Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes

So in my current quest for fast and easy dinners, I have gotten on an egg kick. Partly because I bought a lot of eggs from the local farmer and they are wonderful with dark yellow yolks that stand up high because they are so fresh. But when I make eggs for dinner, which is actually quite often, I need to add things to dress them up a bit. In looking through my fridge, I came across 6 whole formerly canned tomatoes - the other half I used for pasta two nights before and I decided to bake my eggs in a tomato nest and added the rest of the cherry tomatoes I had on hand. I made a lovely tomato sauce with garlic and onions and a little sugar. I chopped up some leftover ham and shredded up some fresh basil and parsley and added them in and sprinkled the whole thing with some Parmesan Cheese for that wonderful Umami flavor on top. Of course, you could use other vegetables too. After cooking the sauce in a small ovenproof skillet - or you can put the sauce in individual ramekins - you break whole eggs over the sauce and bake for about 10 -15 minutes. That's it! Served with buttered toast or in my case - slices of toasted baguette, it is a wonderful savory little meal. I made enough for two and this dish can easily be doubled and it would be great if you have to serve a crowd for breakfast. It is even better with fresh tomatoes and I am waiting not very patiently for tomato season.

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes

3 - 4 eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup minced ham
1 14 oz can plum tomatoes (or in my case 1/2 can plus 8 cherry tomatoes cut up) or you could use about 6 - 8 medium fresh tomatoes cut up
1/2 teaspoon sugar (if using canned tomatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
6 basil leaves sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
2 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees

In a small ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft and add in ham, cooking until just heated through. Add tomatoes and break up with the spatula. Add sugar and cook until sauce is bubbling. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed and add basil.

Push sauce aside with a spoon in 3 to 4 places in the pan to put in the egg or put 1/4 of the sauce in 4 buttered ramekins. Break eggs over sauce gently and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and parsley.

Put pan or ramekins in the oven. Cook for about 10 - 15 minutes or until whites are just set. Serve with buttered toast.

Five Element Analysis

Eggs belong to the Water Element and so does ham so that element is covered. Tomatoes add the Fire Element. The Parmesan Cheese, garlic, onion, basil and parsley bring in the Metal Element. The toast being made of wheat contributes the Wood Element. The only thing missing is the Earth Element and that can be added by serving this dish with some fried potatoes or some fruit for dessert. Then you will have a balance Five Element meal.

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