Looking at my recent blog posts, I can’t blame anyone who has the impression that I’ve eaten nothing but baked goods for weeks. Actually, that’s not as far off the mark as I would like. I did get rather carried away with the holiday goodies. Am I alone in that? Somehow, I doubt it.
Oh well, that’s behind me (and no, that’s not supposed to be a pun). While you’ll see some more cake and brownies up on the blog in the next little while as I finish posting about my holiday baking, there’s a major reformation going on here, people. Yesterday, the Culinary Enthusiast, bless his heart, bought me a juicer. Yes, a juicer. So, I suppose I’ll be photographing glasses of green stuff once I’ve gotten the hang of that. You’re safe for now, though.
What I want to talk about today is eggs. Lovely baked eggs, in fact. Now, I grew up on an egg farm, so I can say with confidence that I’ve picked up more eggs that most of you will ever see in your lifetime. I don’t think we ate any more eggs than most people, although my mother did make a lot of angel food cakes. We ate our eggs scrambled, over easy, in fried egg sandwiches, and sometimes fried with apples (oh, the nostalgia), but they never arrived at the table baked in ramekins with little bits of this and that added in to make an elegant yet easy breakfast or lunch treat.
I’ve been seeing these around for a few years now and finally made them one weekend in December when I wanted to give the CE a special breakfast to make up for the amount of time I was spending in the kitchen preparing for our open house. We both enjoyed them. They also fit with my easy-on-the cook philosophy that it’s somehow more restful to make things in the oven than on top of the stove.
This is not the kind of dish you actually need a recipe for, but it’s nice to have one as a jumping-off point for your own, infinitely variable, versions. So, here it is. You’re welcome.
Baked Eggs with Herbs, Red Chili Pepper and Cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 350º. Set four ramekins on a baking tray. This particular recipe is for four eggs; you can decide how many servings that is.
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- about 2 tsp minced red chili pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 leaves sage, chiffonaded
- leaves of several sprigs of thyme, lightly chopped
- (Optional) sprinkling of grated cheese (I used a zesty provolone piquant, mostly because I had some leftover)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp cream per ramekin
- freshly ground pepper
- kosher or sea salt
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, chili pepper and a grinding of fresh pepper and sauté for about five minutes, until the vegetables soften slightly. Divide between the four ramekins. Using a piece of plastic wrap, rub the oil around the inside of the ramekins, then make sure the shallots and chill pepper are evenly distributed around the bottom. Add the herbs, then the cheese, if using. Crack an egg into each ramekin (for some reason, this is much more fun than cracking eggs into a frying pan). If using cheese, add a light sprinkling on top. Then top with the cream, a grating of pepper and a light sprinkling of kosher or sea salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the eggs reach the doneness you desire. I baked mine for 18 minutes; the white were quite firm and the yolks had some softness to them but weren’t runny. Next time I’ll bake the shorter time period to facilitate dipping my toast.
We ate our eggs from the ramekins, but I suppose you could loosen them around the edge with a knife and slip them onto plates.
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