FROM colourful salad party cups to traditional Christmas pavlova, cracking out the eggs this festive season can ensure a budget friendly, versatile Christmas Day menu that is sure to please friends and family.
Sunny Queen Australia spokesperson Julie Proctor says providing an impressive Christmas feast doesn't have to break the budget, with every day ingredients like eggs an affordable, healthy way to impress guests this festive season.
"Hosting a Christmas Day breakfast, lunch or dinner is an important role, and provides a great opportunity to share a special meal with friends and family; but you don't need to break the bank to do it," she said.
"Eggs are incredibly versatile and can turn a simple meal into something special. Following some of our recipes and a few simple steps can ensure everyone has a safe and healthy Christmas."
Simple festive favourites like steamed pudding, bright salads and easy to prepare pavlova are some of the great dishes that can be whipped up quickly, easily and cost effectively using eggs. Sunny Queen has compiled a list of easy, crowd pleasing meals on its website www.sunnyqueen.com.auto make Christmas Day hosting a breeze.
"Whether you're starting the day with baked eggs, entertaining with a colourful salad or sweetening the day with a fruit adorned pavlova, Christmas meal planning this year can be simple and crowd pleasing," Ms Proctor said.
"We hope everyone will enjoy Sunny Queen's festive recipes and will have a very merry Christmas."
Sunny Queen recommends six guidelines to serve up a safe Christmas dining experience this festive season:
• Follow the recommended storage, thawing and cooking/heating guidelines.
• Always sanitise benches and equipment to avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked products.
• Do not use cracked or dirty eggs.
• Shell eggs, once cracked, should be fully cooked before consumption.
• Use pasteurised egg pulp for making sauces, batters, custards and other uncooked egg products.
• Always clean your hands thoroughly before and after handling egg and egg products.
For more recipes or safe food handling information, visit www.sunnyqueen.com.au.
Christmas Day recipe ideas from Sunny Queen
Baked Eggs with Cheese and Basil: serves 4
• 3 tbsp reduced fat margarine
• 2 tbsp flour
• 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
• 1 cup skim milk
• non-stick spray coating
• 4 Sunny Queen eggs
• 4 tsp grated low fat cheese
1 In a small saucepan, melt the margarine or butter. Stir in the flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh basil.
2 Spray round baking dishes (ramekins) with oil. To assemble, spoon about 2 tbsp basil sauce into each dish. Gently break an egg into the centre of each dish; season with pepper. Spoon remaining sauce over eggs.
3 Bake in a 180°C oven for 18 to 20 minutes or till egg is set. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand till cheese melts. Garnish with snipped basil, if desired.
• 6 Sunny Queen eggs, hard-boiled
• 2 x 280g packets small corn tortillas
• 3 Spanish onions, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 small red chilli, sliced
• 2 tsp cumin
• 2 x 240g canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 cups lettuce leaves
• 1 avocado, diced
• 2 limes and juice
• 2 tomatoes, diced
• 1 cup coriander leaves
• 2/3 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 12 hole Texas muffin pan with oil and lightly spray, both sides of the tortillas with oil.
2. Press 1 tortilla into each muffin hole. Weigh each down with baking paper and fill with uncooked rice. Bake for eight to 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool in pan. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked. Cool, store in an airtight container until required.
3. Sauté onions, garlic and chilli in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until tender. Add cumin. Add beans and cook for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
4. Divide lettuce between tortillas cups. Top with bean mixture.
5. Toss avocado in 1/4 cup of lime juice and spoon into cups.
6. Top with tomato, coriander, diced hard-boiled Sunny Queen egg and sour cream. Serve.
Pavlova Layer Cake
• 4 large Sunny Queen egg whites
• 1 cup caster sugar
• 1 tbsp cornflour
• 2 tsp white vinegar
• 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced thinly and halved
• 1 x 250g punnet strawberries, hulled and quartered
• 2 x 120g punnet raspberries
• 350ml cream
• small mint leaves to garnish
1.Preheat oven 150°C and line 2 baking trays with baking tray. Draw two 25 cm diameter circle on each piece of baking paper.
2.Place egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
3.Gradually add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the cornflour and white vinegar.
4.Divide mixture evenly between trays and spread with the back of a spoon until an even thickness.
5.Bake 40 minutes, swapping trays half way, until crisp and dry.
6.Turn heat off and leave meringue in oven with door ajar for 1 hour or until completely cooled.
7.Beat cream with electric beaters to firm peaks. Place one of the meringue discs onto serving plate and spread with a third of the cream. Scatter over a third of the berries and place remaining meringue on top. Spoon remaining cream and pile on berries and kiwi fruit.
8.Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.
Basic Steamed pudding
• 125g butter or margarine
• 125g caster or brown sugar
• 2 Sunny Queen eggs
• 185g plain flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 2 tablespoons milk
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy and almost white. Gradually add the beaten eggs and sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. Gradually incorporate the flour into the mixture as lightly as possible, and add a little milk.
3. Place in a greased 1.2 litre pudding basin, and cover with greaseproof paper and secure with string. Place basin in a large pot and fill with water until 2/3 of the pudding bowl is covered with water.
4. Cover pot and steam the pudding for 1-1 1/2 hours - ensure the water remains topped up.
5. Remove from pot, take off paper and run a spatula around the edge of the bowl to release the pudding.
6. Serve with custard and cherries