Our Egg-cellent Adventure
My family and I are crazy about eggs. They make for quick, delicious meals any time of the day or night. The more our schedules fill up, the harder it is to set aside time to cook at home, and eggs provide infinite, simple solutions – whether it’s scrambled egg burritos for breakfast, egg salad for lunch or roasted chicken omelets or frittatas for dinner. Eggs also provide many health benefits, including high-quality protein and essential amino acids.
This breakfast staple can be turned into a satisfying evening meal to solve any dinner time dilemma. My partner John Clark and I have two children – Magnus, 10, and Pearl, 4 – and one of their favorite dishes for dinner is Mashed Potato – Baked Eggs.
We like to braise rather than boil our potatoes, and for this recipe, we bake the eggs in the fluffy potatoes and let the kids decide which protein, such as chicken, ham or chopped bacon, to incorporate. This recipe is perfect for weekend brunch or dinner parties, too, as each serving is individually baked in a gratin dish or baking ramekin. You can also use a muffin pan to bake each serving.
Remember, something wonderful to eat is just a few minutes away if you have a few eggs in the fridge. Nothing beats them when it comes to simplicity, versatility and affordability!
Gayle Pirie is chef and co-owner of Foreign Cinema restaurant in San Francisco. If you are interested in learning more egg recipes, Foreign Cinema has released the second edition of its cookbook “Country Egg, City Egg” in celebration of the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary this year. For more information, please visit foreigncinema.com.
Mashed Potato-baked Eggs
Makes two servings
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- ¾ cup water
- Salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, chives, or other favorite herb, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine the potatoes, water, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and the water has come to a boil, stir the potatoes, reduce the temperature to low, and cover tightly with a lid. After 10 minutes, check the potatoes. If the water has evaporated, add ¼ cup water and stir. Continue to cook until the potatoes are completely cooked through, about 20 minutes. After the potatoes are soft, mash well and moisten with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, if necessary, and the other tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons per person of your favorite protein, such as chicken, ham or bacon (all pre-cooked) to the potatoes. Mix well.
Place ¾ cup of the mashed potatoes in each of two small buttered gratin dishes or baking ramekins. Make a deep well in the center of the mashed potatoes. Crack an egg into each well and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmesan cheese over the top of each. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how cooked you want the eggs. Garnish with the chopped herbs.