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Baked Eggs

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Old 01-11-2004, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Baked Eggs

Unbeatable breakfast

No need to scramble for an easy, elegant morning meal

Universal Press Syndicate
Try baking eggs for a quick and simple alternative to traditional poaching,
frying and scrambling.
By ANNETTE GOOCH

Universal Press Syndicate
1/16/2002

Eggs served up in charming porcelain ramekins, custard cups or any other
shallow individual baking dish make breakfast special. Compared to
poaching,
scrambling and other top-of-stove cooking methods for eggs, baking requires
a little more time and attention. But serving eggs in the same individual
dishes in which they're baked keeps them piping hot, and the range of
tantalizing accompaniments and toppings for baked eggs more than makes up
for the extra effort they take.

Try these colorful, tasty toppings on baked eggs: snippets of fresh chives
or green onions, salsa, sour cream or yogurt, crumbled crisp bacon, smoked
salmon or several kinds of grated cheese.

Another way to dress up baked eggs is to spoon into each baking dish a bed
of pureed spinach, chopped ham, chunky tomato sauce, or sauteed mushrooms
and onions, creating a small hollow in the center to receive the raw egg.
This approach helps keep the egg from sticking to the dish as it bakes
while
adding flavor and color.

To keep eggs moist and tender as they bake, occasionally baste the tops
with
cream or butter. Or cover the baking dishes loosely with parchment paper or
foil.

Parmesan cheese flavors eggs baked in ramekins or custard cups. Be sure to
try the prosciutto variation.

@@@@@
BAKED EGGS

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
4 eggs
Salt, ground nutmeg and freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using about half of the butter, grease 4
shallow individual baking dishes. Coat each with 1 tablespoon of the
cheese.

Break an egg into each dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Dot with remaining butter.

Bake, uncovered, until eggs are cooked to your liking (12 to 15 minutes).
Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Prosciutto variation: Do not coat baking dishes with Parmesan cheese.
Instead, cook 4 thin slices prosciutto or other ham in butter or olive oil
until lightly browned; line each baking dish with a prosciutto slice.
Continue as in basic recipe with eggs, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Instead of
dotting each egg with butter before baking, sprinkle each egg with 1
tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.

_____

These Italian-style baked eggs are good with warm bread and spicy sausages.

@@@@@
BAKED EGGS IN TOMATO SAUCE

1 large onion, thinly slivered
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 can (14 to 16 ounces) tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon each salt and dried basil
1/4 teaspoon each pepper and dried oregano
6 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large frying pan, cook onion, mushrooms
and green pepper in heated olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently,
until onions are soft and mushrooms are lightly browned. Mix in garlic,
tomatoes (coarsely chopped) and their liquid, wine, parsley and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to
about
21/2 cups. Lightly coat 6 shallow individual baking dishes with vegetable
cooking spray or butter. Spoon some of the tomato mixture into bottom of
each dish. With the back of a spoon make an egg-sized hollow in each dish;
break an egg into each hollow.

Cover baking dishes loosely with parchment paper or foil to keep the
surface
of the eggs tender. Bake for 12 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and
continue baking until eggs are cooked to your liking and cheese melts (5 to
10 minutes more). Makes 6 servings.
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