I’ve been wanting to try a recipe like this. That is, one topped by a not-quite-done, sunny egg. I’d seen countless recipes on other food blogs or sites that looked so yummy and good and then – wham – there at the very end of the pictorial food pron sequence was an egg on top of it all. I used to find this so strange. I like eggs, I do. But you folks were going around topping perfectly fine-looking food with these eggs and I was like, people, why? The egg topper just never made that much sense to me. Like, here ya go, have this random egg with your totally unbreakfast-y meal.
So naturally I needed to try such a recipe and see why it must be so. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat — it got him more noms!
The great thing about this recipe is that it has very few ingredients and all are reasonably priced items that, should you not use all of them in one sitting, you’ll likely have no trouble using them up later. This is the kind of meal that would be good any time of the day. My immediate meal impression was brunch, but it could work for breakfast, lunch and dinner, too. You’ll need some one-cup size ramekins for this, or you could use something like these little guys if you have them, too, minus the lid while cooking. Wouldn’t that make the cutest wootest wittle presentation?
Yeah, so people talk smack about you, eggs. But you’re A-OK with me. And you do not suspect a thing about what’s about to happen to you. Muahaha!
I saw, somewhere, a really easy-looking recipe for these things that I want to try, but don’t worry. Today we’re using good ‘ole store-bought. Just put a fork in ‘em to split them open.
Toast like the most! Please try to refrain from dredging these in butter and nom-ing on them. They’re not a snack. They go in the bottom of your tasty baked egg dish!
Crisp up some pretty piggies in a pan. Now we’re talkin’. Don’t be afraid to really crisp them up (without burning of course). I found their crunchy texture to be perfect against the softness of the other ingredients.
Next, throw some spinach in that pan.
It only takes one minute to wilt this stuff into submission. It’s now ready to do your bidding.
Put one of the toasted muffin halves in the bottom of each ramekin. If you have to tear off the edges a little to make it fit, don’t nibble on that (*ahem* glares at sis/cooking partner). Just tuck any torn off pieces on top of the muffin. It looks rather lonely, doesn’t it. Don’t worry, it’s friends are coming along soon.
See? Friends. No worries. Just a small, itsy bitsy handful of spinach in each cup. Try to get it evenly dispersed to each cup.
Layer on that crispy, yummy, salty bacon. Yes, it will seem like a lot. Use it. All of it. Genuflect to it to show proper bacon-lovin’ gratitude if you have to. Just be sure to use it all.
Before carefully cracking the egg on top of it all, you’ll need to use the back of the spoon to create a well/indentation in the spinach for the egg to kind of rest in. That way it doesn’t slide over to side, lookin’ all lazy and unkempt. Because none of us eat unkempt-looking food, right?
Tadaaaa! You’ve just baked these bad little boys for about fifteen or so minutes, just until the whites are set. So warning to all ye who loath-eth the runny yoke. Cuz like the spice, it too shall flow. Yum.
This is a very small dish, so if you’re making this for others, you may want to make a few extra in case some guests want more than one. And we made this strictly for the blog as opposed to going on and serving it for dinner, too, but if we had done the dinner thing I’d have whipped up some creamy, cheesy grits to go along with it. Some fresh cut fruit on the side and I’d say that’s a wrap. Dig. In. This was so much better tasting than I expected it to be. If you can manage to get to the bottom with your spoon and get a little of the egg, spinach, bacon AND muffin at once – Oh. Man. After eating, the sis and I discussed some ways this could be improved upon, so see the Notes below.
Baked Eggs with Bacon and Spinach
From Bon Appétite, September 2010
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 2-4
- 6 slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
- 2 whole wheat or sourdough English muffins, split horizontally, well toasted
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels. Pour off drippings from skillet; reserve drippings. Add spinach to pan, sprinkle with pepper, and toss over medium heat, 1 minute. Transfer to strainer set over bowl to drain. Brush four 1-cup ramekins with drippings. Crumble bacon.
Place 1 toasted English muffin half, split side up, in each ramekin. Divide spinach among ramekins, then sprinkle bacon over, dividing equally. With back of spoon, shape well in center of each ramekin. Gently crack 1 egg into well in each ramekin, keeping yolk intact. Drizzle 1 tablespoon cream over each egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake eggs until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 14 to 16 minutes.
Ways this can only improve:
Cheese. I would add it on either on top of the muffin or maybe on top of the spinach. But it’s up to you. Just a little shredded Swiss, maybe provolone. The sis said Gruyere, which would totes melt just lovely and be all creamy, but it is expensive. I think you could use just about any kind you want, although I won’t vouch for the blue-veined varieties. If anyone wants to try using some blue cheese, let me know how it turns out.
Spice. If you like your meals just a tad spicy, I suggest cooking the spinach with a bare 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I do this sometimes when I’m sauteing spinach to have with our dinner. It takes on the spiciness wonderfully.
The bacon: I’m not sure why it had to be applewood-smoked, but I’m betting you could use just about any kind of bacon you wanted, even maple. Or peppered. Or plain-smoked. The applewood was tres good, though. We used thick-cut style, and I think that helped the overall texture experience.
*sigh* I just keep forgetting to mention things.
Do ahead tips: I haven’t tried any of this yet, but if you’re making these for breakfast and want to assemble things the night before, it would probably be OK to do so up to the bacon layer. Making sure you’ve properly drained that spinach, of course. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap or foil, place in fridge and in the morning put in the eggs, cream, salt and pepper and bake. Would make your morning a lot easier, I’m betting!