There are actually tons of variations on baked eggs. My version is simplified from the Williams-Sonoma recipe for Baked Eggs with Tomatoes and Cream to include the things I normally have on hand: salsa, cheese, and sometimes cream. Oh, and eggs. Cage-free eggs, that is, which I firmly believe are worth the dollar extra -- even during my financially lean times. Happy chickens make me feel better while I'm scooping up warm yolk with my toast.
Speaking of sopping things up with toast, toast points are so simple to make, and are a terrific accompaniment to this dish. Buttery, toasted triangles make the perfect little sponges for traces of salsa and egg left in your ramekin. However, if you're on a lower-carb diet, omitting the toast makes this a completely low-carb treat!
Now, you can make this dish fancier for a weekend breakfast. If you have the time and want to mix up some homemade salsa (like the delicious recipe below, compliments of my Aunt Jo Anne), indulge yourself. If you'd rather keep it simple and go the store-bought route, I'm infatuated with the Tex-Mexy On the Border salsa. Don't hate until you try it; it's fantastic -- can't believe it's from a jar!
Aunt Jo Anne's Homemade Salsa
Recipe by: Jo Anne Ruble Yields: A lot (how's that for scientific?) -- you can half it if you're just using it for baked eggs here and there.
Ingredients: 2 cans tomato sauce 1 large banana pepper, seeded and split 2 jalapeno peppers (or to taste), seeded and split 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) cilantro 1 large onion, quartered
Directions: Blacken 3 peppers in saute pan sprayed with Pam or rubbed with olive oil (Beware! When seeding peppers, use gloves and wash hands immediately. Do not rub your eyes or face. You may want to have a window open for ventilation, because they may make you cough.)
Put tomato sauce into blender along with the rest of the ingredients, dropping in peppers as they blacken. Pulse until combined, but leave a little chunky if desired. Add salt as needed to taste. My mom uses quite a bit of cilantro, so go wild! Store covered in refrigerator.
If you want to bake your own fresh bread for toast points, go for it. If you want to add fancy ingredients here and there (bacon or pancetta? artisan cheese?), I fully support you. But just know that even on those busy weekday mornings, you can throw together some of your favorite jarred salsa, eggs, and cheese and have a few moments of blissful breakfast.
Baked Eggs with Salsa and Toast Points
Recipe by: Adapted heavily from Williams-Sonoma Yields: 2 3-in. ramekins, or 2 servings
Ingredients: 6-8 tablespoons of your favorite salsa (I use On the Border Salsa) 2 eggs 2 teaspoons heavy cream (optional -- I leave this out if I don't have it on hand) sprinkle of cheddar cheese salt and pepper to taste fresh cilantro bread for toast points (1-2 slices) 1 tablespoon melted butter for toasting
Optional accompaniments: avocado, sour cream
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter two ramekins (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).
Toast bread: Trim crusts if desired. Brush bread with butter on both sides and toast on a baking sheet in the oven for 1-2 minutes per side.Melt tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and toast bread, 1-2 minutes per side. Allow to cool slightly. NOTE: I actually usually toast my bread in the skillet, but I think the oven is a more reliable way to get a nice golden brown all over. And, you know, you've got it heated up for your eggs anyway!
Spoon 3-4 tablespoons salsa into each buttered ramekin (enough to cover the bottom). Break one egg over the salsa in each ramekin. Drizzle each egg with 1 teaspoon cream. Salt and pepper. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the egg whites are opaque and the yolks have firm edges and are soft in the center, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle each ramekin with cheddar cheese and return to the oven just to melt, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with torn fresh cilantro. Serve with toast points, avocado, sour cream, etc. as desired.
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