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Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme

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© 2012 Helana Brigman
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This past week, I decided that what I really wanted for Christmas was to update and organize my spice rack.  

Baton Rouge is host to a variety of specialty stores, small farms, and fresh produce stands, and I consider myself lucky to have freshly grown kale, Gulf seafood, and olive oil and herb stores at my disposal.  Whenever I get low on spices and herbs, I instantly make a trip to Red Stick Spice Company on Jefferson.  

Red Stick sells herbs, rubs, olive oils, and teas in bulk replete with a super friendly staff and a charming atmosphere.  Conveniently located, Red Stick is close enough to Whole Foods, my hair dresser Shannon, and the new Latte e Miele location that I can make several rounds with just one trip.

I’m ashamed to say, but my spice rack was beginning to look pretty pathetic.  I was running out of everything I use regularly (oregano, parsley, orange peel, and thyme), and I couldn’t find a cinnamon stick to save my life.  

In my experience, herbs and spices always seem to run out together…kind of like when you run out of all of your cleaning supplies or bathroom products simultaneously.  

It just happens that way.

Pictured: Whole Leaf Thyme at $2.59 / oz (now only $1.95 / oz) .  Red Stick sells by weight (or, “bulk”) and encourages customers to bring in their empty spice bottles for filling in the store.  I just love the hand-written brown and black labels so I know exactly how much of a spice I’m buying.  Plus, it reminds me exactly where I can get more when I start to run out.

Since I absolutely cannot live without thyme (it’s the number one ingredient I use in most savory dishes), I had to fill up my pathetically empty bottle from home.  Fortunately, for those readers who live outside the BR-area, Red Stick ships from their website as well, and you can take advantage of their excellent selection online.

For this recipe, I chose a simple baked egg that’s insanely easy to make and perfect for when eggs sunny side up are just a little bit boring.  I made this broccoli gratin the night before (recipe coming next week) and used some leftover roasted florets to fill the ramekins.  Dressed in freshly grated Parmesan, crisped bacon pieces, salt, pepper, and a little bit of thyme, these baked eggs have a beautifully simple body that’s slightly gourmet. Clearly, this is one Christmas present that’s going to good use.

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme

Yield: 2 servings

Calories: 280.4 (see here for full nutritional information)

Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 – 15 minutes

After a series of inspiring pins over at my frequently obsessed Pinterest homepage, I decided I wanted a lighter version of the baked eggs people are always pinning (you know the recipes I’m talking about–where soccer moms and bloggers bake bread, bacon, and an egg inside muffin tins). This recipe really peaked my interest with its use of roasted kale.  Not having kale on hand, I replaced the kale with leftover broccoli and cauliflower from the gratin I made the night before (another recipe that is thanks to Rhett Clement!), and improvised with less bacon and fewer spices as not to overwhelm the palette.  The results are savory but simple, elegant yet everyday.

Ingredients:

*1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

*1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated or shredded

*1 teaspoon Red Stick Thyme

*1/4 cup roasted broccoli (as with leftovers from here), or any like green such as spinach or kale

*4 eggs

*1 strip bacon, cooked until crispy and broken into pieces

*Red Stick paprika, for sprinkling

*Salt and pepper, to taste

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

2 ramekins

1.) Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter 2 ramekins and fill with next three ingredients (Parmesan, thyme, and broccoli), making sure to evenly distribute ingredients between 2 ramekins with 2 eggs in each baking dish.

2.) Sprinkle with crisped bacon, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until eggs are at desired level of done-ness.*

*Note: 12 minutes bakes a somewhat done egg that’s still runny; 15 minutes bakes a more well done egg with little or no runniness.

3.) Remove from oven and cool for one or two minutes before digging in.

 Makes 2 servings.

———————————

This recipe was re-published for my “Fresh Ideas” Column for Louisiana’s state newspaper, The Advocate, on Monday, February 4, 2013.  You can read the reprint here.

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Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
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