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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner! Eggs!

Looking for a recipe on the internet, I came across One Year Project. This family took on a year-long endeavor to cook every single recipe in the Rachael-Ray-365-No Repeats- and they did it. In order even. Which, as the author writes, included eating mac and cheese four nights in a row because that's the adore they came in the cookbook.

I'm not sure if I think they are admirable for taking on such a project and sticking to it or if I think they are crazy! I mean, what about leftovers? A lot of Rachael's recipes SAY they serve 4, but they end up serving 6-8 and out of this family of four, two were small children. And expense! Trying a new recipe every single day for a whole year would probably get pretty costly I imagine. Anyway, it makes for an interesting read and certainly an it's interesting concept.

The review on that site wasn't at all favorable to the recipe I'm going to share next. In fact, she called it "ridiculous" and "rubbish" but then again, she also admits to hating eggs, so take that review for what it's worth.

We on the other hand, loved this recipe. The only thing I don't like? You guessed it - the name. Eggs-traordinary Stuffed Toasty Baskets. Rachael, I love a lot of your recipes, but these names are killing me! And if she's like this without kids, imagine the cutesy talk once/if the babies come!

The baskets in this case are pieces of sandwich bread that are rolled thin and tucked into muffin pans. Each bread basket gets a brush of butter, then an egg and then a mixture of bacon, tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. The bacon-tomato mixture is quite simple but oh-so-good.
The presentation is different and elegant and it really did work. I'm always skeptical that these things will be far more complicated than they let on - especially the removal from the pan part. But all save for one came out without too much effort though I do recommend buttering up your muffin pan very well even if it is nonstick - the eggs can and do leak a bit, causing a bit of sticking no matter how nonstick the pan.

Mmm....mmmm....I'm craving one of these just writing about it. The bread baskets come out very nicely - almost like a pastry crust - and the eggs cooked up solid without being overdone at the recommended time of 15 minutes.

The One Year Project author also complained that the portions are puny for this meal. I disagree again. When you deconstruct it you have one egg, one piece of bread and one slice of bacon per person. Serve it with a big veggie salad and/or some fresh fruit and it's plenty of food. But then again, I often like our vegetable sides to be more of the main dish anyway with the protein portion playing a smaller role.

I see a lot of potential for this recipe - different meats, different cheeses - whatever is on hand. This recipe would also make a very nice brunch presentation and you could bake up a large amount at one time. All it needs is a different name.....hmmm......how about Baked Egg Cups. Kinda boring, but at least it's not cutesy.
Source: Rachel Rays 365 No Repeats

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices soft white sandwich bread
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 vine-ripe tomato, chopped
4 eggs

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400ยบ.

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of EVOO and the chopped bacon, and cook for 3 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Add the garlic, onions, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

With a serrated knife, cut the crusts from the bread. With your fingertips or a rolling pin, flatten or roll out each slice of bread as thin as you can get it. Nestle each thin slice of bread into the cup of a nonstick standard 1/2-cup muffin tin, pushing the bread down on the bottom of the tin and pushing it up the sides of the tin. The bread will reach the top of each tin and be slightly above the rim. If the bread breaks or tears, just smoosh it together a little, it will still be fine. Brush the bread with the melted butter.

Add the tomatoes to the bacon and onions. Turn the heat up and toss around to evaporate some of the tomato liquid, about 1 minute.

Working one at a time, crack the eggs into a small bowl and then carefully transfer to the bread-lined muffin tins. (Don't forget to fill any empty tins with water to help protect your pan.) The goal is to not break the yolk. Sprinkle each egg with a little salt and pepper. Top each egg with one quarter of the tomato-onion mixture and then sprinkle each one with a little grated cheese. Place in the hot oven and bake 15 minutes.

To serve, use a butter knife to nudge the cooked toast and eggs out from each tin and onto a plate.

1 comment:

  1. I had read about that family also. Good points regarding the leftovers and I would think it would getting very expensive. Maybe should of alternated recipes, wouldn't want to eat mac and cheese four days in a row.
    Good recipe idea though, thanks.


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