08 July 2012

Baked Eggs with Scallions and Cheddar

My neighbors returned in the twee hours from a very long vacation to the West Coast. They more certainly did not feel like rushing out to go shopping and cooking, so I invited them over for a lazy late afternoon "brunch" (if you factor in the three-hour time difference). I made frozen strawberry banana smoothies and served them in shot glasses. Spilling in golden profusion from 3 large bowls on the table were 50 fresh-baked pumpkin rolls, served with salted butter and organic strawberry preserves.

I also made 9 eggs (according to the wishes of five adults). I wanted a way to cook up a whole batch of eggs without slaving at the stove and ignoring my precious company.  One of my three Tassajara cookbooks provided the answer: baked eggs. I diddle-dee-doo'ed with their suggested ingredients and came up with a cheap, colorful, speedy treat.

Baked Eggs with Scallions and Cheddar

canola or vegetable oil
cheddar, grated
the green part of 1-3 scallions, washed and thinly sliced
hot sauce like Tabasco or Frank's Red Hot
high-quality sweet Hungarian paprika

Equipment: a regular-sized muffin tin, an oven, a small rubber spatula, and a spoon

  1. Find out how many eggs each of your guests wants.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  3. With the oil and some wax paper or paper towel, grease the correct number of muffin tin depressions (if you're making 9 eggs, grease 9 depressions).
  4.  Drip 2 or 3 splobs of hot sauce into each greased depression.
  5. Take out a small bowl or ramekin. Break an egg into it, then carefully slide the egg into a greased depression. Repeat until all depressions are filled.
  6. Sprinkle a very healthy amount of scallions onto each egg.
  7. Mound a healthy pinch of cheddar over the scallion-topped eggs.
  8. Sprinkle a dashing dash of paprika over the top of the eggs. Don't be shy with this part.
  9. Bake in the oven 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you like your eggs. Rotate the muffin tin halfway through so that all the eggs cook at the same rate. Make sure nothing's too jiggly.
  10. Loosen each egg with your small rubber spatula and scoop it with a spoon onto your guest's plate. Serve like a pirate.

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