The versatility of eggs makes them ideal for use in a variety of menus. They can add inexpensive high-protein texture to any menu, whether served as the main course, used as a garnish, in salads or as an ingredient in other food products.
Since eggs are a relatively bland food they can be combined with foods from all of the Basic Four Food Groups: meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetable and breads and cereals. Team eggs with any type of meat, poultry, fish or shellfish in tasty egg casseroles, quiches or souffles. Alternative meat products like dried peas, beans or nuts are also good egg teammates.
Select eggs that are clean, whole and uncracked and buy eggs that have been stored in refrigerated cases since eggs lose their quality faster at room temperature.
After purchasing, immediately store them in their carton in the refrigerator. Eggs kept at room temperature will lose more quality in one day than they will in one week of refrigeration.
As a rule, most recipes are based on the large variety. Brown-shelled eggs have the same flavor, cooking characteristics and nutritive value as white-shelled eggs. (The shell color is determined by the breed of the hen.)
Kluski Noodles, a favorite food of Midwesterners, is a thick, dumpling-like Polish noodle, most often served as a side dish with meat, poultry or fish. To serve as an entree, stir the noodles into large curd cottage cheese laced with brown onions. They also make an ideal nest for chicken paprika or sauteed chicken livers and mushrooms.
In Cold Seafood Souffle, poached fish fillets team up with thyme, lemon juice and Sherry in a light and airy whipping cream and egg custard that when refrigerated overnight makes for pretty luncheon fare. Garnish this dish with chopped hard-cooked egg, parsley and lemon slices, if desired.
Rounding out our selection of egg entrees is Hash and Eggs, a breakfast eye-opener; a Mexican-inspired dish, Yucatan Egg Tortillas, made rich with the addition Jack cheese and whipping cream; Half-Hour Dinner and Garden Omelet. KLUSKI NOODLES
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Break eggs into large mixing bowl. Add salt and beat until blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat well. Continue adding flour until mixture is very stiff and can no longer be mixed by hand or with mixer. Sprinkle remaining flour on cutting board and turn egg mixture out onto board.
Dust hands with flour and knead dough, incorporating flour from board. Keep kneading until all flour is incorporated and dough is very smooth and no longer sticks to board, about 10 minutes. Cover noodle dough with bowl and allow to sit at least 1 hour.
To form noodles, divide dough into quarters. Place 1 portion on floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness or less and lightly dust with flour. Smooth flour into dough with hands, then roll dough, jellyroll fashion, into firm cylinder. Using sharp knife, cut roll into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Separate noodles and spread over counter or another board to keep from sticking together. Repeat with remaining dough. (Or, pasta may be rolled and cut with pasta machine.)
Noodles should be stored, covered, in refrigerator at this stage if not to be used immediately. To prepare, melt butter in small saucepan. Add onions and cook over high heat until onions become transparent. Stir in poppy seeds. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place noodles in large pot boiling salted water to which small amount oil or butter has been added to prevent foaming. After water returns to boil, stir noodles, then reduce heat to prevent boiling over and cook noodles until tender. Drain well and pour poppy seed mixture over noodles. Toss well and serve. Makes 6 servings.
PER SERVING: 404 calories; 11 gm protein; 44 gm carbohydrate; 20 gm fat; 585 mg sodium; 124 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 18% Riboflavin 20% Vitamin A 21% Niacin 15% Vitamin C 02% Calcium 04% Thiamine 27% Iron 14% COLD SEAFOOD SOUFFLE
1 pound boneless fish fillets
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup Sherry
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
5 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
Fold long strip wax paper to form collar and secure with rubber band around top of 2-quart souffle dish. Set aside.
Place fish fillets in shallow pan with thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Add enough water to cover. Cover pan and cook over low heat until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Remove from pan, allow to cool and flake fish. Increase heat to high and reduce liquid in pan to about 1/4 cup. Set aside.