Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baked Eggs With Ham and Tomato

"Shelley had fallen in love with Max’s baked eggs and cheese almost as soon as she had fallen in love with Max himself.  They were in Paris when he first made the dish for her and the tour group she had hastily joined.  Since then each forkful tasted like that morning—warm, buttery, and bursting with full-fat promise." -- Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
~ (A paragraph from Samantha Sotto's celebrated book, Before Ever After.  Taken from My Mom-Friday's post which inspired me to re-create the dish.)  

I am a sucker for beautiful words strung together by talented writers, and there are numerous times that I catch myself re-reading beautiful paragraphs over and over again - simply enjoying the moment as the words perform their magic in my mind.  Yes!  I am kinda weird that way...  And so that's how it was when I read the paragraph about how wonderfully Baked Eggs can make someone fall in love with you.  

Having said that, let me share with you that C is the personification of the idiom "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."  Letting you in on that, allow me to go further and admit that I took it to heart that this dish can indeed make someone fall (more) in love with you.  Yeah!  I am gullible that way... 
Baked Eggs with Ham and Cheese Recipe
(loosely adapted from Samantha Sotto via My Mom-Friday)

1 medium sized onion, chopped 
2 medium sized tomatoes, seeded and chopped
ham, chopped coarsely
4 eggs
Parmesan cheese, grated
Mozzarella cheese, grated ( I didn't have any on hand, so I substituted with quick-melt)
Cheddar cheese

, grated
salt and pepper
olive oil
fresh basil leaves, hand torn
  1. Preheat oven to 230C (450F).
  2. Sauté onions and ham in olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.  Add in a tiny sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
  3.  Remove from heat. Layer the ham-tomato mixture at the bottom of a baking dish. Leave a few for garnish.
  4. Toss in some basil.  Sprinkle paremesan cheese. 
  5.  One at a time, break eggs into small bowl, carefully sliding egg from bowl over ham into each dish.
  6. Add in salt and spices.  I used my stash of Celery Salt, see DIY recipe here.
  7. Layer the cheddar and mozzarella (in my case, cheddar and quickmelt cheese)on top
  8. Place dish on middle rack of oven and bake, uncovered, in 10-12 minutes or until yolks are just set.
  9. Top with remaining ham-tomato mixture and freshly picked basil leaves.  Serve with toasts.

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