Safely disguising eggs + can I eat this custard?
September 10, 2018 12:11 AM   Subscribe

The one thing my prenatal vitamin doesn't have is choline, which is in egg yolks. (1) How can I sneak egg yolks into food or otherwise disguise them from myself? (2) What can you tell me about the food safety of things like custard?

I really cannot stomach one more hard-boiled egg or egg salad sandwich. Even scrambled eggs are getting iffy. Any suggestions for easy recipes that let me pound down 3-4 egg yolks?

Tonight I had the brilliant idea of making custard. But the whole point of custard is for it to be runny, and the whole egg-safety thing as I understand it is to have your yolks fully cooked. The Internet makes it sound like "lightly cooked" egg dishes "such as custard" are questionable.

(I know, Emily Oster says that you can eat runny yolks because it's no worse than what would happen to you if you ate runny yolks while not pregnant, but the FDA says "in people with a weakened immune system, such as pregnant women, the [salmonella] infection may be more severe and lead to serious complications including death," so that sounds worth avoiding.)

Anyway, so I turned up the heat on my custard and it got all full of curds, but because there's also a bunch of milk in it, it's also still runny in a way that makes me question it. Anyone have some science about whether it's likely safe or not? Thanks!
posted by slidell to Health & Fitness (26 answers total)
The temperature at which egg yolk curdles is slightly above the temperature at which it gets pasteurised, so I think you are good. (That's why you have to pasteurise eggs for a very long time if you do it on a temperature that won't curdle it).

You can crumble hard boiled eggs over any salad. You can also beat an egg yolk into just about any soup recipe to thicken it, and into grated cheese and bread crumbs for a mixture to spread over the top of all sorts of baked dishes like pasta, casseroles, roasted vegetables etc.
posted by lollusc at 12:43 AM on September 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Is there a reason that a choline supplement is not under consideration?

Spaghetti Carbonara will have some egg yolks in it; it cooks the egg using the hot pasta. You can also make eggy pasta. Oh, and challah or brioche are egg-rich breads.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:45 AM on September 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

Your question seems to imply that egg yolks are the only source of choline, which just isn’t true. It’s in many foods, and you can also take it in supplement form. Is there some reason that you feel it must come only from egg yolks?
posted by amro at 12:48 AM on September 10, 2018 [11 favorites]

Your custard is probably safe just deeply unpleasant to eat. Sounds like you scrambled your eggs and split the custard.

Pregnancy is hard enough without forcing yourself to eat large quantities of food you don't like. Just take a choline supplement.
posted by missmagenta at 1:07 AM on September 10, 2018 [14 favorites]

I whiz up an egg w/ a large tablespoon of roasted sweet potato to make pancakes for my son that hates eggs - a little real maple syrup and you are aces. The texture is surprisingly appropriate for an actual pancake.
posted by jbenben at 1:35 AM on September 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Try veggie fritters and make some lemon curd to use in a dessert.
posted by ouke at 3:51 AM on September 10, 2018

You could make this delicious creme brûlée!

6 egg yolks
2cups whipping cream
1/3cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon vanilla
Boiling water
8teaspoons granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. In 13x9-inch pan, place 4 (6-oz) ceramic ramekins.* In small bowl, slightly beat egg yolks with wire whisk. In large bowl, stir whipping cream, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla until well mixed. Add egg yolks; beat with wire whisk until evenly colored and well blended. Pour cream mixture evenly into ramekins.

Carefully place pan with ramekins in oven. Pour enough boiling water into pan, being careful not to splash water into ramekins, until water covers two-thirds of the height of the ramekins.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is light golden brown and sides are set (centers will be jiggly).

Using tongs or grasping tops of ramekins with pot holder, carefully transfer ramekins to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours but no longer than 48 hours.

Uncover ramekins; gently blot any liquid from tops of custards with paper towel. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons granulated sugar over each chilled custard. Holding kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from custard, caramelize sugar on each custard by heating with torch about 2 minutes, moving flame continuously over sugar in circular motion, until sugar is melted and light golden brown. (To caramelize sugar in the broiler, see Broiler Directions below.) Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.
posted by firei at 4:40 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Are you looking to eat four egg yolks one time or every day? If every day, that seems like kind of a lot of cholesterol, but you could put everything else you eat inside crepes and probably get there.
posted by lakeroon at 4:48 AM on September 10, 2018

Custard needing to be runny is a new one on me....

According to this chart, it's eggs themselves, rather than egg yolks, that are choline sources. And beef top round and roasted soybeans also have about the same levels of choline as an egg. They actually say the thing with the most choline is beef liver; I leave you to decide if you want to go that route.

But you can also get a bottle of 100 choline supplement capsules for only seven dollars. You've got a lot going on in your life right now, I say just get the supplements and make sure you get the choline that way. Eat healthy, sure, but don't force-feed yourself something you don't like when the supplements exist.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:48 AM on September 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Make budyń? 0.25 of a cup of potato starch, 0.25 cup sugar, bit of vanilla essence and 3-5 yolks. Whisk everything together in a saucepan, then slowly pour in two cups of milk while whisking all the while. Put on a very low fire and keep slowly whisking as it thickens until it finally boils, then take off fire and pour into bowls.

It's basically a thick completely-boiled custard that's very comforting and easy on the stomach. You can eat it warm or chilled, as well as add anything that sounds good (syrups, fruit, jams, nuts etc).
posted by I claim sanctuary at 5:05 AM on September 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

"Good custard should be thick and full with a texture closer to that of yogurt."

This article explains how to thicken custard.
posted by Dolley at 5:43 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hollandaise sauce? (I would eat this while pregnant, but I also didn't really gaf about egg safety while pregnant because I generally felt I could trust the quality of the eggs I was buying)

I have a shortbread recipe that takes a bunch of egg yolks. That and some fruit and whipped cream would be pretty enjoyable.

Pancakes. Frittatas. Quiches. Anything else that just takes a lot of eggs.
posted by olinerd at 7:01 AM on September 10, 2018

I've been recently googling this topic, and here are the best things I think I've found, though I haven't tried them all yet:

--Mixing eggs up with pre-cooked sweet potato, regular potato, pumpkin, or squash and fry into a simple fritter.
--Doing the same with banana
--Simple recipes for protein pancakes, designed for people trying to get muscley, tend to have a lot of eggs and not as much other stuff you might not be eager to add to your diet.
--Packing cooked eggs in style of your choice with salsa and cheese (I find baking it almost into oblivion gives the least-eggy result, though I still need to eat it with bread).

It's frustrating because I've found people asking this question on so many different kinds of message boards and they're just packed with eggy-tasting answers and ones that say "if you don't like eggs, don't eat eggs. Get [whatever you're looking for] from something else" but come on, there is no food that so efficiently delivers such a wide range of nutrients, and the fact is on days I eat an egg I just feel better and that's not true of grilled chicken or whatever. So that's just to say, I feel you, and I'll be following the answers with interest
posted by lampoil at 7:10 AM on September 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Personally I wouldn't have thought twice about eating custard while pregnant, but if you want to both eat custard and be extra careful, you can purchase pasteurized eggs.
posted by telepanda at 7:15 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

This page appears to contain extensive tips for egg food safety. The rest of the website might also give you some ideas of how else to eat eggs.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:17 AM on September 10, 2018

In my family, we make fried rice with one egg. No reason you can't use two eggs and along anything else you want.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 7:18 AM on September 10, 2018

When grits are almost done simmering, you can crack an egg or two into them. Stir completely in, and let it simmer the last few minutes. You'll only get a golden color and added richness, no threads of egginess, nothing like egg drop soup.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 8:08 AM on September 10, 2018

My go-to lasanga recipe uses a egg or two mixed in with the ricotta cheese to act as a binder.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:30 AM on September 10, 2018

Savory bread pudding/strata* uses a lot of eggs, but feels more like a "bread" dish than an "egg" dish, so it might give you the variety you want. Likewise French toast, which can be made savory (I'm a big fan of making it with garlic butter).

* Quick recipe: Beat 4 eggs and add a cup of milk. Cut half a loaf of crusty bread (stale is OK) into cubes. Combine bread, egg/milk mixture, and whatever additions you feel like (one of my favorite combinations is cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and minced onion). Season to taste. Pour into a buttered loaf pan. Cover with grated cheese if you like. Bake at 400° for an hour, or until a knife tests clean and the bread cubes on top are a nice dark brown.
posted by aws17576 at 8:51 AM on September 10, 2018

Chickpeas have choline too, and lots of great ways to eat both chickpeas and chickpea flour. The toasted chickpeas were something I ate a lot of while pregnant (I was also having trouble gaining weight.)

I don't know if this applies to your experience but I have been trying to track potassium as I get migraines without it. My app kept showing that I had very little in my diet unless I drank coconut water or ate bananas. I learned that a lot of times that field was not filled out in the app for various foods that weren't like, specifically potassium heavy, so there was a lot of what I think of as "ambient" potassium that wasn't getting recorded through the app. This was MyFitnessPal. Once I started entering my own nutritional information I hit my targets much more easily. I think with choline, because it's so newly recognized, you may run into this problem a lot.
posted by warriorqueen at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pasteurized eggs may provide peace of mind about what constitutes a lightly vs. fully cooked egg. There are 4 egg yolks in every batch of this frozen custard - you do need an ice cream maker though.
posted by lakeroon at 10:25 AM on September 10, 2018

Lots of foods have choline. You might already be eating some of them. Your body also produces some choline (but not enough). Taking a supplement containing folic acid and B12 (they are functionally related) helps too. Here is some more info, including a list of common sources.
posted by zennie at 10:53 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

A related thought - if, for instance, you want egg things that would otherwise give you pause since they wouldn't be fully cooked, you can buy eggs pasteurized in-shell (or do your own). It's one of the cooler and weirder immersion circulator tricks; if memory serves, 130F for two hours gets you pasteurized eggs that behave like raw eggs.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 11:29 AM on September 10, 2018

Keep in mind that - barring medical issues - it's really really REALLY hard to be deficient in something if you eat a modern diet and aren't starving. Baby will take whatever baby needs and you'll be fine.

Exception is folate early in pregnancy, but (as per my two OBs while I was pregnant), prenatals aren't really necessary. Forcing yourself to eat particular foods is overkill!
posted by lydhre at 11:34 AM on September 10, 2018

If you want to eat eggs - quiche uses quite few, I like to think of it as solid, savoury custard with vegetables and cheese
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Buy some really nice sourdough bread with fruit in it, and have French toast for breakfast every morning. Delicious and surprisingly easy!
posted by embrangled at 7:12 PM on September 10, 2018

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