The Short List: Eat me.

When I was growing up, eggs were good for you, then cholesterol became a hot topic, and they were bad for you. The current info on eggs is this: they are good for you, up to two a day, unless you have medical conditions that prohibit you from eating them. Eggs: Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and because of them one of my favorite egg recipes: Zabaglione. A stunning, easy-to-prepare, dessert from Italy.

I'm pretty glad that their sunny side has been revealed, I love eggs. Plus they provide many nutrients that are unavailable in our diet elsewhere. 

They are:
 
Inexpensive. The average price for a dozen large eggs is currently about $2, a dozen eggs weighs approximately 1.5 lbs. so the cost for a pound of eggs is still just a little over a dollar at $1.50.
 
Good for your eyes: Carotenoids, (simple food pigments that are powerful antioxidants) such as Lutien and Zeaxanthin are more readily available to our bodies in eggs than in any other food. Both are beneficial in decreasing your chances of contracting macular degeneration and cataracts.
Source: US Agricultural Research Service http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2004/040818.htm
 
Potentially helpful in preventing heart disease, blood clots, and stroke: There are no significant links between egg consumption and heart disease.
 
Eggs are the only naturally occurring protein source that contains Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to the absorbtion of Calcium. No vitamin D = no calcium absorbtion = no bone growth. Simple as that.
 
They may lower cholesterol, because the fat in eggs is mostly unsaturated which could be helpful in raising your HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
 
Good for your skin and hair because they contain sulphur and B12.
 
Eggs contain a lot of Choline. Choline is connected to proper brain development, and may help with memory throughout life. Choline certainly helps to maintain good liver health, and may reverse liver damage. It also reduces cholesterol and homocysteine levels, both precursors to heart disease. It also may help prevent some cancers.

Recipe for Zabaglione

Eggs are a versatile food-from meringues to egg flower soup, cakes to scrambled eggs-the egg has few equals in choice. Every once in a while save your two egg a day quota for Zabaglione, a simple elegant dessert, that  will make you the talk of the dinner party circuit.
 
Zabaglione, is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, Marsala wine or Moscati d'Asti wine, and a pinch of salt. It is traditionally paired with fresh figs, but any fruit will do. Bluberries, peaches, and strawberries all work well. Serve layers of Zabaglione and fruit in a champagne glass to guests for a sinfully rich parfait. It takes some prep, but after you make it once, you'll be able to do it in your sleep.
 
Serves 8 to 10:
 
Ingredients:
 
6 Large egg yolks
 
1/2 cup of white sugar (wait to experiment with other sweeteners until your second attempt.)
 
1/2 cup Marsala or Moscati d'Asti (you can use fruit juice in place of alcohol)
A pinch of salt
 
2 cups of fresh fruit sliced or whole berries
 
Instructions:
 
Bring 1 and 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan.
 
Add egg yolks to sugar in a large glass, stainless steel, or copper bowl. 
(do not use aluminum bowl as aluminum reacts with the sulphur in eggs)
 
Beat the sugar and eggs about 4 to 6 minutes with an electric beater.
8 to 10 minutes if you whip it manually. When the sugar is completely dissolved add your wine or fruit juice and salt to yolk/sugar mixture and whip or beat on low until well combined.
 
Now the tricky part. This is where you either make scrambled eggs or Zabaglione, but plunge ahead fearlessly, it's worth your time and courage.
 
Decrease the heat so that your water simmers, (small bubbles will form on the surface of the water when it is at a simmer,) and place your bowl of yolk/sugar/wine/salt over the simmering water (not in it!) and beat constantly until when you raise the whip or beater 6 inches out of the bowl the yolk and sugar mixture falls back in a ribbon. The Zabaglione should be thick, frothy, and the eggs totally cooked. An instant read cooking thermometer should read 145-150 degrees Farenheit. The old school method is to gauge the temperature from your body temperature by dipping your finger into the bowl: the egg mixture should be very warm to the touch and frothy like a meringue. The only way to be sure is to use a thermometer,  in the absence of a thermometer you just have to take your chances a little. However, the egg yolks do not get very frothy and very warm until they are cooked, and when you use Marsala the alcohol does inhibit bacteria growth. So take that for what you will, just be careful to fully cook the egg yolks, and when the Zabaglione is done, serve it immediately.
 
When cooked, take the Zabaglione immediately off the heat and spoon first one layer of zabaglione into a champagne glass, then a layer of fruit, then another layer of Zabaglione, then fruit, and so on, until near full. Add a tuft of the Zabaglione, a piece of fruit for garnish and serve.
 
If you follow these instructions to the letter you'll look like a gourmet and your guests will love you. Practice with a half recipe the first time, then have nine friends over the next time. They'll talk about it for weeks. Then show them how to do it, so they make it when you come over.

Eggs really are versatile. Have some fun with them. If you can't eat them then learn to juggle with them. Bon Chance!
 
Text by Robert Kelsey © Robert Kelsey
The Elegant Upgraded Egg.
The Elegant Upgraded Egg.

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