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Inspiration struck and I had a hit. It was a simple idea. Create an egg dish for Mother’s Day that would say “I love you” and taste great too. Here’s what I came up with. Shallots and mushrooms chopped fine and sauteed in olive oil with a pinch of salt until very soft, about 10 minutes. This is a classic “duxelle” and such a great base for anything you want to infuse with flavor. I once made a whole wheat pastry roulade with a stuffing of duxelles, that was baked and sliced as an appetizer. My catering clients raved. I digress.

Next, I harvested fresh Swiss chard from my garden. I needed an excuse to use this green that has over-populated and decided to become a permanent, year-round fixture. Not necessarily a bad thing. The chard’s lineage was removed for future use and the leaves folded in half, sliced down either side to create three long pieces, then thinly sliced. You can manuveur this anyway you like. This is just how I do it to help get it to the lowest common denominator.

When the duxelles are finished, stir in the shreds of Swiss chard and a pinch of herbes de Provence and saute until cooked but still bright green. Do not overcook!  You can make this ahead if you like and refrigerate. To add even more color, dice fresh Roma tomatoes  to small, 1/4” cubes that will also take part in this production.

Here’s how it went down. Pour one teaspoon of basil olive oil (or any olive oil of your preference) in the bottom of a ramekin. I used a 6 oz. cup. Sprinkle a layer of chopped tomatoes on top. Spoon in 1-2 Tbls. of the mushroom mixture, depending on the size of your ramekin. Build up the filling, leaving about an inch to the top. This is so the egg on top of the filling it will make a statement, “Look at me!” and not “I’m a shrinking violet.” Crack an egg on top, or if you wish to be a bit extravagant and avant garde, use quail eggs as I have done here. I admire their delicate shells, so uniquely speckled. Maybe I used too many!!

Coat the entire egg with about a tablespoon of cream – decadent – and sprinkle with fleur de sel, my obsession. IMG_4252

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, checking half-way through, until the yolk is just set to your liking. The tiny quail eggs will only take about 8 minutes.

Serve hot and be ready for the sound of only the forks hitting the ceramic. The eggs are that delicious and irresistible. Have some lively French or Italian music playing in the background for ambiance to feel like you’re in the Euro zone. Fresh fruit and a light mixed baby green or arugula salad are the perfect complement for this breakfast/brunch.

Beautiful Baked Eggs
Serves 4 using 6 ounce ramekins
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 finely diced shallot
8 oz. finely diced mushrooms
pinch of salt
4-5 large leaves of Swiss chard, kale or green of your choice, shredded
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
4 eggs
4 Tbls. cream
flaking sea salt to sprinkle on top

Pour 1 tsp. of basil olive oil into the bottom of each ramekin.
Divide the tomatoes into the 4 ramekins.
Divide the mushroom/chard mixture between the ramekins
Crack an egg on top.
Pour 1 Tbls. cream over the egg.
Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the yolk is how you like it.
Eat immediately!!

“Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg
before it is broken.”
― M.F.K. Fisher

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knowsthat you are slightly cracked.”
― Bernard Meltzer

Ciao for now!

Mary