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Safe Eggs and a Holiday Caesar Salad Recipe

Safest Choice Eggs, pasteurized eggs, Caesar salad

What would the holidays be without Christmas or Hanukkah cookies? And then there’s eggnog, the traditional holiday drink – really, the holidays are full of yummy treats that include the most inexpensive and complete source of protein available: eggs. Last weekend I dashed up to Fullerton to see my good friend, Chef Louise Mellor demonstrate a holiday recipe, with a few decorating tips thrown in, at a Holiday Eggs-travaganza hosted by Safest Choice Eggs at Albertson’s and learned a great deal about pasteurized eggs and why it’s safer to cook with them.

chef louise mellor

Do you remember eating cookie dough as a kid? It was part of the whole cookie baking experience – now a practice shunned as a result of outbreaks of salmonella food poisoning* related to raw eggs. Prefer your eggs runny, but afraid to eat them that way? Mourn the days of a traditional Caesar salad dressing, rich and creamy from a raw egg and olive oil emulsion? You certainly don’t want to risk your holiday (or any day) being ruined by salmonella poisoning – but you can enjoy cookie dough, Caesar dressing, sunny-side up eggs, hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, raw egg protein shakes and other culinary delights that call for raw or under-cooked eggs simply by purchasing pasteurized eggs.

Safest Choice Eggs

Pasteurized eggs have been heated to an exact temperature to destroy all bacteria, the same process that has made milk and juices safe to enjoy. And, to qualify the overused term of “natural” – pasteurization is an all natural process because it involves only heat, not chemicals or irradiation, to eliminate bacteria. The Safest Choice™ all natural pasteurization of shell eggs uses precision time and temperature controls to heat eggs in warm water baths to destroy all bacteria – without cooking the egg. You can identify a Safest Choice egg by the P stamped on the egg (after it has been sealed with an FDA-approved, food-grade wax coating to prevent contamination and preserve freshness).

A fresh green salad always adorns my holiday table – not just for the vibrant colors, but because I gotta have my greens and a bright, crunchy, refreshing element is essential to balance the richer, heavier fare that comes with most celebrations. Louise  adapted a Safest Choice’s Safe Caesar Salad recipe for the holidays by adding Asian pears and dried cranberries for a festive touch and, true to her style, she suggested serving Caesar salad in vintage bowls or cocktail cups.
caesar salad, safe caesar salad dressing, holiday caesar salad

 

Catherine McCord, Weelicious

There were two more holiday recipe demonstrations: Catherine McCord, of the Weelicious blog showed our group, which included new and familiar faces from Orange County and Los Angeles: Johanna and Jeff from Low Sodium Blog, Cynthia from What A Girl Eats, Nancy from A Communal Table, Cheri from Adventures in the Kitchen, Quyen from Kitchen Runway,  Kim from Rustic Garden Bistro, Sarah from A Beach Home Companion and Valerie fromMama Likes to Cook, and store patrons how to make a simple breakfast quesadilla that her kids would eat morning, noon, and night, if she let them- and sometimes she does ;) No harm in that – as we said, the egg is the most complete source of protein you can eat.

Safest Choice Eggs

Then, Chantel, social media coordinator for Safest Choice Eggs, demonstrated how to make Royal Icing – with only two ingredients, egg whites and powdered sugar, it’s the easiest icing in the world to make. Between Chantel and Tom Izzo (pictured below), you’d be hard pressed to find two other people who are more informed, passionate, and animated about eggs! Like me, you’ll be a true believer in the value of  pasteurized eggs after meeting them :)

Safest Choice Eggs

*Salmonella should be taken seriously – it is the number one cause of foodborne illness and causes the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths. 4 out of 5 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis food poisoning comes from raw or undercooked eggs. {Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)}

Food poisoning cases caused by salmonella have increased by 10 percent in recent years, despite widespread campaigns to educate consumers and foodmakers about food preparation and handling, according to new federal statistics that detail the stubborn presence of salmonella in the U.S. food supply.

About one in six Americans gets sick from food poisoning every year, and 3,000 die, according to a 2011 report released by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which since 1996 has tracked the prevalence of the nine most common food-borne pathogens.  “The bottom line is that food-borne illness, particularly salmonella, is far too common,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. {Source: Washington Post}

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6 Responses to “Safe Eggs and a Holiday Caesar Salad Recipe”

  1. Geez Louise!
    December 21 at 1:44 pm #

    You are so sweet for coming out, glad you got my pic in my apron! Shoulda brought my mink. Merry Christmas my lovely friend…

  2. Barb | Creative Culinary
    December 21 at 6:32 pm #

    I admit I use raw eggs for a couple of things that I guess I need to look at. Of course French Silk Pie is my MOST favorite; do you know if pasteurized eggs whip up as well as raw ones?

    • Priscilla
      December 21 at 6:47 pm #

      Hi Barb – They did say that pasteurized eggs take longer (30 to 50% longer) to whip into peaks and it’s essential to add cream of tartar. Oh my, I haven’t had French Silk Pie in forever! Sounds soooo good :)

  3. Magic of Spice
    December 23 at 2:41 pm #

    I have seen these around the web but have not tried them yet…very informative!

  4. sippitysup
    December 24 at 8:58 am #

    With all the egg whites I have been using in cocktails lately this is something I should consider. GREG

  5. Samantha @FerraroKitchen
    December 7 at 4:48 pm #

    Ahhh wish I knew about this! Would have loved to come!

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