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National Egg Month: Versatility

Eggs are enormously versatile. The chef’s hat, called a toque, is said to have a pleat for each of the many ways you can cook eggs. You can scramble, fry, poach and bake eggs and cook them in their shells. You can turn eggs into omelets, frittatas, quiches, strata casseroles and top-of-range bakes, too.

Eggs also perform many functions in recipes, especially in baking. In every recipe in which you use them, eggs add essential nutrients as well as color and flavor. Then, depending on the recipe, eggs might leaven, bind, thicken, coat or glaze, clarify, retard crystallization and moisturize (yolks) or dry (whites). Eggs perform these functions in cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, custards (including custard ice creams), meringues, pie fillings, soufflés and pastries, such as cream puffs and eclairs. In sauces and dressings, such as Hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise, eggs emulsify. Sieved, chopped, sliced or wedged hard-boiled eggs are often used as a garnish.

With their many uses, eggs can star on your menu any meal of the day in any course – appetizer, soup, salad, side dish, main dish or dessert. Plus, eggs – especially hard-boiled eggs – make handy snacks. From simple, soothing scrambled eggs to a towering soufflé, eggs can help you have a down-home family meal or entertain elegantly.

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