breaking out of your (egg)shell

You’ve fried, scrambled and hard-boiled eggs. You’ve attempted omelets and tried ’em sunny side up. You might think you’ve exhausted the egg’s every permutation. Think again, dear readers. Thanks to a long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, I was able to dedicate a couple luxurious mornings to eggsperimentation. Making the following two egg recipes felt more like creative art projects than cooking ventures, and certainly brought a little morning glory to my kitchen.  Enjoy!

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 baguette
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4-5 mushrooms, sliced thin
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

First, you prepare your baguette boat. Slice off the top 1/4 inch of your bread. Using a spoon, scrape out the soft innards of the baguette until you’re left with a hollowed out vessel.

Cut the top crusty strip into chunky pieces and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, zest, parsley, milk and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Line the hollowed out baguette with the mushroom slices, just one slice deep. (In retrospect, I should have sauteed the mushrooms for a bit in oil to bring out their flavor. Live and learn and tell you readers.)

Place your baguette boat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the bread up to the brim. Sprinkle with crusty pieces.

Bake until eggs puff up, about 30-33 minutes. Serve immediately, and with a lovely fruit garnish!

These were delightful to eat, and I can see them truly excelling at a brunchy hors d’oeurves event. A nice, whole grain baguette is key to a chewy crunch. Experiment with your innards, such as throwing down some stalks of asparagus come June, or some strips of ham for the omnivores.

veggie benedict
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

2 English muffins (whole grain preferred)
4 large eggs
5 cups spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
fresh parsley to garnish

for the sauce
2 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon oil
4 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
splash of hot sauce
salt and pepper

First, we roast the bell peppers. Don’t be afraid if you’ve never done this. It’s fun and easy and satisfies the pyro in all of us. If you have an electric stove like me, place the peppers on a baking sheet and brush them lightly with oil.

Place them under the broiler at high heat. Watch them closely, turning them (with tongs) until all sides are blackened. Really blackened, like charred. When done, remove from oven and wrap individually in tin foil. Set aside. After 10 minutes, unwrap and hold under cold water, rubbing off the blackened skin until you’re left with two soft, squishy vegetables that look more like human hearts.

Slice into strips and combine in a blender or food processor along with milk (warmed in a microwave for 30 seconds), goat cheese, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside. (Note: this recipe makes a lot of red pepper sauce, but you can totally tupperware it, and later spread it on sandwiches.)

In a large pan, saute the spinach and lemon zest in oil. Also, caramelize the onions. Set aside.

Here’s where things get intense. It’s time to poach the eggs. I was moderately terrified to try this, since the notion of cracking an egg in hot water and expecting it to come out edible seemed impossible. But I tell you, it works. I followed these clear instructions here. (Note: there are no photographs of this process because I was so focused on not botching the poaching process, I had no time to snap a photo. Apologies.)

Toast the English muffins and assemble! A muffin-sauce-spinach-onion-egg-more sauce-and-parsley kind of ordering worked well for me.

Make this dish when you have a lazy morning and want an eggsceptional breakfast. Make this to impress your friends. Make this to feel like a gourmet chef. Make this, and let me know! (Note: this is me egging you on.)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jackie says:

    Whoa, Claire, these look _delicious._ (The pictures are also beautiful!) I may try, if I ever have the energy/time/materials on hand.

  2. granna2c says:

    I made the veggie benedict this morning for our breakfast and it was a huge hit! The roasted bell pepper sauce is amazing. Thanks so much for the pictures because they are what draw me in. 🙂 I love the factual tidbits, too. Love, Aunt Teresa

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