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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Pasteurize an Egg

Because many recipes call for raw beaten egg yolks or whites, I thought today would be a good day to chat about what you can do kill those pesky salmonella bacteria that might be present. One of my favorite and well used books is Cookwise by Shirley O. Corriher. If you don't have one, check it out at your local library, it is chock-full of information. The book is more the science behind food than a cookbook and is a fascinating read.

Although the information I am talking about today is available all over the internet, I chose to use Mrs. Corriher's book as my reference guide.

Many foods from mayonnaise to ice cream include raw eggs, either whites, yolks or both in the recipes. I love to make my own mayonnaise for instance, but I don't feel comfortable using raw eggs. So I pasteurize them myself. I also don't like those eggs in a refrigerator carton, you know like the ones milk comes in. There is just something that makes me gag about having pourable eggs.

To pasteurize a whole egg, you are going to love how easy this is, you only need to put the room temperature egg in hot water 145°F (63°C) for 3.5 minutes – yes 3½ minutes. They can be in the water up to 5 minutes. I personally do it for 4 minutes – always being cautious. Make sure to use a thermometer to keep the water temp correct. After the time is up, drain the water off and allow the egg to come to room temperature before refrigerating or using. Word of warning, eggs cook at 180°F (82°C) so watch your temperature, and they won't pasteurize under 145°F (63°C).

You can also pasteurize just the yolks individually. (this excerpt is from Cookwise) “Heat 2 egg yolks and ¼ cup liquid from the recipe – for example, lemon juice and water in mayonnaise or cream in truffles – and ½ teaspoon sugar in a small skillet over very low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly with a spatula. At the first sign of thickening, remove the pan from the heat, but continue stirring and dip the pan bottom in a larger pan of cold water to stop the cooking. Use in the recipe instead of raw yolks.”

Now you do not have to be afraid of those raw egg recipes. I normally pasteurize 6 eggs at a time and keep them in a covered plastic container in the refrigerator separate from the unpasteurized eggs. I almost always have pasteurized eggs on hand for any last minute recipe I want to make.

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