Thursday, May 17, 2012

Individual Breakfasts: Baked Eggs In Tomato Sauce

I first saw this idea years ago in a Self Magazine. What a neat concept--individual baked eggs with sauce! We love them because they are easy, delicious, and 'recipe' is so versatile. It's not much of an 'exact' recipe, so your imagination is key. This breakfast requires only a few ingredients and they're usually things you have on hand: cheese, tomato sauce, and eggs. Then you can dress them up with whatever seasonings you want. These eggs are one of those perfect breakfasts to make when having guests over because ALL the eggs come out at once and you don't have to make them to order--yet, they are still customizable.

I have only made them with an 'Italian' flavor (as described below), but have yet to try them with salsa, cumin/chili powder, and a Mexican cheese blend instead. I can't imagine that wouldn't be good!

You will love these--play around with different cheeses--for a sophisticated breakfast, I bet Talegio, vodka sauce & rosemary would be a good combo with some crusty ciabatta :) While your eggs are baking, you can brew coffee, make hash browns, and cut up fruit. Breakfast can be ready in 30 minutes from start to finish.

By the way, I HAVE noticed that the type of egg you use, does make a difference as I have made these with both organic and non-organic eggs. The organic eggs tend to taste a bit better--too bad the price isn't better also!


Yield: Servings vary-see below.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease as many ramekins (4 oz or 6 oz) as you plan to have portions.

For each serving--layer in this order:

  • 3 tsp. pasta sauce (any flavor)
  • ~2 Tbsp. Mozzarella cheese or 2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, or a little of each (preferable)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried basil or Italian herbs
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Bake them for less time (15-18 minutes) if you like your centers running--bake them longer (22-24 minutes) if you prefer your yolks hardened like us.

Serve with buttered toast :)

NOTE: It's easier to place all the ramekins on a baking sheet and take the baking sheet in and out, than take each ramekin out one by one.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mississippi Comeback Sauce: Y'all Come Back, Ya Hear?

A few weeks ago, on Easter, our sweet friends invited us to go down to their family farm. We had an AMAZING day with their wonderful, tight-knit family. And it got me thinking about Southern food and traditions now that we are moving. And I realized that I've come to love a lot of things about the South--so much so, that I feel more at home down here than I do back in a big city environment of the North. They're all about Faith, Family, & Football. LOVE that. Even if I'm still struggling with the last one.

Anyway, here's a lovely view from Slayden, Mississippi.

And a couple other things that made me smile:

Since it was Easter, the kids were lucky enough to dye some eggs. Here's another great love the South has cultivated in me--MASON JARS!

So, with Mississippi on the brain, I had to try this Southern sauce I had heard about--it's origin is unknown--some say it was invented by a restaurant chain (Outback Steakhouse, I think) and others believe it was created by a Greek immigrant after the second world war. Whoever made it up was onto something GENIUS because this sauce is simply DELICIOUS! It goes with a pumped up version of Thousand Island dressing, sweet, salty, tangy, and just a tad spicy. We loved it with grilled vegetables, bread, and fish. It was awesome as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers. It would be terrific as a salad dressing or drizzled onto a baked potato as well. Or use it as a sandwich condiment.

You'll find new uses for it, surely. And, you really will keep coming back for it!

One of the ingredients is chili sauce. You can use this Heinz kind, but I used this Nestle Maggi kind. Southerners love Duke's mayonnaise, but I perverted the recipe by using my favorite vegenaise--so delicious! The sauce will keep for a couple weeks. In a Mason jar, of course.

Adapted & loosely changed from Southern Living

·         1/2 cup mayonnaise 
·         1/4 cup olive oil
·         3 Tbsp. chili sauce
·         2 Tbsp. ketchup 
·         1 Tbsp. water
·         1 tsp. lemon juice
·         1 tsp. white wine vinegar (optional)
·         2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
·         2 tsp. prepared mustard (I used yellow-but I think they mean Dijon or ground mustard)
·         1 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
·         Dash of paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
·         Dash of hot sauce
·         1 small onion, minced or grated (or 1/2 a medium onion)
·         1 garlic clove, minced or grated

Mix all ingredients together. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

This stuff is FABULOUS on fish! (that's salmon below) And some other things too. Hope you'll give it a try!

And yes, we do grill bread--it's amazing! Spray it with olive oil, rub some garlic on it, and grill away!

Hope you guys like this sauce as much as we do--I served it to my visiting dad who couldn't get enough.