Apparently I take my life in my hands every time I bake. I always knew this, but somehow I’ve managed to willfully ignore it. See, I am a serial taster. A raw cookie dough eater. A can’t-help-myself-have-to-just-taste-that-cake-batter-raw-eggs-be-damned kind of girl. Remember the huge salmonella outbreak last summer, with millions of eggs recalled? Yeah, even that didn’t stop me.
So it was with great interest that I began to notice a new brand of eggs in the grocery store a few months ago, eggs that are actually pasteurized while still in their shell. I was eager to try them and it would seem that fate was eager for me to try them too. I was invited to be a part of this month’s Progressive Party over at Kitchen Play. And the secret ingredient? Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs.
If you haven’t heard of Kitchen Play, let me tell you a little more about it. It is the brain child of Casey Benedict, who is also known for her tongue-in-cheek food photography site, Tastestopping. Kitchen Play is designed to bring together food bloggers and PR professionals through a number of means, one of them being the monthly Progressive Party. Each month, six bloggers are assigned a course and asked to create a recipe, all using the same product or kitchen tool. I was thrilled to be invited, and even more thrilled to discover that the sponsor was Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs.
I was assigned the salad course, and immediately started thinking about how to incorporate the product into a salad. My first thought was to go with hard-boiled eggs, because I’ve always loved a good spinach salad with red onion, bacon and eggs. But when I gave a little more thought to the actual product and how best to showcase it, I realized that cooked eggs kind of missed the point. Here is a shell egg that you can actually eat raw without risking your health. It seemed more fitting to play up that feature. Right then. A dressing made with raw eggs. The obvious choice was Caesar, but that wasn’t quite what I wanted. I wanted something thicker, creamy, like Béarnaise sauce. Béarnaise sauce led me to thinking about salmon, which led to thoughts of smoked salmon, one of the true loves of my food life.
So, a salad with smoked salmon and some sort of dressing based on Béarnaise sauce. Why not mimic my favourite appetizer ever and incorporate capers and red onions as well? And replace the tarragon in the Béarnaise with fresh dill, always a great accompaniment with smoked salmon. Sounded like a pretty great salad to me. I had to play around with the dressing ingredients to get something that was like Béarnaise, but a little less thick and buttery. The first try had too much olive oil, which overpowered the delicate combination of butter and egg yolks. In the end, I think I hit on something that really worked beautifully with the smokiness of the salmon, the tartness of the capers and the sharpness of the red onion.
All with raw eggs. And without taking my life in my hands, thanks to Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs.
Want to get in on the action of the Kitchen Play Progressive Parties? The great part is that anyone can participate. Just make my salad or any of the other mouthwatering recipes from this month’s party, post about it on your blog, and you will be entered to win $100 (there are six prizes total). Kitchen Play is all about promoting food bloggers so this is your chance to get in there and promote yourself. Check out the details on Kitchen Play’s Contest Page. And to make it easier for you to create one of this month’s recipes, here’s a link to three $1.00 coupons for Safest Choice Eggs.
Smoked Salmon Salad with Dilled Béarnaise Dressing
10 oz mixed salad greens
8 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, minced
2 egg yolks (preferably from Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp powdered mustard
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
For the salad, divide salad greens among four plates. Arrange other ingredients on top.
For the dressing, melt the butter over medium heat in a small pan. When it is melted, add shallots and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil, cooking until reduced by half.
Scrape mixture into blender. Add egg yolks and blend. Add lemon juice, mustard, and oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in chopped dill.
Drizzle salads with dressing and serve, passing any remaining dressing at the table.