By Larry Levine –
Consecutive home-cooked dinner #259. Baked eggs.
I’ve cooked dinner at home for Jennifer and me every night since March 16, 2020. We haven’t brought in dinner, not even from places we trusted during “normal” times because Jennifer has enough “underlying conditions” to make us hyper-cautious during the pandemic.
If we have to stay isolated, however, this is the way to do it. Each day I do two of the things I enjoy most. I write and I cook. Sure, I miss seeing my grandkids, golf with my friends and the great restaurant meals that have been so much a part of my life. But not enough to run the risk of an exposure that could bring the virus in the house.
During these months I’ve become a better cook. I’ve expanded my horizons. I learned real Mexican cooking from Pati Jinich’s book Pati’s Mexican Table and tried new things in Jacques Pepin’s Heart and Soul in the Kitchen. I’ve cooked extensively from my book Cooking for a Beautiful Woman (www.larrylevineauthor.com) and I’ve invented some new recipes.
I was going to make a frittata for us last tonight. Sometime during the day inspiration struck and sent me in a different direction. I decided to use the same ingredients and make a baked egg pie instead. The last time I made baked eggs was somewhere in my bachelor years in the mid-1960s when I shared a rented house with two friends. Then it was individual baked eggs. What I did out last tonight was a first for me. It turned out terrific. Here’s the recipe.
½ cup of milk
½ teaspoon dried mustard
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
½ cup grated cheddar cheese (grated on the large holes of a box grater)
1 large shallot – sliced
2 slices from the middle of a large heirloom tomato – each slice cut in half
Choice of meats (see note below)
½ an avocado – diced
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Crack the eggs into a bowl. Whisk to break the yolks. Add the milk, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly.
Lightly oil a deep 9-inch pie pan with sloping sides if possible. Sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the pan. Layer the shallots on top of the cheese. Lay the tomato slices on the shallots. Place the meat on top of the tomatoes.
Pour the eggs over the top. Bake for 40 minutes. Let sit on the counter about five minutes so the eggs can set. Cut the pie into slices and top with pieces of avocado.
FOR THE MEAT: Ham works well but should not be sliced too thin or it will dry out. You could dice some ham and sprinkle it on the top. Sausage is good. If it’s link, cut it into ½ inch thick rings. If it’s bulk sausage, sprinkle it over the top. You can use bacon either crisped and crumbled into the egg or fried till done and layered under the tomatoes.
We had half the pie each for dinner with no sides. If serving with roasted potatoes this easily could serve as many as four people.