Saturday, December 7, 2013

Eggnog for Purists

Common Eggnog Making Mistakes



There are tons of eggnog recipes online that people have posted to make a "safe" eggnog recipe. You mention the words raw + egg and it seems that everyone runs screaming for the hills as if you mentioned the most unholy of holies. Raw eggs have been consumed forever in cooking and guess what, the majority of people turn out just fine. Vanilla egg creams are still one of my favorite old school diner drinks, eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough through childhood , and of course drinking eggnog. All done, still alive.



I've done it too, same as you, making the recipes that call for cooking the egg mixture because of paranoia of salmonella, which of course will kill the bacteria if it is present, but there are several other ways to severely reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning besides cooking the mixture down, which I will mention in a second.

The problem with cooking your eggs is that it makes your eggnog taste like utter garbage. That's a big problem. You just wasted gas, a dozen eggs, your precious time, and a dash of ego to create the worlds soupiest, saddest, most uneggnog like concoction ever. Adding extra heavy cream or whip cream to it will not save it, I tried that too. It will not hide the fact that it tastes terrible.

Now for those of you who want to make a traditionally rich, creamy and frothy delicious eggnog that your friends and family will rave about and beg you to make every year...read on!



Safety Tips



Many chefs have eggnog recipes that call for raw eggs, they all give their warnings because in the age of lawsuits and people just being pretty stupid, you have to make disclaimers. So here is mine, I'm not saying this is full proof and safe as a beverage, there is always some minutia of a chance that you will get sick from eating raw eggs as well as there is a minutia of a chance that you could get ill from eating other foods both raw and cooked that were contaminated. Life is dangerous just being alive, I just prefer that while I am alive to not eat foods that taste absolutely putrid. Here are some ways to prevent salmonella using raw eggs and they all involve common sense and not a stove.



1.) Buy only fresh, refrigerated eggs, grade A or AA.

2.) Use only eggs with non-cracked shells

3.) Avoid getting any contact between the yolks, eggwhites and the shell itself.

4.) If your eggs have chicken poop on them..mayday mayday..

5.) Use eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella by pasteurization or other methods.

Feeling better? But still not sure if you want to take the risk? Here is another way to help reduce the risk of bacteria in both your 'nogg and you.



"Come They Told Me,..Rum RumRumRum Rummmmmmm"



What would eggnog be without a splash of rum a liter of bourbon and some brandy added to it? The answer is it wouldn't be eggnog, just whipped eggs.



Besides it's necessity for flavoring, alcohol has been historically a tried and proven way of killing off bacteria in uncertain times. Back in the days of the black plague, many countries started brewing beer and whiskey and other alcoholic beverages in lieu of drinking their own water, because they were so worried about contamination. I'm not encouraging drinking to cure infectious diseases but I am suggesting that for those of you who are concerned of getting sick from drinking a raw egg beverage, a little splash of alcohol will go a long way to kill off any lingering beasties if they by some miracle happened to actually survive the pasteurization of the eggs and the industrial sized refrigerators in your supermarket.



The other benefit besides easing your egg paranoia is that it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside without the need for a fireplace.



The Best Traditional Eggnog Recipe Ever

The key to this recipe is that the eggnog base portion of the recipe is aged for one week to make sure maximum flavor melding of the ingredients is achieved!



INGREDIENTS:



For the eggnog:



12 large eggs yolks (reserve the whites)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 liter bourbon

1 quart (4 cups) whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup Cognac or brandy

1/2 cup Barbancourt (Haitian)/Brugal (Dominican) dark rum

Pinch fine salt



To serve:



12 reserved egg whites

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

Ice (optional)

Freshly grated nutmeg



INSTRUCTIONS:



For the eggnog:



Place the reserved egg whites in a very clean and airtight container and freeze until the eggnog is ready to serve. Combine the yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy. Add the the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large glass jar (1 Gal.) and tightly seal. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 week and as much as up to 3 weeks.



To serve:



The night before you plan on serving, place the frozen egg whites in the refrigerator to thaw out gradually. When ready to serve, let the egg whites come to room temperature. Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl and use your power mixer to whisk. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.

Place the cream in the mixer bowl (no need to wash it out) and whisk again on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into bowl with eggwhites. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to the cream and eggwhite bowl. Gently whisk the eggnog together until just combined but do not overwhisk or you’ll deflate the eggnog. Serve in cups over ice, or without, and garnished with some grated nutmeg.


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