Celebrating National Egg Month

One of two months designated as National Egg Month – January Shares the Egg Spotlight with May

Fun Facts About Eggs

• Egg protein has just the right mix of essential amino acids needed by humans to build tissues. It is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition.
• Only 70 calories per egg
• It takes 24-26 hours to produce an egg
• The older a hen the larger the egg

Here are two fun old school recipes that use this versatile food and reminds us how great the incredible edible egg can be.

Croque Madame

Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Daskevich http://www.sandwichamerica.com

The most popular sandwich in America is the ham and cheese and a classic French recipe takes this sandwich to new heights.

Creamy béchamel sauce, thin sliced ham, flavorful rich nutty gruyere broiled to bubbly perfection then topped with a delicious runny sunny side up egg.

Béchamel sauce – also known as white sauce – is made from a white roux (butter and flour) and milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French Cuisine and is used as the base for other sauces like Mornay sauce which is Béchamel sauce with cheese added and is very common when making mac and cheese. It adds great character to this wonderful sandwich.

For the Béchamel sauce:

• 2 Tablespoons Butter
• 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
• 1 Cup Whole Milk
• 1 Pinch of Ground Nutmeg

For the Sandwich:

• 4 Slices Hearty White Sandwich Bread (I Love Sourdough)
• 4 Ounces Thin Sliced Ham
• 4 Ounces Grated Gruyere Cheese + ¼ cup set aside
• 2 Tablespoons Softened Butter
• 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
• 2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Chives, Parsley, or Thyme
• 2 Whole Eggs

1. Make the Béchamel. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg. Increase heat and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly. Season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
2. Put large non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread and stack the buttered sides together. Spread Dijon on top slice of bread and divide ham and 4 ounces gruyere between two pieces of bread. Place buttered side in heated pan and top with second piece of bread butter side up. Top with second piece of bread and spread half of butter on top pieces. When bottom slice is golden flip and cook the second side to golden.
3. Remove from skillet to baking sheet. Spoon sauce and remaining grated cheese over sandwiches. Broil until cheese begins to brown. Meanwhile crack two eggs in a non-stick pan. Cook until the whites begin to set then cover with another pan until whites are set. Remove sandwiches from oven and top with egg. Season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs.

Serve with an arugula salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette. You will never look at a grilled cheese the same after this.

Scotch Egg Recipe

Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Daskevich http://www.alittlegourmeteveryday.com

Scotch egg – a perfect combination that takes beloved breakfast ingredients into great evening and party fair. Based on your preference you can cook the egg more or less to have a runny center or a more set center. We cook them for three minutes to maintain that golden runny center but this can make them more difficult to peel and aren’t as easy to serve to a crowd this way. If you want a more set center cook for 4-5 minutes.

• 10 eggs (8 for scotch eggs, two for dredging)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 24 ounces ground sausage – about 1 ½ standard breakfast sausage in grocery store (you don’t need to get expensive or fancy with the sausage – we love the spicy breakfast sausage)
• I small bunch fresh parsley chopped
• Kosher Salt
• Fresh Ground Pepper
• 1 cup All Purpose Flour
• 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
• 1 ½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
• Oil for Frying

Put the first 8 eggs into a pan of cold water with the water at least two inches above the eggs and add in 1 teaspoon baking soda. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes for a softer boiled egg and 5-6 minutes for a more set yolk. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. Once cooled, carefully peel them.

Divide the sausage into 8 balls and place saran wrap on the counter or cutting board. Create your dredging station with three bowls – one with flour seasoned with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, the second with the remaining two eggs beaten with the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, the third with the panko mixed with chopped parsley.

Take one ball of sausage and press it down onto saran wrap. Roll a peeled egg in flour then put in middle of the patty and gently shape the sausage around the egg. Roll the sausage in the flour, shake off an excess, and then dip in the beaten egg allowing excess to drip off then roll in the parsley breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in a deep pan or deep fat fryer to about 325 degrees. Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for about 4 ½ minutes, turning them every so often, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper immediately. Serve on a board with pickled onions, cheese, and crostini for a delicious supper.

About the Guest Chef:

As an award winning competitive cook, lawyer, restaurant owner, wine sommelier, award winning food photographer and budding foodie entrepreneur – Jennifer’s life is more than just “A Little Gourmet Every Day” – it’s a full sprint living buffet.

In addition to multiple TV appearances, including her winning role in FYI’s Original Series “World Food Championships”, Jennifer competes and wins major competitions regularly. Jennifer is the 2013 World Sandwich Champion, the 2015 Chevron Game Day Chef of the Year crowned this year at the Rose Bowl, amongst many wins. For more about Jennifer visit http://www.sandwichamerica.com and http://www.alittlegourmeteveryday

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