It's Not Easter Without Eggs!
Cooking Channel's Chef Jeffrey Saad Offers Hard-boiling and Egg Decorating Tips and More
PARK RIDGE, Ill., March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- From hard-boiled eggs for decorating, to quiches and stratas for brunch, eggs are the centerpiece of Easter holiday traditions. And, at just 15 cents apiece,[i] eggs are also one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein per serving, so you can impress the whole family without breaking the bank.
In fact, eggs are so healthful and affordable that the American Heart Association recently named them as one of their "Healthy Foods Under $1 Per Serving."[ii] And, with recent USDA data showing that one large egg is now 14 percent lower in cholesterol (down from 215 mg to 185 mg), and 64 percent higher in vitamin D,[iii] you can feel better than ever about including eggs on your Easter menu.
Perfect Hard-boiled Eggs
Last year alone, nearly 200 million eggs were purchased for Easter celebrations in the U.S., yet confusion still exists over how to properly hard-boil.
"The key to perfectly hard-boiling eggs is to barely boil them," says Cooking Channel host and cookbook author, Chef Jeffrey Saad. "Removing eggs from the heat right after they start to boil will leave you with tender whites and help minimize cracking shells. Over-boiling leads to the dreaded green ring and rubbery whites."
Saad follows three EASY steps to guarantee bright yellow yolks and tender whites every time:
- Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling.
- Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for Large eggs (9 minutes for Medium eggs; 15 for Extra Large).
- Cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Peel and eat, or store unpeeled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
"Ease-ter" Egg Decorating and Entertaining
Entertaining with eggs can be easy and beautifully dyed eggs, whether done with kits or naturally, make a colorful centerpiece for your dining room table and a fun family tradition. And let's face it – it's not a real Easter egg hunt without real eggs!
"Decorating eggs is one of our favorite pastimes during the Easter season, and it's easy to do with ingredients at home," notes Saad. Take Saad's advice and dress up your Easter table with dyed eggs using ingredients like blueberries for soft blue eggs and turmeric for a golden yellow. And, fill up on delicious and festive recipes:
- Muffin Frittatas are a perfect start to any meal, whether plated or simply passed out to the crowd as finger food. Make them ahead of time in less than 30 minutes.
- Quiche Lorraine takes the stage at any Easter table and will have the family lining up for seconds.
- Make-Ahead Stuffed French Toast saves you time, since it can be put together prior to the big day. Just refrigerate until you're ready to bake.
- Ham and Asparagus Strata makes a delicious brunch dish, or it can be a great way to use leftover ham or bread from your Easter celebrations!
Take Advantage of the "Egg-stras"
If you have a few extra Easter eggs in the fridge, capitalize on the leftovers with these healthy dishes:
- The week following Easter is National Egg Salad week. Celebrate by whipping up a batch of Classic Egg Salad for the family to enjoy.
- A Breakfast Egg Spread can be the perfect way to start your day, giving your family the protein they need to stay focused at work or at school.
- The kids will love helping out with Pickled Eggs on a Stick. Dress them up with fresh veggie toppings.
Not everyone is able to purchase their own eggs for festive Easter celebrations. This year, America's egg farmers are donating nearly 12 million eggs to Feeding America in an effort to help those less fortunate across the nation, as part of an annual tradition since 2008. Do your part to help fight hunger by pledging to "Eat good. Do good every day." on www.GoodEggProject.org, and for every pledge received, America's egg farmers will donate another egg to Feeding America.
About the American Egg Board (AEB)
AEB is the U.S. egg producer's link to the consumer in communicating the value of the incredible edible egg™ and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers, in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit www.IncredibleEgg.org for more information.
[i] United States Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. Retail data for beef, pork, poultry cuts, eggs, and dairy products (January 19, 2012). Retrieved on February 23, 2012 from http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/MeatPriceSpreads/.
[ii] American Heart Association. Healthy Foods for Under $1. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/HealthierKids/HowtoMakeaHealthyHome/Healthy-Foods-Under-1_UCM_303809_Article.jsp#.TwW_1jUS0uc. Accessed February 3, 2012.
[iii] US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2011. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. Online. Available at: Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00. Accessed March 14, 2011.
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SOURCE American Egg Board