Sunday, December 24, 2006

I'm Not Emeril, But I Make A Great Egg Nog

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bourbon, go ahead and use the good stuff, I prefer Maker's Mark
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites, make sure absolutely no yolk is left

Beat the egg yolks until they just begin to lighten in color. You can do this by hand, but if you have a stand mixer it's much more fun. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved. Now is when you'll be glad you didn't try to do this by hand. You didn't did you?

Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir, by hand, to combine. Transfer this mixture to a clean bowl.

Clean the bowl of your stand mixer and add the egg whites and beat until soft peaks begin to form, but don't stop the mixer. Gradually add the tablespoon of sugar and continue until stiff peak stage is reached.

After beating the egg whites, use a wire whisk to blend the two components together. Chill and serve.

The food police will have me arrested if I don't warn you about consuming uncooked egg products. If the eggs are fresh and uncracked, and you wash them thoroughly before breaking them you have little to worry about. If you feel that there is still too much risk involved, you must be a Democrat and the government must save you from yourself. It has. There are pasteurized eggs on the market, look for them at your local grocer.

If my risk averse Democrat friends want real old fashioned egg nog, but do not have access to pasteurized eggs, I do have a cooked version for you to make. While it's not really "egg nog", instead it's a thin and runny custard, it will fool most of your guests simply because it's so much better than the stuff you get at the store.


Again we use the stand mixer to beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar just as we did above and set it aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and using a small spatula pick up a small amount of the hot mixture and stir it into the egg yolk mixture. Repeat this a few times to bring the egg mixture up to the temperature of the milk mixture and add the now warmed egg and sugar mixture to the pot. Return this to the heat and cook until the temperature reaches 160 degrees. The food police are now happy, and if you did it correctly the egg yolks did not attempt to go into the "scrambled egg" mode and curdle.

At 160 degrees remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, transfer to a larger than suitable sized bowl, (remember, you have the egg whites yet to add), and refrigerate to chill. After chilling add the egg whites, prepared as above and in the same manner.

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