I am so happy to celebrate World Egg Day, October 12, 2018 this year, along with with Egg Farmers of Canada.
Yes, World Egg Day is a thing! A global celebration of all things egg! And I wholeheartedly support it- I can’t imagine a day without eggs in some form. I have been sponsored and monetarily compensated for this blog post by Egg Farmers of Canada.
If you follow this blog at all closely, you have probably read my passionate love affair with eggs, in all forms. The perfect little contained meal. It comes in it’s own wrapper. Lemon meringue pie can’t happen without them. Neither can sabayon or pavlova. You can boil them, fry them, frittata them, quiche them, poach them, scramble them, and as per today’s post, you can bake them. You probably have your favourite way to prepare and eat eggs as well. Here is the perfect day to pull those recipes out and join in!
I think the reason I love eggs so much (next to their flavour and versatility) is how for such little effort, we can get an entire serving of protein (6 grams) from just 2 eggs; we can get 50% of our daily Vitamin B12 quota, as well as a good amount of A, D, E, folate, iron and zinc. And they’re pretty low in calories. One egg is only 70 calories. There are days when my breakfast is just one or two soft-boiled eggs and some toast soldiers. And I couldn’t be happier.
Baked Eggs is one of my favourite ways to prepare them. There are endless varieties of ‘beds’ that you can create to nestle the eggs in, and then pop into the oven. Shakshuka is an obvious popular dish that uses this method. The peppers, onions and tomatoes are sautéed in a pan first, and then eggs are cracked into the mixture. Baking everything in the oven creates this wobbly goodness of the egg whites melding with the spicy veggies, and the yolks turn into a golden goodness that oozes when you break them. Piperade is another version.
Another way to prepare them, is the way I’ll describe today. Similar to shakshuka, you will start off with ingredients and a skillet. This time around, I decided on the flavours of the king of sandwiches: the BLT! Sautéed bacon, baby spinach (the ‘L’ portion of the sandwich will be played by spinach in today’s performance) and cherry tomatoes all get warmed through in the bacon fat. Then this mixture gets spooned into individual ramekins. Of course, you could keep everything in the skillet if you are preparing this dish for a group of say, four. But since I’ll be giving you the measurements for enough to feed two, having little baking dishes or ramekins is the way to go. There is something special about getting your own self-contained little bowl of goodness for a meal. It’s like mini pot pie- so much more fun that a slice from a regular ole pie!
The other ingredient to this dish is cheese! Because almost any dish works better with a heap of grated, melted ooey gooey cheese on top!! After the ramekins have been filled with the bacon, tomato and spinach mixture, you will add a layer of grated cheese. Don’t go for a too dry or old cheddar- you want one that will melt and bubble up as it bakes. Once you crack the egg over the above ingredients, the cheese will bubble up around the egg as it bakes in the oven. This should only take about 3-4 minutes under the broiler. And then, using toast soldiers to break into that yolk creates a magical experience of a meal!
Yes, this is breakfast. But it could also be brunch, lunch or even dinner! Eggs know no boundaries, time wise. They are equally at home in the am. as they are in the pm.! Did you know, historically, in France, they don’t eat eggs at breakfast time. They save them for quiche or omelettes at dinner time. 😉
If you want to make this for breakfast, say for World Egg Day(!) with a little prep, you can whip this up so easily. Sauté up the bacon lardons (small pieces) the evening before and place them into a container in the fridge. Slice up the cherry tomatoes. Shred the cheese. In the morning, add the bacon to a touch of olive oil in the skillet and proceed as per the recipe. The tomatoes are all ready to go, and when you pop the ramekins into the oven to bake the eggs up, you’ll be able to pour yourself some juice and toast up your bread.
Here in Canada we can be proud of the eggs that the over 1,000 farm families produce for us. These families live in every province of Canada, including the Northwest Territories, so we can be confident that we are eating local eggs! I’ve even had the privilege of helping out on one of those family run farms before. So I did get to experience firsthand that egg farmers all adhere to the same National Animal Care and food-safety programs, ensuring that hens are always well cared for, and that our eggs are always clean and fresh. Did you know that from the chicken to the grocery store, eggs travel less than a week to get to us? To get more info on those standards and expectations (or should I say, ‘egg-spectations’!) you can visit eggfarmers.ca. And they even have a great SM presence if you check out @eggsoeufs on Twitter, Instagram and ‘Get Cracking’ on Facebook. And more recipes like that one here today, there is a great inventory of them at eggs.ca!
So go crack and egg or two, make this great baked egg recipe, or your own favourite, and use #WorldEggDay to fill social media with all things egg on Friday!
BLT and Cheddar Cheese Baked Eggs
All the goodness of sautéed cherry tomatoes, bacon lardons, and baby spinach as the bed for rich cheddar cheese and the perfect baked egg. Just add toast soldiers to poke that yolk!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 double smoked bacon rashers use 4 slices if you can't find thick cut bacon
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes cut into quarters, especially if larger
- 1 cup packed baby spinach larger leaves can be sliced in half
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup packed shredded cheddar cheese use a milder version, not too dry and sharp
- 2 large eggs
- sourdough bread toasted
Prepare oven: Place the rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Heat broiler.
Grease 2 four-ounce ramekin with a bit of the olive oil, or use veggie spray. Place on a baking sheet.
Slice the bacon into bite size lardons.
Heat rest of the olive oil a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the bacon and sauté until cooked through and just crispy. Do not cook to over-dry.
Add the tomatoes, and cook till just softened, about 3-4 minutes
Add the baby spinach, and stir till just softened, about 1 minute total.
Sprinkle with cracked pepper.
Divide the filling between the two prepared ramekins.
Divide the cheddar cheese on top of the filling. Add it so that the cheese creates a little crater in the middle that the egg can sit in.
Crack an egg into the centre of each ramekin over the cheese.
Sprinkle with cracked pepper.
Place baking sheet into the oven and broil for about 3-5 minutes, until white is set but yolk is still runny. Watch it carefully. You don't want the yolk to overcook. It really depends on your broiler, so start checking after 3 minutes, but don't be worried if you need to go longer)
Remove and let set for 3 minutes, the egg will continue to cook in the residual heat.
Serve with toast soldiers.
This recipe is for two, but it is easily doubled. If you are doubling it, why not keep it all in the skillet (use a cast iron one in this case) and cover everything with the cheese and crack the eggs evenly placed throughout the skillet. And it can easily be cut in half, if you just want to treat yourself! This can be breakfast, dinner, lunch or dinner!!