Monday, February 4, 2008

Baked: Eggs

To give you an idea of how desperately attached we are to eggs, here is a brief list of foods that would really suck without them.

Birthday cake, quiche, custard (we’re talking flan, crème brulee, frozen, in tart form, no custard whatsoever), French toast, pasta carbonara, meatballs, pudding, mousse, caesar salad, soufflés, 90% of cookies, pancakes, things one would dunk in egg and roll in whatever, you get the point. There is no wonderful food without eggs. Someday I’ll start a blog where I just wax poetic about the self-imposed dietary restrictions of vegans and how..just… god, I hate vegans.

But I love eggs. And I love goat cheese. And even vegans love crunchy bacon, they’re just on some internalized angst trip that they’re taking out on food for some reason and will hopefully get over in a couple of years.

This dish, e-z as the rest of them, is actually easier than making scrambled eggs. So very many things can go wrong when you’re making scrambled eggs. Curd too big, inside too runny, final product kind of just wrong. Or fried, they’re even worse. God forbid you don’t start with enough butter. All those little fried thingies that stay behind. I mean really stay behind. I mean soak the pan all day and still can’t get rid of ‘em stay behind. Boiled, oh, now there’s an adventure. Too fresh, you can’t peel the little devils. Too old, you get that lame ring around the yolk. Just right, still smell anyway. In this day and age, however, you can make boiled eggs slightly more interesting. And poached– I wish I could just poach an egg and be done with it. None of this vinegar debate, no stringy things making your poached eggs look like jellyfish, and no naked English muffins just hanging out on your plate waiting for their poached eggs and watching you ruin them, judging, judging.

Baked eggs, however, just need an oven. Don’t bother them. Just do this, and then pop this in the oven, and then leave them alone. They’re certainly the most anti-social of straight-up egg dishes, but it’s okay. They’re over-easygoing. I get one egg joke.

…I’m going to make some eggs now.

Goat cheese
Crunchy bacon
Thawed and squeezed frozen spinach
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

You can do this neatly with a pat of butter, or with heavily buttered fingers. Like mine. In any case, butter your ramekins. It’ll keep the egg from sticking to the side of the dish.

Take two slices of bacon for each ramekin and slice into half-inch pieces. Fry in a hot pan until crunchy. Drain the fat off on a plate with a few layers of paper towel.

Rinse the frozen spinach under cool water until thawed, about thirty seconds, then take a fistful and squeeze as hard as you can. A lot of water will come out.

It doesn’t matter if they just hang out looking like this until you need them.

Okay, you need them. Layer the bottom of the ramekin with spinach and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.

Take the goat cheese out of the fridge. Goat cheese comes to room temperature fairly quickly and the warmer it gets, the harder it is to slice and stay round. Slice ¼ to 1/2 –inch rounds and place on top of spinach layer.

Sprinkle evenly with enough bacon so that you can’t see any spinach.

Crack an egg on top of the whole ordeal and stick in the oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until white is set. Carefully remove the ramekin (ceramic gets SUPER DOUBLE BACKFLIP HOT, so definitely use an oven mitt), and add some freshly ground black pepper

Dig in. The goat cheese gets all fonduey and melts down into the spinach and up into the bacon and the yolk runs all over everything and it’s a few bites of flavor perfection that’s easier than flipping an omelet in a pan. And then cleaning omelet off the floor.

1 comment:

J. Christina Huh said...

Will definitely be trying this out for breakfast one day. Post more often!