Friday, March 2, 2012

Baked Eggs

I used red Hawaiian sea salt.

I ate a lot of eggs last month. I was trying the Paleo (Caveman) diet which meant none of my normal breakfast fare that used grains - no oatmeal, cereal, toast, etc.  I pretty much resorted to eggs, either hard or soft boiled. I like a runny yolk and so for the most part I went with soft boiled eggs with fond remembrances of having them at British bed and breakfast places as a child. 

Last month another egg memory came to mind - baked eggs. My first encounter with baked eggs was via my mom-in-law. Anytime we had a brunch, but particularly at Easter, she would do a whole pan of baked eggs. It is an easy way to do eggs for a crowd without having to worry about serving people in batches. 

Tina's baked eggs would fill a 9x13 Pyrex dish. You can easily do a dozen in that size of pan. I'm alone, so I opted for ramekins. Either way, you grease the container and then add your ingredients. This dish is made for creativity and variation. Today I simply added onions, but you can definitely do shredded spinach on the bottom layer and top the eggs with slices of tomato if you like. Add your favorite spices or maybe do the bottom layer with a simple layer of salsa. Some people add a bit of cream, but I don't. It's really all up to you.

As for the Paleo variation, Paleo folks don't do dairy either. So they would eliminate the butter and cheese and use oil instead. 

Baked Eggs

eggs
butter
chopped onion
chopped spinach
Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt, pepper, herbs to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease your container well with butter or oil. Place a layer of onion and spinach in the bottom of the container. Break your eggs carefully atop the vegetable layer. (In a large pan you will be breaking them side by side in a layout like when you do cookies on a cookie sheet.) Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs. Sprinkle herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.
Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. 

You will need to keep an eye on them to determine your preference for doneness. Keep in mind that they will continue to cook a bit when you pull them from the oven. I like a runny yolk and so I need to pull them when the whites are almost completely set but a bit jiggly.
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