Herbed Baked Eggs

baked_eggs

So for my brother’s birthday I made this quick, but luxurious and simple brunch/breakfast for him.  If you want to make someone feel special, but don’t really have the time to do it, I highly recommend this recipe.  This is adapted from Ina Garten (via Chrissy Teigan), so again it will be Y-U-M-M-Y!

Ingredients
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 tbs. grated parmesan
8 large eggs
4 tbs. heavy cream
2 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Set the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and preheat the oven on broil for 5 minutes.

Combine garlic, thyme, rosemary, and parmesan in a bowl and set aside.  Set out 4 cups/small bowls, and crack two eggs in each bowl, being careful not to break the yolk (otherwise you’ll have baked scrambled eggs).  Add salt and pepper to eggs.

Take 4 individual serving sized baking dishes and place on a cookie sheet (make sure the dish is broiler safe!!!).  Put a tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter into each baking dish.  Place under the broiler for 3 minutes, or until the cream and butter are hot and bubbly.  Take out of the oven, add the 2 eggs, and sprinkle the herb mixture on top.  Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the egg whites are almost cooked.  Take out of the oven and let the eggs set for a minute before serving with buttered toast.

Cook’s Notes
So the original recipe calls for 3 eggs, but my gratin dishes were definitely too small for 3 eggs.  If you have dishes that are a bit bigger, definitely go for 3 eggs.  I thought 2 eggs was more than enough for us and it also meant the eggs were creamier and herby.

The recipe also calls for fresh parsley.  We didn’t have fresh parsley in the house, so I omitted it from this recipe.  However, if we did have parsley I think I would have added it after the eggs were cooked in the broiler.  It was fine without the parsley too.  If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs but definitely use a 1/3 of what the recipe calls for since dried herbs are more potent.

This recipe is also for 4 people.  My brother and I like our eggs a little runny, so I pulled out two dishes at around 6 minutes.  If you like your yolks more firm, keep the eggs under the broiler for a few more minutes.  As long as your eggs are 6 inches away from the broiler, I find that it won’t completely burn if you choose to have a firmer egg.  But remember that when you pull the eggs out, it’s still cooking a bit when it sets up.

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Braised Chicken and Kale

braise_chicken_kale

So this is a go to recipe in our home.  It is a very light, healthy meal that’s also rather filling.  That’s because I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light.  I end up making it once a week and I feel healthier for doing so (although I really don’t like kale and can’t wait for that food trend to end).

Ingredients
2 tbs. canola oil
4 chicken thighs
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup flour
5 garlic cloves, minced
16oz package chopped kale
14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the canola oil.  Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Place chicken, skin side down first in oil.  Render out most of the fat from the skin, about 5 minutes.  Then flip over chicken and brown for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from dutch oven.

Take half of the kale and put in dutch oven.  Stir and then cover for 2 minutes to let the kale wilt down a bit.  Then take the remaining kale and garlic and add to the dutch oven.  Stir and cover again allowing the kale to wilt all the way down.  Then add tomatoes and its juices and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom bits off the dutch oven.  Then bring mixture down to a simmer.  Place chicken back inside the dutch oven.  Cover and place in the oven for about 50 minutes (or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165°F).

Remove from oven when done.  Take chicken out and add vinegar to the veggies.

Cook’s Notes
I actually serve this with a side of rice because we can’t live without carbs in this house.  I’m sure it would go great with potatoes, or as pictured above.

This is actually a really great baby led weaning recipe.  Just take the skin off and shred the meat.  And make sure you give the kale without the rib pieces as those are far too tough to gum.  I mix it all up in a bowl with rice and serve it to my kids.  My daughter actually preferred the kale over the meat.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

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This is a great go to recipe in our home.  When my son was first learning how to eat, this was a major hit with him.  My daughter tried it tonight, and she too loved it (although I was picking out the bacon pieces).  It’s a great dish to sneak in some good spinach.  Most of all, I love how I can make it for dinner and then reheat it for breakfast and lunch.  How can you not enjoy pie dough for all three meals?!?!

Ingredients
Pie dough for a 9″ pie or tart pan
6 oz. bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 minced garlic
1 tbs. olive oil
~5 cooked bacon strips
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper
A dash of nutmeg
1 cup cheese (cheddar or gruyere)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

You will need to blind bake your pie crust.  This means slightly baking your pie crust, that way your crust and filling will finish at the same time.  To do this, line your crust with parchment paper (or foil) and fill with pie weights (or dry beans you have lying around).  Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the weights and poke the dough all over with a fork.  Then pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

While your dough is baking, cook your bacon strips.  You can do a quick short cut and buy microwavable bacon too.  Just make sure your bacon is pretty crispy to give your quiche more texture.  I feel like soggy bacon gives you a more ham-type texture.  When your bacon is done, finely chop and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Saute your shallots until they become translucent.  Add half of the baby spinach and cover it for 2-3 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt down.  Then add the rest of the spinach and cover again for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and mix for another minute or two, then place mixture in a bowl and set aside.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix the milk, heavy cream, eggs, pepper, and nutmeg.  Set custard aside.

When your pie crust is done blind baking, add the spinach mixture and evenly spread.  Then add the bacon and cheese.  Slowly add your custard mixture making sure things don’t overflow.  Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes (your quiche should be firm, but jiggle a bit).  Allow your quiche to cool for 10 minutes and serve.

quiche2You can omit the bacon if your baby isn’t ready to eat it (which I would do with Sammy).  I also didn’t add any salt because I feel like you get enough saltiness from the bacon.  So if you omit the bacon, you may want to add salt (unless you are baby led weaning, in which case you are probably becoming very familiar with your salt shaker by now).  Like I said earlier, such a great go to dish!