Alabama Living Magazine

They’re still incredible!

Food styling and photos: Brooke Echols

Most everyone of a certain age can remember the long-running 1970s TV commercial jingle, “The incredible, edible egg.” That message still applies. In fact, when the COVID 19 pandemic led to stay-at-home orders nationwide, guess what started flying off grocery store shelves, along with toilet paper? Incredibly, it was eggs.

“There was over a 70 percent spike in retail sales of eggs in a two-week period in March 2020,” says Marc Driesen, director of integrated communications for the American Egg Board. Why? “A lot had to do with the ease and versatility of eggs, and they’re so nutritionally valuable. You can hard boil them, put them on a salad, put it on a stick for a snack for kids. The average person has a limited recipe inventory, so now when you’re making breakfast, lunch and dinner 6 to 7 days a week,” he says, the variety of ways to cook an egg came in handy. 

Egg sales rose in 2020 by 8.2%,  “and for a staple, that is a massive, massive number,” Driesen says. Egg consumption last year was 285.9 eggs per person, a figure that’s been going up every year for the past 50 years. “That means that Americans consumed 96 billion eggs in 2020,” he adds, or 12% more eggs per person than five years ago. “Eggs are on a roll.” 

Eggs make it easy to feed the whole family, he adds. And nutritionally, it’s hard to beat an egg. It’s packed with protein, Vitamin D, and choline, a nutrient critical to fetal brain development and throughout life for brain health, particularly in babies and older Americans. When eaten with vegetables, eggs help people better absorb nutrients in those veggies. And yes, eggs have dietary cholesterol, but the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans determined that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern. “This means that no compelling scientific evidence has shown a direct relationship between the cholesterol in food and most people’s blood cholesterol levels,” he says, and the American Heart Association has said eggs can be part of a hearty healthy diet. 

So, what’s the difference in all the colors and types of eggs out there? The Egg Board has a handy chart to help you sort them out (see page 45). Generally, all eggs have the same nutritional value. “There are a lot of choices out there, but the good news,” Driesen says, “is that there’s an egg for everybody.”  — Lenore Vickrey

The Buttered Home

Deviled eggs are a true Southern traditional food. Everyone has a prize-winning recipe, it seems. Almost every cook I know has had some difficulty with getting their eggs “just right.” This month, we’re showing you how our favorite kitchen appliance can come to the rescue. These deviled eggs are on the dill and mustard side of the spectrum but still so delicious. And whether you like them sweet or savory, you can’t go wrong with our 6-7-8 Instant Pot method! 

Photo by The Buttered Home

Deviled Eggs in the Instant Pot

12 large eggs

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1/4 cup dill pickle relish

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus a bit more for garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste

   Place trivet in Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water in pot. Place eggs on trivet in a single layer. Lock the lid, turn seal to closed position and set manual or pressure cook for 6 minutes.

   Once timer beeps that the IP is finished, turn off or cancel and allow to NPR (natural pressure release) for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, release any remaining pressure by turning the vent and carefully open lid. Place eggs in an ice bath for 8 minutes. 6-7-8! Dry and peel.

   Cut eggs in half, lengthwise, and remove yolks. This should happen almost effortlessly. Mash the yolks with a fork and place the egg white boats on a pretty plate. Add the mayo, mustard, pickle relish, 1/2 tsp of paprika, salt and pepper and mix. Taste to make sure it’s just how you like it!

   Place mixture into a zip top bag and snip off a bottom corner. Boom! You have a homemade pastry bag (and yes, I have put a tip in mine before) Then, pipe that wonderfully devilish mixture into the egg white boats. Garnish with a little more smoked paprika and chill until ready to serve.

Cook of the Month, Victoria Motyka, Baldwin EMC

Victoria Motyka says she uses two names for her winning recipe, because if you call it Bread Pudding it’s more like a dessert (if you add vanilla and sugar and leave out some of the other ingredients); but if you call it Egg Strata, it’s a breakfast casserole.  The original recipe had three variations, she says, so you can change out the inside ingredients and have several different dishes. “I do the breakfast casseroles all the time,” says the Kentucky resident who is a member of Baldwin EMC and enjoys traveling to their condo on the beach. “It’s easy because you can make it the night before. I always use country ham in mine, but you can use bacon. I try to use three or four of the other ingredients, whatever I think looks good. Fresh mushrooms are always good. I also use a lot of fresh herbs, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, and by making it the day before all the flavors blend together.”  –Lenore Vickrey

Bread Pudding or Egg Strata

Custard-like Filling:

8 eggs

1 cup milk (or ½ cup half and half and ½ cup heavy cream)

¼ teaspoon each parsley, sage, 

rosemary, thyme (fresh preferred)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Bread and Ingredients:

4 cups mixed or plain bread, torn with or without crust

Ingredients of choice: chopped spinach, chopped roasted red peppers, dried tomatoes, diced/cooked ham, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.

Cheese Topping:

1 cup Gruyere cheese or cheese of choice, shredded

Whisk or whip the custard-like filling in a mixing bowl. In another large bowl, loosely mix the torn bread and ingredients. Pour the custard-like filling into the bread and ingredients bowl and toss to absorb. Butter an 11×14-inch baking dish and transfer the now mixed ingredients into the baking dish. Press down with the back of a large spoon. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake in a 375-degree oven until the casserole has “set,” approximately 40-45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the cheese over the casserole. It will puff and turn golden after approximately 15 minutes more in the oven. When done, take out of the oven, allowing it to sit for 15 minutes before serving. The puffiness will go down.

Keto Muffins

6 large eggs

6 sausage patties

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup sweet pepper, finely chopped

1/2-3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

Use muffin pan that makes six large muffins. Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with oil. Cook sausage patties, chop or crumble and put in bottom of muffin pan. Put onion and pepper in with sausage. Whisk eggs well and pour on top. Top with about 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes. They will puff up when are done and settle when cooled. Good for any meal. Heat in microwave for 30-40 seconds if you have leftovers. Also good with salsa and/or sour cream.

Kathy Van Cor, Baldwin EMC

Mawmaw’s Egg Custard Pie

4 eggs                                           

1 cup sugar    

2 tablespoons flour                                                

2 tablespoons butter, melted                                                    

1 cup whole milk                                                    

2/3 cup evaporated milk  

1 tablespoon vanilla extract                                                   

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg                                                    

1 prepared 8- inch pie crust  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs for approximately 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, flour, butter, milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Mix well, then pour mixture into pastry shell. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the top is light brown. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Judy Thompson, Baldwin EMC

Deviled Eggs

12 hard boiled eggs

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons margarine, softened

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ranch salad dressing mix

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

2 teaspoons pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1/3 cup ham, chopped


Slice eggs in half, remove yolks and set whites aside. In a small bowl, take a fork and mash yolks. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and margarine, mix well. Add egg yolks and stir. Add remaining ingredients except paprika and mix well. Spoon mixture into egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. Yield: 2 dozen.

Teresa Hubbard, Franklin EC


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