Don’t Egg Me On: Breakfast Edition

Recently, I asked one of my best friends what my food “spirit animal” would be.  She said she could think of two different answers: cookies or eggs.  I usually eat eggs for a protein filled breakfast to power me throughout the day.  And I have the biggest sweet tooth ever.  If I make homemade cookies I can easily eat 10 in one sitting.  It’s a gift.

But this post is about the former food spirit animal, eggs.  Over the summer I have had three different amazing breakfasts that you should try!

Uncommon Grounds 

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Uncommon Grounds is a cute, small restaurant located in Watertown, MA.  It has a diner feel, but the menu has more variety, and more fresh produce.  This was their Salmon Avocado Toast, and it was a daily special.  Toasted bread was topped with greens, avocado, tomatoes, smoked salmon, and a poached egg.  Talk about a beautiful plate!  I also ordered a side of fruit salad instead of the home fries.  While I love eggs, avocado, and smoked salmon separately, I think combining all three was a little overwhelming.  Each of those ingredients are rich, so next time I’ll order their plain Avocado Toast.

The Friendly Toast 

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This is the Greek Scramble at The Friendly Toast with delicious cinnamon raisin bread, and a side of fresh fruit.  The scramble has tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, baby spinach and black pepper.  The bread was sliced thick and buttered.  Just look at the cinnamon swirl, it is huge!  And the fruit salad was a step up then your standard melon mix.  It had blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries too.  I also loved the Friendly Toast for its eclectic ambiance.  I went to the Back Bay location on a Tuesday night, and trivia was going on for diners to participate in.  The menu has funny names for the dishes and the decor is bright and funky.

The Wayfarer 

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I think this is my favorite place to go for breakfast.

A. Because it is in Maine, more specifically Cape Porpoise, which is such a beautiful and hidden spot.

B. Because I grew up coming here as a child.  One of the waitresses Bert wore sunny side up egg earrings when I was younger, which I always got a kick out of… and she still does today!

C. Because the food and atmosphere makes you feel like you are eating at home.

This is the veggie omelet with tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, avocado, and goat cheese.  A side of fruit salad and cinnamon raisin toast with strawberry jam.

The Wayfarer is small enough that it feels cozy, like a real Maine breakfast place should.  But it was renovated a few years ago, so the interior is beautifully furnished.  As a friendly warning, it gets VERY busy.  So if you bring a large family, arrive early!

 

Croque Madame Casserole

After dining at the MET Bar, I was in a croque madame state of mind, and decided to whip up a deconstructed version from My Invisible Crown.  It was amazing.  It was so savory from the nutty gruyere cheese, creamy béchamel, and salty leftover Christmas ham.  It is a perfect winter meal because it sticks to your bones.  It would also make a great brunch.  I served it alongside an easy spinach salad.  This recipe is a keeper and I’ll definitely be making it in the near future!

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Croque Madame Casserole (serves around 10)

10 cups cubed day old brioche loaf

1 1/2 cups milk

3 1/2 cups cooked ham diced

4-5 tablespoons butter

4-5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups cream or half and half

4 cups gruyere, grated

2 cups parmesan, grated

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon olive oil

7-9 eggs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place the bread in a large casserole dish.  Pour the milk over it.

Heat the ham with the olive oil in a pan until it turns a golden color.  Scatter on top of the bread mixture.

Heat the butter and flour over high heat to start making the rue.  Add the half and half and cook until it thickens after boiling.  Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add in the cheese and mix until everything is completely melted.  Pour over the bread mixture and stir to combine.

Grate any additional cheese on top if you would like.

Place the casserole dish in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Take out the dish and make indentations in the casserole for eggs to rest in.  Crack eggs and place in the little divets.  Cook in the oven on broil for around 7 minutes or until the egg whites set.  Serve it up and enjoy!

Spinach, Mushroom, and Cheddar Scrambled Eggs

I think eggs are the perfect basis for a quick healthy meal.  Easy to pair with other ingredients the options are endless.  Today I made a scramble with fresh ingredients in my fridge.  This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  Try serving Home Fries alongside it!

 

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Spinach, Mushroom, and Cheddar Scrambled Eggs (serves 1)

2 eggs

butter to coat pan

cheddar cheese

spinach

sliced button mushrooms

Whisk the eggs in a dish with a fork.

Put butter in a skillet.  Turn on stovetop to high heat and melt butter until it coats the whole pan.  Add the eggs.  Immediately turn heat to medium.  Add the cheese, mushrooms, and spinach.

Using a spoon scramble the mixture until the eggs are cooked according to your preference.

Cheese and Spinach Omelette with Home Fries

This meal could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.  The omelette is quick to assemble and can be adapted to whatever fillings you have on hand.  The home fries take a little longer, but the wait is definitely worth it.  I could eat the home fries alone, but the omelette is a nice healthy addition.

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Cheese and Spinach Omelette (serves 1)

2 eggs lightly beaten

handful of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1-2 oz. cheese (I used slices of Dubliner which is a sweet nutty Irish cheese)

butter to coat a pan

Heat the butter in a pan at high heat.  Pour in the eggs and turn down the heat to medium/ low.  Cook until the edges are set and the eggs look almost cooked through.  Using a thin knife or spatula pry the egg from the pan and flip over.  Be careful!  Reduce heat to low.  Add the spinach and cheese to one half of the egg circle.  Flip the other half of the egg on top.  Cover the pan and cook until the cheese is melted.  When plating I folded the omelette once more in half to make it look pretty.

Home Fries (serves 6)

6 yukon gold potatoes

olive oil to coat bottom of a large pan

1-2tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes on a sheet tray.  Bake until a fork goes through easily, around 2 hours.  Let the potatoes cool.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into small cubes.  Pour olive oil in bottom of pan at medium/ high heat.  Add butter.  Add the potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  While cooking the potatoes allow them to crisp up.  Then use a spatula to flip them, so they get crispy all over.  Keep repeating the process of waiting for the potatoes to get crispy, then flipping until they are golden brown.  The outside of the potatoes should have some crunchy bits, but the middle is still soft.  If the pan starts to get dry, add more olive oil and/ or butter.

Now, you can eat the potatoes just like this, OR you can take it one step further to get them extra delicious.

Place the cooked potatoes back on the sheet tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes more.  I know this recipe looks like a lot of work, but if you bake your potatoes beforehand, the final 2 steps in the pan and oven only take an hour.

And these home fries are amazing so you will not be disappointed.  Serve them alongside eggs, waffles, pancakes, etc.  The options are endless.unnamed-2

 

Potato Spinach Gruyere Frittata

This recipe was concocted with the leftovers in my fridge.  Very versatile and easy to whip together, this dish is a lifesaver.  Feel free to change the add-ins and eat whatever time of day you want!

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Potato Spinach Gruyere Frittata (makes one pie pan)

1 1/2 cups Home Fries (or any type of cooked potato)

1 1/2 cups of cubed Gruyere cheese

6 cups of spinach

6 eggs

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the pie dish)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

grated parmesan to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Coat the inside of a pie dish with some olive oil.  Place in the oven for 3 minutes so it gets hot.

Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl.  Add the salt and pepper.

Place the olive oil in a skillet with the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted at medium heat.  Add the home fries and cook until everything is warm.

Place the skillet mixture in the warm pie plate.  Place the cubed cheese on top.  Pour the egg mixture over all the other ingredients.  Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top.

Place pie plan on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and cook for around 50 minutes.  The center should be set and the edges nicely golden brown.

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I mean just look at that cheesy goodness!  I love Gruyere cheese because it is firm and keeps the frittata solid instead of runny.  You could also use Swiss or Gouda.  Next time I think I will add in minced garlic when I am cooking the spinach.  Hope you like it!

unnamed-2This was me trying to be artsy as I flipped the frittata out of the pie plate.  However, I think I prefer it unflipped because you can see the cheerful eggy color.

Baked Eggs with Kale and Leeks

This recipe is absolutely delicious and healthy. Full of vitamins and protein! Kale and leek are great winter vegetables, but hopefully spring is coming soon! I adapted this recipe from Foolproof Living – it’s a great idea for a quick meal.

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Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced thinly
  • 4 cups kale, washed and sliced
  • 1 big clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup Gouda cheese, grated (You can use gruyere or swiss as well)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly grounded
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for gratin dish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F Degrees. Butter the Gratin dish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté leeks until wilted, for 7-8 minutes, in medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minute.
  3. Add kale and continue to sauté for 2 minutes until kale is softened.
  4. Gradually whisk in the half and half, stirring constantly. Let it come to a boil. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Season it salt, and pepper.
  5. Take it off the heat.
  6. Put the leeks and kale in a dish.
  7. Using the back of a spoon, push filling to the sides at different areas of the dish to create crevices for the the eggs.
  8. Crack eat individual egg into a hole.
  9.  Sprinkle the dish with cheese.
  10.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the eggs are cooked.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.

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French Eggs Cocotte with Gruyere

My mom is French, so there’s always a lot of French cooking going on at home. Today, I’m sharing with you a very simple, and easy French “oeufs cocottes” dish that is cooked in the oven. ( In French, “oeufs cocottes” literally means “eggs in pots”).  It makes individual servings in small ramequins so you can make as many or as few as you want. There are no precise measurements, so feel free to experiment! For example, you can add different cheeses, or small cubes of ham or smoked salmon. Pair this with salad, bread, or charcuterie for a scrumptious brunch or a light meal.

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Below are the directions for just one egg, so repeat the recipe for as many as you need!

Ingredients

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sour cream

1 tablespoon of gruyere cheese (add more or less depending on how much you like cheese)

A couple small slices of chives

salt

pepper

A tiny slice of butter to butter the ramequin

Directions

Preheat oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter the ramequin to ensure that the egg doesn’t stick to the edges of the recipient.

Crack the egg in the ramequin. Drop in a spoonful of sour cream. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Then add chives, salt, and pepper. Again, as I mentioned before, you can add little pieces of meat or salmon to vary the recipe.

Then put the ramequin in the oven, and cook it for about 6-8 minutes. If you make more than one, you will probably have to cook the eggs for longer. Et Voila!

Bon Appetit!

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