Shirred eggs, more commonly known as baked eggs, are eggs that are baked in a flat-bottom dish. Although they are traditionally prepared with minimal ingredients, my variation is a little different in that I like to use cupcake pans and layer a host of ingredients into a cup lined with ham or other form of cured meat. I like the idea of building your whole breakfast at once.
These baked eggs are a great way to treat guests that come over for brunch, or everybody’s favorite meal, “breakfast for dinner.”
Last week I participated in the first-ever Highbrow Cook Off, hosted by Highbrow Paleo (an online collection of citizen scientists, researchers, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, book readers, comedians, modern homesteaders, political analysts, hunters and huntresses, foragers, eaters of guts – eyeballs – and insects, devoted followers of OakOy and culinary explorers).
The rules were simple:
- only use the ingredients outlined
- use of pre-approved pantry items is unlimited
- only use minimal processing, and minimal kitchen equipment, as outlined
- keep track of how much you spend on the ingredients
- will not use more than 3 kitchen gadgets/utensils, and nothing powered except the oven or stove top
For this first iteration, the incorporated ingredients were kale, mushrooms, onions, eggs, and a tuber. After a little deliberation, I settled on the idea of a baked sweet potato, with the veggies/eggs as toppings. Turned out beautifully! I was so happy with the results I thought that I should share it here as well. Total cost of the meal was about $2.
Have you been to Alex Boake’s blog yet? It’s pretty awesome. She complements each of her unique recipes with beautiful illustrations in place of photos, and each illustration carries a great sense of motion and impeccable placement. After a bit of gushing about her work, she offered to do a recipe swap – wherein she makes one of my dishes and draws it, and I make one of her dishes and take pictures of it. I thought it was a great idea.
I decided to try and tackle her Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict recipe (also known as Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, and Eggs Royale). I thought it was a fun gourmet dish to try for a weekend brunch, and I liked the idea of using a portabella mushroom cap to replace the standard english muffin typically found in this dish. The red bell pepper also adds a hint of sweetness not normally found in the dish, which was great. I only made one adjustment to her original recipe, and that was to add a little white vinegar to the water I used to poach my eggs – a trick I learned while working at a breakfast restaurant many years ago – the acidity helps to make sure the eggs don’t break apart during the poaching process.