Okay, I scared myself off. I started blogging and then began doubting everything I cooked. But I’ve gotten my groove back. And today’s post is about a super simple brunch dish.
I first had baked eggs at a Williamsburg place called Moto. A little cup of ham nestled two glistening eggs, yolks soft. It was served with a lightly dressed mixed greens salad and toasted buttered brioche sticks, which could be dipped into the yolks. Add a mimosa, and it sounds like a pretty fantastic meal at 2pm on a Saturday.
Now…for quite a long time I didn’t really enjoy eggs as a dish on their own. I’m still a little finicky about them. I don’t do the poached or the fried, and hard-boiled Easter eggs are given away – no egg salad for me. But the eggs in this dish were salty from the ham and the texture was delicious. The meal was my go-to at Moto. And somewhere along the way I realized this couldn’t be that hard to make.
I’ve since seen variations on the concept all over the place. I’ve made it for family, friends, and often just myself.
- 1-2 slices deli ham
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs milk or cream
- salt & pepper
Butter a ramekin or oven-proof mug. Line it with the ham. Crack the two eggs into the ramekin. Top off with the tablespoon of dairy, season with salt & pepper, and swirl gently to mix ingredients but not break yolks. Bake at 375 degrees for 14-18 min (depending on how firm you like your yolks).
Run a knife along the inside of the ramekin, and the ham cup should easily slide out. Eat right away!
How I screwed up so you don’t have to: Most of the recipes I’ve seen for this call for cooking the eggs in a water bath. Put the ramekins or mugs in a pan, and add boiling water. This helps them cook “evenly”. I…don’t do this. I have also cooked my eggs at temperatures ranging from 350-425. And I’ve cooked them without the ham (butter the ramekin extra well!).
Results: Who doesn’t love getting their own individual serving? In a meat cup? I often cook the eggs at the same temperature I’m baking something else (bacon, scones, tater tots — mmm…tater tots). They just might need to be taken out a little earlier; at higher temperatures, the outer rim will get a little tougher. These eggs are pretty forgiving, and easily customized. If cooking without the ham, you should still be able to pop them out of the ramekin, or eat them directly from the dish. You can also add herbs – dill is a fantastic one – or even some grated cheese. If someone is a yolk-hater (as I once was) you can even beat the eggs up and it cooks like a mini-quiche.
Overall…you want this. This is easy enough to be a mid-week special. Pop these babies in the oven, jump in the shower, and by the time you’re dry, breakfast is all ready for you. Or on a lazy Sunday – by the time your friends have made it to your outer-borough apartment – brunch. You bring the fizzy; I’ll pour.