Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Herb Baked Eggs

Before we got married and actually lived in the same time zone, I would talk to Martijn on MSN while he was getting ready to go to work in the morning and I was getting ready for bed at night. One day he told me he was running back and forth between the kitchen and the computer because he was making his breakfast. Naturally I asked him what he was making for breakfast. Here is an approximation of the conversation that followed.

M: Baked eggs!
Me: Baked eggs?
M: Yah!
Me: How do you bake an egg?
M: You know, in a pan on the stove...
Me: OH! A FRIED egg!

You see, the Dutch word for fried is gebakken. The Dutch word for baked is also gebakken. NOW the whole conversation was rather funny, but at the time the concept of a baked egg was quite baffling. Since then, the baked egg has been a bit of a joke between us. That's how I knew I HAD to choose Ina Garten's Herb Baked Eggs for this week's FNCCC! To round off the meal I also made the Endive, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad.

*****

Baked Eggs

Herb Baked Eggs
Courtesy Ina Garten

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 extra-large eggs*
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I just used evaporated milk)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted French bread or brioche (Or just plain old toast), for serving
*This recipe was written for two servings and I thought 3 eggs a piece was a bit much, so I did two per person and kept the rest of the ingredients the same.

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat (I couldn't really be that specific with where the rack was because my oven has one place for a rack and that's where it was).

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place 2 individual gratin dishes (a ramekin would work too) on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 (or two) eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (I think that Parmesan cheese is pretty salty so I didn't add any extra salt). Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly (My broiler has a hot spot so I moved them about three times so they wouldn't scorch). The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

*****

Witlof & Pear Salad

Endive, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad
Courtesy Ina Garten

Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 heads of Belgian endive (This is witlof in Dutch)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 pound good Roquefort cheese (I used Danish Blue since it's a little milder and not nearly as expensive)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves

Trim off the core end of each head of endive and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the cores, separate the leaves, and place 1 1/2 to 2 heads of endive on each plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion (I swear this is magic. Make sure not to add the oil too fast or it will break and you'll be disappointed in the lack of magic). Toss the pears with some vinaigrette and place on the endive. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the endive leaves to moisten them. Crumble the blue cheese onto the endive. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve at room temperature.

*****

THE VERDICT: I thought that the herbs in the eggs all worked really well together! Broiling the eggs like that made the whites firm but the yolks runny which is perfect for dipping your toast into. The pear salad was yummy too. I think that endive is a little bitter for my tastes, but the sweetness of the pears and the dressing really offset that. Make sure that you use really juicy ripe pears. Both recipes are very good and I'd recommend them!


14 comments:

Candi said...

WOW! It looks just like Ina's!

Susie said...

That sounds perfect for a fancy brunch:-)

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

I love baked eggs also, gebakken that's a funny story. The salad also looks great, I've never had endives before and was always curious what they taste like.

Teresa said...

Wow! I can't wait to try the egg recipe. Perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day breakfast with my hubby! ;-)

SnoWhite said...

that looks tasty -- love the runny yolks for dipping toast :)

Orangesplaash said...

The egg recipe is quite nice, thanks!! Will try it out soon. Hopefully it does not get burnt though :)

Nancy C said...

You are so crazy talented. I'm in awe. That's the most gorgeous egg dish I've ever seen.

Sarah said...

I have to admit that my absolutely favorite food is a runny egg yolk on a piece of toast. Of course the rest of the egg has to come along with it but Oh, that yolk! Simple and wonderful. I have to make these baked eggs....say for breakfast tomorrow. Thank you thank you (I didn't see this recipe or it would have been a given for me). THe salad sounds good as well but I can't get past the first recipe :)

Wizardress said...

It all looks good...MMM I want some of that.

4 Lettre Words said...

Not sure about the pears, but the eggs sound yummy!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I have made Ina's baked eggs before and just loved them, the salad looks great too - I love the balance of bitter and sweet. Delicious picks!

The First-Year Wife said...

I really like eggs but I've never tried them baked before. It sounds really good!

Cat said...

I love baked eggs... I just use eggs, cream, and Parmesan. Delicious.

Corrie Howe said...

Wow! Both of these sound heavenly! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. And they sound like a perfect compliment to each other.

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