Monday, November 9, 2009

Baked Eggs! and First Fall Chili, with Roasted Hot Pepper Cornbread


I have to begin this post by giving thanks to my two fabulous guessers, Maggie and Linda, who both suspected that these ramekins hold something sweet.  :)

I enjoy baking nearly as much as I do cooking, but these little guys hold something that can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or sized down as a snack.  It can taste Asian, Italian, or Indian, depending on the spices you choose.
This beautiful and simple dish is....

Baked Eggs

Begin with one ramekin per each egg you'd like to cook.  I used these.
Grease each ramekin with butter, then drop in

1 tsp. of butter
1 tbsp. milk

Put these directly under the broiler for around 1 minute, until the butter melts and the liquid gets bubbly and thickens.

Meanwhile, crack an egg into a small bowl.  I also chopped up some parsley.  This is where you can get creative.  You could add fresh chili, ginger, and garlic, or oregano and fresh basil.  You could also skip the milk step and replace that liquid with stock, or soy sauce, coconut milk, or even tomato sauce.

That's why baked eggs are a great anytime food, because they can take what you have on hand and turn it into something simple, filling, healthy, and delicious.  I'm always looking for recipes that are simple and versatile.

I fried up diced bacon and used a little Tony's.

Pour one egg into each ramekin.  Add some parsley, bacon, goat cheese, and salt and pepper as you like.

Broil these 1-2 minutes, rotate, broil for another 1-2, and then check doneness.  How long you cook them will depend on how well you like your eggs done, but for me the whites should still be a little underdone when you pull them out from under the broiler, as they will continue cooking for a minute or so outside the oven.

Two of these are very simple and delicious breakfast, and a piece of toast nicely gets at the remaining runny bits, should there still be any.  I like my yolks very runny, so crunchy bread is a must.

If you didn't know, life in the midwest these last few days has been  Like, highs in the 70s.  Sunny and gorgeous.  We've been spending lots of time playing outside with the doggie, and walking around the 'hood.  This Sunday, we spent a few hours raking up the majority of our leaves, though the pin oak is still holding on to a few.

Last week marked the last normal market of the season, so I celebrated by buying some forced bulbs, which I believe are paperwhites, but who knows.

They have sprung up another four inches in the couple days since I took this photo.  They will bring a welcome green to an increasingly brown homestead.

Since the weather's been trending toward the cool, we're getting ready by making a huge batch of chili.  I usually make a chili with tons of beans and a little lean ground meat, like this post from more than two years ago, but this time I wanted to use a ton of fresh vegetables to stretch the meat and beans.  It's become very clear to me how much I love vegetables and how they belong in every meal.  Eating them simply makes my body feel better.

First Fall Chili

Here's the veggie spread:  five carrots, six stalks of celery, one red and one green bell pepper, two onions, and at around 10 cloves of garlic.  I used a small can of organic tomato paste. You can see my dry black and pinto beans.  I've become a little freaked out by BPA, which resides in plastics and can leach into our food.  Unfortunately, the lining of some canned goods is plastic and can contain BPA.  (See this article.)  I've been trying to choose dried beans instead of canned whenever possible.   Yet another reason why I need to can even more next year.

I added tons of hot chili powder, cayenne, and cumin.

This included a lot of chopping.

I started by cooking the veggies in a little butter and oil until they softened, then added some lean ground beef until it was nearly cooked through, and then added all the beans I cared to.  Speaking of canned things, I added two of these, too.

We have only eight jars left.  :(  Not NEARLY enough!

Cooked these all together and let them get happy.

To garnish, I use yogurt.  The food blogosphere is in love with "Greek style" yogurt, which is thick and tart compared to normal plain American yogurt.  I find that yogurt that comes from ethnic grocery stores tends to be much more tart and thick as a rule, while significantly cheaper than these "Greek" yogurts.  If you don't have access to an Indian or Middle Eastern market, just buy a normal plain yogurt and strain it.  Like this.  Use cheesecloth, or a paper towel, and put a sieve over a bowl.  You'll be amazed at how much liquid drains off in minutes.  Drain in the fridge overnight and you'll have a thick tart cream, prefect to use on chili instead of sour cream.

You should grate some cheddar on it too, and add some sliced green onions, and blue tortilla chips.

And I wouldn't dream of telling you to make chili without making cornbread.  You do have the special pan, right?

Roasted Pepper Cornbread

1 c. cornmeal
1. c. unbleached ap flour
4 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. sugar
1 egg
1 c. buttermilk
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp salt
4 small chilies, roasted, seeded, peeled, and minced.
fresh grated pepper

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another, then fold together just until most of the flour has gotten wet. There will still be big lumps, like this, but don't overmix.

Preheat that pan to 425 with a little oil in each well.

Bake 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They were just slightly brown on top.  You're probably supposed to wait and let them cool to room temperature, but you know I ate two hot of the oven, with a little local raw honey and butter. :)


Finally, I have to give a shout-out to Linda over at One Scoop at a Time!  I was at Goodwill on Saturday (for, uh, the second time that week.  I have a small problem...) and as soon as I saw this beeeautiful Pyrex, thought of her, and I knew it had to come home with me :)

Enjoy what's left of this glorious fall!

1 comment:

Linda said...

I'm gleefully giggling throughout your post. I love it all - the baked eggs, the strained yogurt (great tip!), your canned veggies, the special iron skillet, homemade cornbread (go you! I use Jiffy!), and the to my surprise...the PYREX. Ohhh...what a lovely find!!!

Did you know that Corning has reintroduced the cornflower blue pattern? I couldn't believe it when I store it in the store, and what was even more shocking, the heavy sticker price. I buy all my Corning at the thrift stores for a few bucks.

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