Finally French Baked Eggs!

There are times where you have to try, try, and try again.  Such is life.  It gets a bit annoying when that happens with a recipe.

I saw a recipe in a cookery book of Barefoot Contessa’s for easy baked eggs.  Ooh, I thought, this looks amazing.  Let’s have a go.

To start her method was to broil.  I followed it to the letter.  Three times and failed each time.  I was starting to get annoyed!  The flavours were there but the yolk would over cook and the whites would stay runny.  Not the way I wanted.

In the meantime I tried Jovina Cooks Italian recipe for Marinara Baked Eggs.  I still struggled with getting the yolks runny but it was a better result.  My husband and I talked about maybe separating the eggs and cooking the whites for a bit.  Darya on Tortore mentioned in the comments the same idea so that settled it.  I was going to give it another try.

French baked eggs 1 2015

This recipe is for one serving.  Finely chop a handful of parsley, rosemary, and thyme.  Then finely mince a clove of garlic.  Grate about a 1/4 cup of fresh parmesan.  Set all this aside.

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Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.  In a shallow bake safe dish heat up 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream and a tablespoon of butter.

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Separate three eggs and add the whites and half the cheese and herb mixture to the dish.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Bake until the whites are almost set, fluffing a few times as it cooks.  Add the three yolks.

French baked eggs 4 2015

Add the rest of the herb and cheese mixture.  Bake a few minutes more until the yolks are warm but still runny.  I was feeling really positive by this point!  Once the eggs are cooked, remove from the heat.  Grate a bit more parmesan over the eggs.  Toast up crusty bread to serve with.

French baked eggs 5 2015

Look at that, runny yolks!  This was easy.  🙂  And oh so good.  I am so happy I figured this out.  There is an extra step but it means I get the result I’m supposed to.

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Baked Eggs and Getting on the Right Path

Yesterday I started my physio for my hip.  Something I should have done when I fell in January.  I have no excuse but after a total of about 3 months resting the back in bed over the course of this year I wised up.

Because I had two severe falls within 5 years on my left hip I shifted the SI joint.  Which apparently is really hard to do.  But I seem to want to excel in the worse areas.  The woman who is guiding me through physio said that while a lot of people say they’ve shifted the SI, it’s not common.  Injuring that area is but not the shifting bit.  It’s been an interesting look into body mechanics.  The muscles reacted so quickly to protect the area and “locked” things down.  But I didn’t do anything to fix the ligaments so now that I’ve been fixing the muscles things are disabled.  Loosey goosey, if you will!  So I have to have a brace round my hips as they said I need to treat it like, in layman’s terms, I sprained my bum.  Oops.

But I’m thrilled we now have a plan action.  Spending a crazy amount of time heating and icing my lower back and hip gets very boring very quickly.  I have too many things on my list!

One dish I’ve been trying to get down is baked eggs.  I had been trying to do a French recipe from Barefoot Contessa for baked eggs.  She had said to broil them and I’ve had no luck.  I got the flavour down but not the cooking part.  Jovina Cooks Italian posted about marinara baked eggs.  Actually baked, not broiled and I had some marinara sauce to use up.  I can take a hint.  🙂  This is my take on it.

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

Baked eggs 1 2015

In a small baking dish add a third cup of marinara sauce.  Heat this up in the microwave.

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Add three eggs.

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Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Baked until the egg whites are firm and the yolks are runny.  This is the tricky part.  So don’t get discouraged if you struggle with this bit.

Baked eggs 5 2015

Top with basil and season with sea salt and pepper.  Buttered toast is perfect to go with this.

Baked eggs 6 2015

This was a great way to start the day.  Full of flavour and hearty.  And it went way better than the French recipe but I’m not giving up on that one.  Once I get that down I’ll post it.

Gooseberry Muffins

I am a happy camper.  We had a decent storm blow through last night.  As it pushed through it took the humidity with it.  Ahhh.  We turned our air conditioners off and threw open the windows.  Fingers crossed the worst of the summer heat is behind us.

I was saying to my husband this morning that I am very ready for cool weather comfort foods.  Though in about 5 months I’ll be dying for a salad.  And the cycle continues!

A few days ago as I was cooking the Italian Burgers I realised I hadn’t set up the breakfasts for the week for the kids.  So I needed something quick.  We had frozen gooseberries to use and the kids love muffins so I whipped up a batch.  I did defrost the berries and let them drain so the muffins wouldn’t get soggy.

I used the recipe for the base of the muffin that is in the Pillsbury’s Complete Book of Baking.

Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.

In a bowl add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.

Gooseberry muffins 1 2015

In a separate bowl, mix 3/4 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of oil, and 1 beaten egg.

Gooseberry muffins 2 2015

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once.  Add the fruit and mix well.  The trick is not to overwork the batter.  It will be lumpy.  That’s ok, just make sure the ingredients are incorporated.

Gooseberry muffins 3 2015

Spoon it evenly into 12 muffin cups.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the tops of the batter.

Gooseberry muffins 4 2015

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the they are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when it you test the muffins.

Gooseberry muffins 5 2015

Delicious warm or for breakfast before school.  And perfect for when you forget to make the school breakfasts in a timely manner!

Shaking Up The School Morning Breakfast…

The kids survived their first day of school and handled the homework.  They both really like their teachers and they were really happy to catch up with their friends after a busy summer.  Though our daughter is already doing the countdown for the number of the days left!

We had been getting into a rut with school morning breakfasts of toast because with getting the kids ready, dogs, walked, and lunches made time can get a bit crunched in the morning.  The kids are much better at getting ready without much prompting but there is still a lot to do.  Remember when the South Beach Diet was all the rage?  One of the things they suggested was to make up some little quiches so you could reheat them during the week.  I remembered this idea this week and thought I would do my quiches in mini form.  The response from the kids was yes and can it have bacon?  🙂

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C

Mini quiches 1 2014

In a small skillet start cooking and rendering 5 rashers of streaky bacon.  Add 1/2 a chopped onion, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, and a few splashes of dry sherry.

Mini quiches 2 2014

In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs.  Add 1 1/2 – 2 cups of milk or light cream.  The more watery it is the less you want to use.  Mix in 1 1/2 cups of grated jarlsberg, tsp of salt, pinch of nutmeg, a couple pinches of cayenne pepper, and pepper to taste.

Mini quiches 3 2014

Pour into 12 regular size muffin cups that are lightly greased.  Don’t over grease as it will get absorbed into the quiche.

Mini quiches 4 2014

Bake for 8 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350F/175C and bake until golden and the egg is cooked.  If you get the mixture wrong with using low fat milk and they come out a bit watery, put them on a baking sheet and bake at 350F/175C until the quiches is less wet.

Mini quiches 5 2014

Served them this morning and the kids loved them.  Easy to make, easy to heat up, and healthy for the kids.  Can’t go wrong!

A Proper Fry Up – Not Just for Breakfast!

Once or twice a year my husband and I drag ourselves out to do some real shopping.  Neither of us like shopping and I drag more than he does but it has to be done otherwise we’d wear through our clothes and start getting funny looks.  It went as well as it could and we were exhausted by the time we got home yesterday after two days of trying on clothes.  Seriously, they really need to make it a better shopping experience.  I love Brooks Brothers clothes (from the outlets of course :)) but the sales woman explained to me that they run really small so I should be looking at 4 sizes up.  Excuse me?  How is that a good marketing plan?  She was very nice but I went two doors down to Talbots and found my size that fit.  🙂  It’s times like this where I will freely admit my husband has the patience of a saint because I get really cranky.  This is the only time I will admit it though!

So to give us some strength for the weekend I thought it would be fun to have a fry up for dinner.  For those that don’t know it’s a full English Breakfast.  The only thing I didn’t do was the fried bread.  I’m trying to be good.  Ahem.

We have a source for the Irish Bangers, the HP brown sauce, and the Heinz beans.  The only thing we don’t have is the English bacon.  Which I like but not as much as streaky bacon so we were in great shape.  This does have to be staged somewhat so it can all be served hot.  I start the bacon first as you need the fat for the other components.

Fry up 1 2013

The beans go in a small pot to heat up.  It’s important to keep stirring as you go so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Fry up 2 2013

The bangers come fully cooked but they need to be warmed up.  These are very thick so I pierce them with a knife and microwave for a minute or so then put them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil to brown them nicely.

Fry up 3 2013

Once the bacon is done I place it on a warmed plate with paper towels to blot and keep them in a warmed toaster oven.  As things finish cooking they join the bacon to keep warm.  I sliced up some button mushrooms and tomatoes.  The mushrooms need to cook about halfway before adding the tomatoes.

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After the mushrooms and the tomatoes are removed from the skillet it is time to fry the eggs.  Normally I fry my eggs in fat free cooking spray but not when I do a fry up!  I love the flavour of fried eggs in bacon fat.  Just can’t do it very often.

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Serve everything together and it goes down a treat.

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When the kids came home last night they found out we still have bacon and bangers so they requested this for dinner tonight.  I mean we wouldn’t want the ingredients to go to waste now would we?  😉