I am a nut about not letting anything go to waste, but sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do with just one or two mushrooms, a rather small and about-to-wither shallot, a slice or 2 of bacon, and those herbs that I bought at the grocery store and then forgot what I had planned to do with them. That’s when I decide to make baked ham and egg cups for breakfast. These can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning, so you can have an amazing breakfast to start your day. The recipe can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled depending upon how many people that you want to serve. The filling is really up to you and can be altered to suit any appetite:
· Vegetarians - Sauté mushrooms, scallions, strips of zucchini, and green pepper,
· Meat lovers – Sauté spicy sausage and crumble crisp bacon,
· Kids - Add crumbled bacon and extra cheese,
· Spicy fans would appreciate the addition of jalapeno peppers and a drop of tabasco,
· Cheese lovers would enjoy a mixture of cheese such as cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan,
· For an Asian bent, sauté the mushrooms with Asian greens and stir in fresh bean sprouts.
Whatever you have in the fridge will work in these cups. You are only limited by your tastes and imagination, just be sure to follow the basic formula below and you can’t go wrong.
Baked Eggs in Ham Cups
2 mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small shallot or 2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of Kosher salt
Few grindings of black pepper
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
2 slices Virginia ham (perhaps you have some leftover from yesterday’s dish)
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon of cream, half-n-half or whole milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever type lurks in your fridge)
2 (1/2-cup) ramekins
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray ramekins with PAM.
Melt butter in a medium or large sauté pan over moderate heat (depending upon how many you plan to make), and sauté mushrooms and shallot (or scallions) in butter with salt and pepper until cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chives.
While the filling is cooking, crack eggs into a medium bowl, add the cream, half-n-half, or milk, and whisk together.
Press a slice of ham into each prepared ramekin. Divide filling between the two among cups and pour half of the egg mixture into each (OR if you don’t mind the soft yolk, simply break an egg into filled each cup. I’m not a fried egg, or runny yolk fan, so I prefer them scrambled.),and top with cheese. Bake in the middle of the oven until cooked through, about 10 minutes for scrambled eggs or 15 minutes for the fried egg. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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