I’d like to preface this entry with an announcement. I’ve just joined the social network world. See the little birdie right underneath where it says Follow on the right? I’m now on Twitter. Will you follow me? This way you’ll know about giveaways the minute I post them, and you get to enjoy my quirky and deep thoughts on food, life, food, entertainment, food, grievances, food, whining, food ad nauseam.
Have you ever gone out to breakfast, ordered bacon/ham/sausage and eggs/omelet or pancakes/french toast, then after eating, craved the other? I learned from this, and now whenever we go out for breakfast, I always order some egg preparation with a salty pork side, usually bacon, AND two pancakes or french toast. This way, I’ve satisfied every spectrum of my taste buds and I’m good to go (translation – pure, unadulterated, gluttony).
Have you ever dipped your bacon in maple syrup (what’s with all the questions in this entry?)? I bet 95% of you have and love it. I think it was this practice that led to candied bacon and bacon in desserts. I’m not sure I can do bacon in desserts yet, as there’s something about meat in let’s say a cupcake or a donut, that still hasn’t quite settled in yet. However, I’m still a dipper, and during those bacon and egg breakfasts, I always divvy up the bacon between both plates..one side for maple syrup dipping, one side for salty, savory egg yolk dipping.
This month’s Daring Cooks challenge is to serve some kind of meal in an edible vessel. Taco salad in a deep-fried tortilla shell, bread bowls to serve soup in, stuffed bell peppers, oven-baked shredded parmesan cheese flats called frico’s (pronounced freak-O) . shaped into a bowl and filled with whatever suits your mood etc. You get the gist, you can have your bowl and eat it too.
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! is our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
Well, I wouldn’t say my cups are the most creative, considering eggs baked in cups, especially muffin tins, have been done.to.death. I bet just about every Mommy blog has at least one muffin tin egg recipe because kids adore compact, portable food. How-ev-er, in the words of the all-mighty Emeril Lagasse (love him), words I swore I’d never use on this blog because I’d be copying him, but it really fits the moment, I kicked it up a notch , or two or three notches, rather.
First off, I made two bowls. The first, the eggs are cracked over a small wedge of brie in a french toast cup (battered bread) wrapped in partially cooked bacon, then baked. The second, thinly sliced prosciutto holds a creamy leek and red bell pepper saute, which is topped with a little shredded fontina and an egg. I got part of this idea from a Rachael Ray show several years ago, and tucked it away in my vault. Wow, ‘kick it up a notch’ and Rachael Ray in one entry! It’s Food Network day!
So, what will it be this morning? Savory or sweet and savory? Take your pick – a creamy, filled, cheesy, yolky egg encased in a crispy prosciutto cup OR a melty, gooey layer of brie topped with egg..nestled in a crisp french toast cup wrapped in bacon, with a light drizzle of maple syrup on the edges; sweet and savory glee!
Just imagine; two whole breakfast offerings in two edible cups so you never have to make separate dishes again, unless you just prefer it that way. Well, most normal people do, but you have to try this, and if you have kids – bonus! From a health conscious, adult standpoint, by combining a full breakfast in a standard size muffin cup, it’s much less than two whole dishes, so that’s less calories and fat, right? I ate two of these..almost three, of both. Gluttony rears its ugly head again.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, light green and white parts cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, or half a large one, diced
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ⅓ cup shredded fontina cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
- 12 very thin slices prosciutto or ham (try to use a less salty prosciutto like di parma or san daniele)
- 6 eggs
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray the insides of a standard 6-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Line each cup with two slices of ham or prosciutto - .enough to cover bottom and sides of muffin well, folding if you have to.
- In a medium-size skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the leekss and bell peppers to the pan - sauté 5-6 minutes, until very soft. Add the cream and cook until thick and reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the leek - bell pepper saute into the bottom of the prosciutto lined cup, then 1 tablespoon of the cheese on top of it. Press down a little to make room, then crack an egg into each well.
- Season the tops of the eggs with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Transfer sheet to the oven and bake 15 minutes, until the eggs are set, but still 'yolky'.
- Remove baking sheet with tin from the oven and allow the baked eggs to cool in the muffin cups for a couple of minutes before removing them from pan.
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 6 slices Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread (I now use this Oatmeal Bread recipe from Red Star Yeast - but any kind of whole wheat or whole grain bread is fine)
- 6 slices partially cooked bacon (2 minutes in microwave or 10 minutes in a 400 oven)
- 1 small wheel of brie, cut into 6 equal wedges (I cut off the rind)
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- maple syrup or honey
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray the inside of each cup of a 6-cup JUMBO muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Spray really well, as these can stick!
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture, then lightly press them into the cups of the muffin tin, squeezing in the middle to make a sort of heart shape to fit.
- Place a wedge of brie in the bottom of the cup, pressing down lightly. Wrap a slice of the partially cooked bacon around the middle, outside of the french toast, so some if it digs into the wet bread. Crack an egg over each wedge of brie.
- Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon and toast are crispy and the egg is set.
- Allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin before removing them. To serve, drizzle each toast cup lightly with maple syrup or honey, if desired.
This was so much fun! Thank you Renata! For some more savory edible container ideas and fillings, click HERE. To see what my incredibly, creative and talented fellow Daring Cooks came up with, click on the links to their blogs, HERE.