At this time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of things. There are deadlines to meet, parcels to mail, cooking and baking to do, house cleaning and decorating, and on and on…In the midst of all this activity, we still have to eat. And sometimes the simplest and most basic fare is just what we need.
And, this is when I rely on one of my favorite foods: eggs. A simple egg; a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition that is infinitely adaptable to cooking method and ingredient add-ins. Here I’ve done a basic baked egg, cooked in the oven in a buttered ramekin. I added some chopped, cooked smoky bacon and a little spoonful of cream. The egg is garnished with toasted hazelnut halves, for crunch, and served with toast “soldiers”, for dipping into the soft yolk.
You can cook just one egg, or many. It takes no time at all. Substitute a little ham or crumbled sausage for the bacon, embellish even further with some grated cheese, if you like. This is a dish that will see you through a busy day, regardless of which time of day you choose to enjoy it. So bake an egg or two today, sit down and savor it, then get about your chores. Those special holiday times are fast approaching…
Simple Baked Eggs
- For each serving:
- Softened unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 slice smoky bacon , diced and cooked until just crisp
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 4 toasted hazelnut halves
- Buttered toast , cut into sticks or "soldiers", for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a small ramekin or gratin dish. Break the egg gently into the dish. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Add the chopped cooked bacon and distribute it around the egg yolk. Pour the heavy cream over the egg white, leaving the yolk exposed.
Put the ramekin on a small baking tray and set in the oven. Bake the egg for about 10 minutes, or until the white is set and the yolk is still soft. Remove to a serving plate, arrange the toasted hazelnut halves around the egg yolk, and serve with buttered toast.
** From “Eggs” by Michel Roux