I was really excited when I heard that Burp! was doing a Summer Herb Series, and even more flattered that they asked me to write something about one of my favorite herby things. I like to garden in the broadest sense of the word. I may not find the time to tend to as large a garden as I'd like, but no matter what, I always plant many types of herbs. They seem to take to whatever conditions I subject them to, they seem to thrive on a bit of neglect, and the reward for such little effort is astounding. Summer herbs are one of lifes most affordable luxuries, and I think one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is by using different combinations in baked eggs.
I first saw the original recipe when Ina Garten made it on Barefoot Contessa. Ina is rather famous for her Hamptons-ish lifestyle, and her gardens that are regularly featured on her show and in her cookbooks are truly worthy of envy. In fact, I used to love watching her show just to see glimpses of her hedges of rosemary! I guess I like to imagine myself able to have an enormous garden, and maybe even a private gardener to make it all thrive... weed-free and well designed, like I can never seem to manage myself.
To bake her eggs, she used her beautiful Apilco gratin dishes, and a mixture of different herbs with Parmesan cheese and baked the eggs under a broiler. It was such an easy thing, and yet seemed so sophisticated - at least to me: a home cook as far from Ina's Hamptons living as she is to say the Kendall Corn and Beer Bust (...yes, that is an actual event in rural Kendall, WI, and yes, I have attended.)
My only oven to table dishes aren't as elegant as Ina's, but really you only need something that is oven safe not to crack under high heat. I have some shallow, porcelain dishes that I like to use, and have even cooked up to 4 eggs at once (to serve 2 of us) in one of my 6 inch square ones. Ina's original recipe calls for 3 eggs per person, but I rarely break the 2 egg limit myself. I also like to load up on the herbs, and use a bit more than she calls for. After all, fresh herb season is fleeting, and I like to indulge where I can.
papalo. I'd bet it would be really good with eggs.
Country Connection makes a variety of cheese that is a bit softer than it's imported cousin, but still has the trace of granulated saline bite that I love about Parmesan. It's easy to find locally at Outpost, and I've been enjoying it in all sorts of things.
I use the recipe amounts per ramekin, but you can use more or less to your tastes. You can also bake the dish for less time if you prefer runnier egg yolks. I let mine get pretty well done this time, and part of the yolks were cooked hard, part were runny. Exactly what I was aiming for!
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 t. garlic, minced
- 1/4 t. thyme, minced (I used lemon thyme)
- 1/4 t. rosemary, minced
- 1 T. minced parsley
- 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese (Country Connection, available at Outpost)
- 1 T. half and half (Crystal Ball Farms, also available at Outpost), I eyeball this, just a splash in the bottom of the ramekin.
- 1 T. butter
Combine garlic, herbs, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste, and set aside. Crack eggs into another waiting cup or small dish. (Ina notes that it is important to have everything ready to go before you begin to cook.)
Put the gratin or ramekin you are using as a baking dish on a sheet pan. Add butter and cream to ramekin and place under the broiler until butter melts and gets bubbly, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven, and quickly and carefully add the eggs. Sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, and put back under the broiler. Bake for 5-6 minutes until eggs are cooked to your preference. Watch carefully towards the end of the time so that they don't brown too much. The eggs will also continue to cook for a minute or so after you remove them from the oven.
Lahey Bacon Bread, which made this just about perfect as far as breakfasts go - not that it wouldn't make a perfectly delectable lunch or dinner as well.
It's difficult to know where to start describing the wonder that is CakeWalk, the brain child of my own personal friend, Rebecca Gagnon. She started her Milwaukee area food blog in 2009 -- and hasn't looked back. Whether she's baking up incredible breads as part of her Lahey Project or cooking up Vegan delights, she manages to bring plenty of wisdom and whimsy to everything she's cooking up in the kitchen. Rebecca claims she has no idea where CakeWalk is heading. But, what I do know is that I'm eager to follow wherever she leads!
This guest post is part of our Summer 2010 Herb Series: Using and Preserving Herbs. Stay tuned every Friday for more hints, tips, and tricks on how to use summer's bounty!
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