The Drexel Food Lab is an interdisciplinary research group that aims to solve real-world problems in the areas of recipe development, product development and product ideation. DrexelNow approached Food Lab Manager Ally Zeitz, a 2015 Drexel graduate, last week with a real-world holiday problem: leftover eggnog.
It can happen to anyone. You’re hosting a party and you purchase a half-gallon of the stuff for that one (possibly more than one) person who enjoys it. When the party is over, probably more than half of the container of the thick egg-y beverage will take up real estate in your fridge until you get around to throwing it out.
Zeitz, who admits she’s in the “I don’t like eggnog” camp, still accepted the challenge and ventured to make three separate dishes using the holiday beverage as an ingredient.
“Just because I don’t like eggnog doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a good ingredient to cook with,” she said. “I mean, it has eggs and milk, so you can pretty much do anything with it that you would use eggs and milk for.”
Zeitz experimented with three different dishes — a semifreddo, a coconut custard pie and mac and cheese — and “they turned out really well,” she said.
She offered one very important tip: “It's really important to make sure the eggnog you are using doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it. It’s difficult to bring out the strong, sweet flavor of it when using it as an ingredient.”
Try one of more of Zeitz’s recipes found below. Enjoy!
3 cups eggnog
2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped white chocolate, melted
In a heavy bottom saucepot on medium heat, whisk together eggnog and sugar. Bring to a light simmer.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Ladle about 1 cup of the warm eggnog into the yolks and whisk together. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the eggnog. Stir the custard constantly until it is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Allow the custard to cool.
Using a stand or electric mixer, whip the cream until it has stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream, cranberries and cinnamon into the custard.
Line a 9x13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Pour the custard into the casserole dish. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top and swirl with a knife.
Freeze the semifreddo until it is solid, about 5 hours. Once ready to serve, use the parchment paper to remove it from the pan. Spoon the semifreddo into bowls, top with cinnamon and serve.
Eggnog Mac and Cheese
1 quart eggnog
1 cup milk
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 pound cooked elbow macaroni
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 casserole dish.
In a heavy bottom pot, combine eggnog, milk, sage, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer for 15 minutes. Lower the heat and let the herbs steep in the milk for about one hour. Remove the herbs from the milk, season with salt, Worcestershire and paprika. Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese to the sauce and allow to melt.
Add pasta. Stir until the pasta is completely coated with the sauce.
Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with panko breadcrumbs and place in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Coconut Custard Pie
3 cups eggnog
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups toasted shredded coconut
1 prepared pie crust
1 cup whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a heavy bottom pot, whisk together the eggnog, eggs, milk, vanilla and cornstarch. Place the pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Once the mixture thickens, after about 15 minutes, remove the custard from the heat and strain. Fold the coconut into the custard.
Roll out the pie crust and place into a greased pie pan. Pour the custard into the crust and spread into an even layer.
Bake the pie for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the center is set. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.