April 29, 2015

I adore hard-cooked eggs for several reasons: They’re cheap, ridiculously versatile, and great to have on hand—they last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days if peeled and about a week if left in the shell. They also now have a clean bill of health. This isn’t new news, exactly, but the 2015 federal nutrition guidelines (still under review as of this posting) have, well, eggs-onerated them in a big way, concluding that dietary cholesterol does not pose a serious threat to blood cholesterol or cardiovascular health. While diets should be tailored to personal needs, most of us can enjoy an egg or two a day without worry.

Not sure how to cook hard-boiled eggs? No worries; we show you how. Had trouble with peeling them? We have tips for that, too.

In this series I’ll share some fun, downright delicious ideas for how to use those hard-boiled eggs. Cook up a batch, and rest easy knowing you have the beginnings of something great within reach.

Are you familiar with Scotch eggs? They're a devilishly decadent bar-food staple: hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, then breaded, then deep-fried. They are more than indulgent, boasting high sodium, fat, and calories. But this lighter version, which uses ground turkey instead of sausage (but flavors it with sage, lots of black pepper, and garlic so that it tastes like sausage), achieves the crispy-crunchy breading without the oil bath and with much less sodium. It's an easy dish to make, especially if you have a few hard-boiled eggs hanging around. And it's a big ol' egg; it's an entrée for sure. Perch one of these babies on a simple salad, and you have one satisfying supper.

Lightened-Up Scotch EggsIdeally, if you know you want to "Scotch" your eggs, you should cook them a little less on the front end. I went about 3 minutes less because I knew I would be heating the eggs again once they got their breading.

12       ounces ground turkey1          tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage3/4     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/2     teaspoon kosher salt1          large garlic clove, grated4          hard-cooked large eggs, peeled2          teaspoons all-purpose flour1          (raw) large egg, lightly beaten2/3     cup whole-wheat panko1          tablespoon canola oilCooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°.2. Place turkey in a medium bowl. Add sage, pepper, salt, and garlic; mix thoroughly. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions.3. Place hard-cooked eggs on a small plate; sprinkle with flour, and roll around to coat.4. Place beaten egg in a shallow bowl. Place panko in another shallow bowl.5. Working with 1 turkey portion at a time, flatten turkey mixture on palm of your hand to about a 5- to 6-inch-long oval. Place 1 hard-cooked egg in center of mixture, and close hand around egg to encase in turkey mixture. Work meat mixture around egg to fully cover it, leaving no egg showing. Carefully roll coated egg in beaten egg; dredge in panko, pressing gently to adhere. Set coated egg aside; repeat procedure with remaining hard-cooked eggs.6. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add coated eggs to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides, turning every 20 to 30 seconds. Arrange eggs on a wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until "sausage" feels firm. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut each in half, and take pride in serving!SERVES 4 (serving size: 1 Scotch egg)CALORIES 300; FAT 16.4g (sat 3.9g, mono 6.8g, poly 4g); PROTEIN 27g; CARB 11g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 291mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 34mg; CALC 58mg

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