Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs












My daughter loves egg casseroles, and I always thought they were a pain to make. She has corrected my negative thinking. This casserole is prepared the night before you want to serve it. It has to sit overnight in the refrigerator. How handy for the busy Sunday morning. Throw this casserole together Saturday night and you have instant breakfast for Sunday morning, and the oven will already be preheated for the roast that will cook while you're in church. Great idea!!

The egg....there are so many uses for the egg; egg salad, breakfast eggs, fried rice, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, potato salad, plain boiled eggs (with a dollop of mayonnaise, of course), and the list goes on, and on....

Eggs have gotten a bad rap over the last few decades. Viewed as bad for the heart by health experts, the egg has been the subject of criticism and examination. But are our white and brown friends really that unhealthy for us? In the last few years, numbers of health organizations have been justifying eggs' reputation. So, what are we to believe? Why were eggs deemed to be bad, only to be applauded again?

Cholesterol....First one has to understand that cholesterol is not bad. Humans need it to maintain cell walls, insulate nerve fibers, and produce vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol; dietary and blood. Both are important.

Eggs are actually quite nutritious. They are not just fat (yolk) and protein (white). They contain a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins:

A: good for the skin and growth. I fed my kids scrambled eggs all the time when they first starting eating solid foods.

D: strengthens bones.

E: protects cells from oxidation.

B1: helps properly release energy from carbohydrates.

B2: helps release energy from protein and fat.

B6: promotes the metabolism of protein.

B12: an essential vitamin in the formation of nerve fibers and blood cells.

Minerals:

Iron: essential in the creation of red blood cells.

Zinc: good for enzyme stability.

Calcium: most important mineral in the strengthening of bones and teeth.

Iodine: controls thyroid hormones.

Selenium: like vitamin E, it protects cells from oxidation.

I don't know about you, but I think eggs sound pretty healthy. I know eggs have a chance of carrying salmonella, so an egg should never be eaten raw. And an egg fried in gobs of butter wouldn't be too healthy, but all-in-all, sounds like the "bad" in eggs has been very over-rated.

Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs

5 TBS butter, divided

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. milk

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c. finely chopped onion

1/2 lb. breakfast sausage

12 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. salt

1 cup soft bread crumbs

In a saucepan, melt 2 TBS butter. Add four; cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble. Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese until melted; set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion and your choice of breakfast sausage in 2 TBS butter. Add eggs and salt; cook and stir until the eggs are completely set. Add the cheese sauce; mix well. Pour into a greased 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Melt the remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Broccoli can be added to this recipe when adding the cheese sauce. I think it would even be good with cooked asparagus added.







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