So, if you’ve read our blog for awhile, you know I have this thing with eggs. I hate them. But I can’t leave them alone. Kind of like those dysfunctional boyfriends that, had Facebook been around when I had boyfriends, I would have Facebook stalked and then accidentally friended, and then we would have gone out and three bites into it, I’d remember why I hated him. The eggs. Whatever.
But the weirdest thing happened.
I discovered that my aversion to eggs is pretty much limited to scrambled eggs. And egg whites–no bueno on the egg whites. I mean, I have to do things in moderation, and I can’t have them every day or just, like, straight-up eat a hard-boiled egg, it has to be in something (THAT stems from the time I took a Bible as Literature course in college and we had a Passover Seder and we had to eat a whole hard-boiled egg at once and I lost my metaphorical lamb bone, but I digress.) But I have found that as long as I don’t think too much about it, I love a perfectly cooked runny egg. I even crave them. Who am I?
Kelsey Nixon (like the famous Kelsey Nixon who I have adored since she was on The Next Food Network Star) recently sent Sara and I copies of her cookbook, Kitchen Confidence. Now…she sent us cookbooks, but we’re not getting compensated in any way and, to be completely honest, we get a lot of cookbooks and we almost never write about them. This was the first one I’ve seen in a long time where I seriously wanted to make just about everything. If you like our cooking style (fresh, flavorful, easy, cooking largely from scratch when we can, family-friendly, not a lot of weird ingredients), I’m willing to bet you’d love her book, too. And no one paid me to say that. 🙂
One of the recipes that really grabbed me was her recipe for baked eggs. It only has a handful of ingredients, but it looks and tastes like something you’d eat for brunch in a fancy hotel or restaurant. One other thing I love about it is that it has some serious staying power–I ate it for lunch and I felt amazing, like I had truly fueled my body. I didn’t have the mid-afternoon slump, I wasn’t rooting around for the Nutella or ice cream at 2:30, I just felt good. Which was awesome.
You’re going to need 4 ramekins…
(I got these from Pier 1 during a retail therapy session after a child’s eye doctor appointment sponsored by Satan. Which is kind of a rant in and of itself, but just a general nutshell-ish piece of my mind: If you’ve ever been a baby or toddler, you were probably sometimes tired, hungry, and/or loud and your mother probably had to occasionally take you places she would rather not have, so instead making snarky comments, just be nice. Being nice is never the wrong decision.)
You’re also going to need 4 eggs (yes, there are 6 here; I had some OCD-ish issues with leaving two of the holes empty), some applewood smoked bacon (really, probably any decent bacon will do the trick, but I splurged on this thick-cut applewood bacon and it was fabulous), and some goat cheese.
Goat cheese is a polarizing ingredient.
People either really love it or they hate it. I enjoy it, but with reservations–it has such a strong flavor that it can’t be the star of the show. There have to be enough complementary flavors going on that the goat cheese plays a supporting role. A little goes a long way. Luckily, this recipe calls for just a little goat cheese. I really, really recommend leaving it in there–it really rounds out the flavors so nicely. BUT. If you just absolutely cannot do goat cheese, you could use feta or even a little bit of cream cheese.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook your bacon, either in a skillet or in the oven (which is my favorite way, even if it takes a little longer). When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on paper towels. Dab another paper towel in the drippings and grease 4 ramekins with the bacon drippings. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings and either save the rest for later or discard them.
Next, you’re going to need 4 cups of baby spinach, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of coarse-grain mustard.
Can we talk for a second about two of my favorite ingredients in the universe? Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and Zatarain’s Creole Mustard. You’ll find lots of people who swear up and down that Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar will cure cancer and establish world peace, people who drink it straight up to lose weight and kill strep without antibiotics. I don’t know about those claims, but I do know that I love it. You know how you can get the clear apple juice in the big bottles and store them in your pantry for forever, and then you can get the jugs of pressed apple cider that have to be refrigerated and taste like a fresh apple? That’s kind of how regular apple cider vinegar is compared to Bragg’s. It tastes amazing and adds a lot of life and flavor to marinades and salad dressings. I’ve found it in the natural foods section of my Kroger grocery store and I know you can find it at places like Whole Foods.
My other favorite (here, at least) is Zatarain’s Creole Mustard. Unlike other whole grain mustards, it has a good sandwich-y consistency (as in good on sandwiches, not like it has the consistency of bread and lunch meat, because that would be weird) and it’s not spicy at all. If you can’t find it locally (Zatarain’s is a national brand, but you still might not be able to find it everywhere), you can buy it online here (and Amazon, but unless you want to buy a case of twelve, the pricing is a little out of control.) The other option is that Walmart (right?! Yeah.) has a really incredible coarse-grain mustard that tastes a lot like Creole mustard. It’s in a squeezy bottle, just with the sandwich stuff, and it says…wait for it…”Great Value Coarse-Grain Mustard” on it.
In a skillet (the same one you cooked the bacon in if you used a skillet), heat the reserved drippings over medium heat, then add the spinach. While the spinach is wilting, whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
Stir the spinach frequently until wilted, then remove from heat and add the vinegar/mustard mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I actually used Chipotle Tabasco sauce to season it and it was amazing).
Carefully crack an egg into each ramekin.
Divide the spinach evenly among the ramekins, then crumble the bacon and add that.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the whites are just cooked through and the yolks are still runny (I baked mine for 13 minutes and they were a tiny bit overdone, so keep a close eye on them). While the eggs are cooking, slice a fresh baguette (you can make one at home if you want!) Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and divide the goat cheese evenly among the ramekins. Serve immediately with slices of toasted baguette.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Information (for JUST the egg cup, baguette not included; calculated using thick-cut bacon.)
WW Points Plus: 5
These individually portioned egg cups area versatile addition to any breakfast menu. They are easy enough for slow weekend mornings, yet elegant enough for a holiday brunch with company.
6 slices applewood smoked bacon
4 cups baby spinach
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coarsely ground mustard
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Toasted baguette slices (we used a sourdough baguette)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook your bacon, either in a skillet or in the oven. When the bacon is done cooking, drain it on paper towels. Dab another paper towel in the drippings and grease 4 ramekins with the bacon drippings. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings and either save the rest for later or discard them.
In a skillet (the same one you cooked the bacon in if you used a skillet), heat the reserved drippings over medium heat, then add the spinach. While the spinach is wilting, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Stir the spinach frequently until wilted, then remove from heat and add the vinegar/mustard mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Carefully crack an egg into each ramekin. Divide the spinach evenly among the ramekins, then crumble the bacon and add that. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the whites are just cooked through and the yolks are still runny (We baked ours for 13 minutes and they were a tiny bit overdone, so keep a close eye on them). Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and divide the goat cheese evenly among the ramekins. Serve immediately with slices of toasted baguette.
- Serving Size: 1 egg cup, no bread
- Calories: 235
- Fat: 15
- Carbohydrates: 1
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 13
Keywords: Egg, bacon, goat cheese, breakfast, brunch, Easter