Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Breakfast Thyme

Some people adore Saturday/Sunday breakfasts; I am not one of those people. On weekends I prefer to sleep in late, 10- 11am late. (Friday and Saturday are generally late-nighters.) If I have to wake up early, I am useless in the kitchen. My imagination is sluggish around that time so I reach for simple foods, if anything at all. Skipping breakfast is a terrible thing, I know, roll your eyes all you want, I happen to have different priorities than others. If at best, I serve a mean bowl of milk and cereal and for the lucky ones an omelet, toast and coffee. I am much better at creating dishes for lunch and dinner, probably because I have creativity, variety, and versatility on my side.

Saturday was a hectic day. Other culinary students and I volunteered for a pig roast at Makers Mark that day. We met in downtown for American Culinary Federation meeting at 8am (!), drove 4 hours (really it’s supposed to take us 2 1/2 hours but our bus driver got lost) and prepped food for the pig roast for 400+ attendees. We all had a fabulous time, obviously since food and whiskey were involved. We arrived home much later than expected, 3am (!)

The next morning I woke up to a hungry husband and an upset stomach of my own. I remembered one of Ina’s herbed baked eggs recipe. At the time of watching the show I thought if making breakfast food in the morning means breaking couple eggs, adding them to a gratin dish with heated milk or cream and butter with herbs, I can handle it. Thanks Ina for convincing me of the baked eggs' simplicity and lack of need of imagination in the morning. As you can see from the name change, I followed her recipe loosely.

Thyme Baked Eggs

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk, divided
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler for few minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Crack 6 eggs carefully in a 3 separate bowls, 2 per bowl. In another bowl, combine fresh thyme and parmesan and set aside. Using 1/2 tablespoon of butter, grease the three gratin/flan dishes. Divide 1 tablespoon of milk amongst three dishes and add 1/2 tbsp of butter to each dish. Place the three dishes on a baking sheet and under the broiler for couple minutes, until the liquid is bubbly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, pour (two) cracked eggs to each dish, add equal parts of the thyme and parmesan mixture to all three, sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Carefully place the baking sheet under the broiler for 4- 6 minutes, until the egg whites set. Do not over broil otherwise the eggs will burn; eggs continue to cook after removing the dishes from the oven.

The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set before serving.

Toast with Avocado
2 slices of bread
1 avocado, sliced
sea salt

While the eggs are in the oven, cut avocado lengthwise. Rotate two halves to detach from each other. Remove the seed with a knife. Make slits in each half of the avocado for long slices. Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.

After the eggs are done, toast wheat bread in the broiler for 30 seconds.

Spread sliced avocado on toasted bread, sprinkle with sea salt and serve with baked eggs.

Changes to the recipe. I used milk to make my baked eggs because I did not have cream on hand. Although it tasted good, I plan to make it again with cream. I am sure with the 40% fat in cream, it’ll give the eggs a rich taste. Let me know if you try it with cream before I do. And next time I’ll also add garlic because everything is much better with it.

Because Thyme was the predominant flavor in this dish, I am submitting my recipe for Thyme Baked Eggs to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Jai and Bee over at jugalbandi.

And on a much serious note, Thyme is slowly but surely gaining momentum in my favorite herb list; however Cilantro isn’t going to give in easily so it’ll be a tough fight.


liz said...

oooh, awesome recipe... i <3 thyme and ina! i think thyme is definitely one of my favorite herbs. i am also a huge rosemary fan.

i can't wait to hear more about the pig roast!

bee said...

what a wonderful way to cook eggs!!! thanks for your entry.

liberal foodie said...

thanks to you both, liz and bee. Liz, rosemary is a great herb for chicken. I love grilling with it.

Chris S said...

Try the above with sage as well, another great herb for this dish. Another variant is to line the botton of the gratin dish with some nice very thinly sliced ham.

Amber said...

I love whatever Ina Garten makes. I might have a little crush on her! I will definitely have to try this recipe. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have never cooked eggs that way before. I look forward to playing with this one! Yum!

liberal foodie said...

Chris- thanks for the sage tip. I don't cook with it as much as I should. This will be a great way to add it in my repertoire. Do you leave it whole or chiffonade it?

Cin Twin- I love how she cooks flawlessly and makes everything look really simple.

Natalie- Glad to know you liked this one. Let me know how it goes!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sounds very tasty! Thyme is great in lots of things, but personally I'm rooting for cilantro!

liberal foodie said...

Kalyn, thanks. I am feeling the same way but I've used thyme a lot these days so who knows. that may change.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have checked out your blog--great stuff! I look forward to trying out the recipes, especially the toast and avocado. So simple and smart.

Chris S said...

Definitely chiffonade it, and just a sprinkle, since its a strong herb, but for eggs and chicken, its one of my favorites.

Might be why I have giant sage TREES in the back yard :)

liberal foodie said...

because-you-loveit- glad to see that you found my blog. Definitely let me know what you think of baked eggs!

Chris- thanks for the sage tip. If you ever want to share some of the overgrown sage with a certain Liberal Foodie, give me a holler.