If you are looking for a special breakfast or brunch for the Easter weekend, I highly recommend these Cheddar and Mushroom Shirred Eggs. A twist on Eggs Florentine, they contain mushrooms instead of spinach, so they don’t technically qualify for the florentine label, but whatever you may wish to call seasoned and sauteed fresh mushrooms baked with eggs and cheddar cheese in little ramekins, this dish is a tremendous hit at the breakfast or brunch table and also an ideal choice for a lighter dinner because eggs don’t lose their luster and appeal as the day progresses. Now if only Spring would get cracking.
Whenever they are served, they are best enjoyed when you aren’t in a rush and can savor the experience.
Cheddar and Mushroom Shirred Eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 scallions, both white and green parts, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 large eggs
- sea salt to taste
- 1/4 pound sharp old Cheddar, thinly sliced
- bread crumbs or cornmeal
- hot paprika for garnish
Lightly grease 8 ramekins or custard cups with butter and preheat the oven to 350°. Place the ramekins on a baking tray.
Heat a medium saucepan or wok over high heat. When hot, pour in the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the pan. Add the mushrooms, onion, and the white parts of the scallions and fry, stirring continually, for 6-8 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat and stir in the green parts of the scallions, the paprika, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Divide the mushrooms between the eight ramekins, a generous soup spoon full for each. Break an egg into a saucer or cup, and slide the egg into a prepared cup. Repeat with each of the remaining eggs, putting one egg into each ramekin. Sprinkle each cup with a little salt and slide the baking tray into the oven. Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and carefully lay slices of the cheddar cheese on top of each egg. Sprinkle the tops with a some bread crumbs and a pinch of hot paprika, and return the tray to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes longer, until the egg whites are set, and up to 10 minutes if you prefer the yolks to be set as well. The cheese should be bubbling, and the bread crumbs browned.
Very carefully transfer the ramekins to a plate and serve with a fork or spoon.
Makes 6 servings
You will also be sure to enjoy [highlight]Indian-Style Baked Eggs Florentine[/highlight].