souffléed, each recipe featuring eggs is quite different in its finished state. But the multi-talented egg tends to cool quickly, so warm your plates (just warm to the touch please so you won’t cook the eggs further) and head to the table ASAP to enjoy.

Beth Recommends: Eggs 101

With so many eggs available—different colors, sizes and origins—the choice may seem a bit overwhelming.When choosing eggs, keep the following in mind:

* Brown shelled eggs only indicate that the eggs were produced by a different breed of hen than those that produce white shelled eggs. They don’t taste different because of the color of the shell.

* Organic eggs come from chickens raised on organic feed in cage-free living conditions strictly regulated by National Organic Standards as set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* Omega-3 or DHA eggs are from chickens that have been fed a diet supplemented with a source of omega-3 fatty acids (often flax seed).

Eggs are graded for quality, depending on their interior and exterior characteristics. Typically, they’re sized and graded by producers without USDA supervision.

Grade AA is the best for quality and freshness, then Grade A, followed by Grade B; however, none of these grades signal poor quality eggs.

Sizing of eggs is based on the total weight per dozen eggs and works like this:

* Jumbo = 30 ounces per dozen

* Extra Large = 27 ounces per dozen

* Large = 24 ounces per dozen

* Medium = 21 ounces per dozen

* Small = 18 ounces per dozen

Recipes

The Denver Omelet

French Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Chives

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


Your Comments

0 comments Comments Feed

There are no comments yet, be the first!

Leave a Reply