The Kitchen Shrink says use your noggin before sipping this seasonal fave

My kids and I love eggnog. At the supermarket the other day when I was reaching for a carton, a fellow shopper warned me to avoid products containing raw eggs. Should I boycott eggnog altogether or are there safe alternatives?

Catherine L. Kaufman

Catherine L. Kaufman

Eggnog has been the signature beverage of upper crust Brits since the 17th century when large estates had adjacent farms with an abundance of eggs and dairy. Pioneer smoothie makers whipped up concoctions with the milk, eggs, spices, and to spike up the drink and warm the cockles of the heart in the dank, depressing winters added a splash of brandy, Madeira or sherry. Etymologists surmise that the name originated from a carved wooden beer mug called a “noggin,” typically used to serve alcoholic drinks.

Eggnog has become a celebratory and seasonal winter beverage around the globe with various cultures and countries adapting the recipe. The Mexican version known as rompope has a heavy-handed sprinkling of Mexican cinnamon and rum, the Germans enjoy an eggnog soup with beer, while in Puerto Rico rum and coconut milk are the weapons of choice in their coquito/eggnog.

Whatever your eggnog druthers, make sure it has been prepared safely. As eggnog typically contains raw eggs, there is a risk of contracting salmonella infection (at highest risk are children, elderly folks, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems). This risk, however, is surprisingly low, and according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study, of the 69 billion eggs produced annually in this country, a paltry 2.3 million are tainted. This translates to .003 percent of the egg supply or 1 in 30,000 eggs. So your chances of meeting up with a bad egg are once in every 42 years.

Eggnog and cookies

Now, if you’re a self-proclaimed germaphobe (like this Kitchen Shrink) and are still worried about getting salmonella from raw eggs, this miniscule risk decreases even more dramatically with the use of high quality, cage free, organic eggs. And if that doesn’t give you a dose of comfort, then make sure your eggnog is made with pasteurized eggs. This process gently heats the eggs under controlled conditions to destroy microorganisms that could cause a food-borne illness. Fair warning – although pasteurization does not eliminate microorganisms altogether, it greatly reduces the risks. If whipping up your own homemade eggnog, you can buy pasteurized eggs by the dozen or in liquid form.

And always use your noggin when buying, handling and storing fresh eggs.  Check the expiration date on the carton, and buy with a one-week or more leeway; discard cracked eggs and bloodshot ones, and always refrigerate.

Here are two recipes for safe eggnog — one uses cooked eggs, the other is a vegan version without eggs, that is also a good choice for the cholesterol-conscious or egg allergics. Cheers!

Worry-Free Eggnog

(where possible, use organics)

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

16 ounces whole milk (3.25% milkfat)

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup cane sugar

3 ounces bourbon or rum

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Method: Beat the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer until lemony yellow.  Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is dissolved. Set aside. In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream and nutmeg, stirring frequently until it comes to a bowl. Pour into the egg mixture in the electric mixer bowl and gently blend. Return to the pan, and heat until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, add the bourbon or rum and extract, and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator. Ladle into eggnog or toddy glasses, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and gingerbread snaps.

Vegan Eggnog

Ingredients:

2 cups almond or coconut milk

21 ounces firm silken tofu

2/3 cup golden brown sugar

1 cup cold water

1 cup bourbon or rum

2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

Method:  In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the tofu, sugar and almond or coconut milk until a smooth texture forms. Add the water, rum or bourbon and extract until well incorporated. Refrigerate and chill. Before serving, place mixture in a blender with ice cubes, and process until frothy and ice is crushed. Serve in toddy or eggnog glasses, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.

For additional holiday recipes email kitchenshrink@san.rr.com or check www.FreeRangeClub.com

Related posts:

  1. Chino Farms hosting Alice Waters book signing
  2. I’m cruising the grocery aisles with my culinary wish list of exotic ingredients
  3. There are many manly foods to serve for Dad’s Day celebrations
  4. Kiss my southern and northern grits this Memorial Day
  5. Go Green with a cup or two of these crazy March sips

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=56599

Posted by Staff on Dec 27, 2011. Filed under Columns, Editorial Columns, Kitchen Shrink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Del Mar hit-and-run case April 17, 2014
    A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty April 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run allegation. Christopher ``Chip’’ Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison. […]
  • Del Mar Powerhouse 10U Champions April 17, 2014
    The Del Mar Powerhouse 10U team played two pool play games and two elimination games to go undefeated in the Triple Crown Sports San Diego Open and win the Division 1 Championship. The boys showed great determination and fight to come away victorious in elimination play and battle for the win with a one-run margin of victory for both semi-final and champions […]
  • Canyon Crest girls crack top three at Arcadia, set new school record April 17, 2014
    Several young women runners from Carmel Valley high schools raced well in the Arcadia Invitational on April 11-12 in Los Angeles. Arcadia is considered to be one of the most competitive high school track and field meets in the country, drawing both national and international athletes to compete. […]