I am a gloriously productive person every time I return to the States. Blessed with a five-hour time difference from London, I arise at the I-do-lots-of-useful-and-important-things hour of 7am (a time of day I am generally unacquainted with, especially on vacation) and…I do lots of useful and important things. Like bake lots of focaccia.
Okay, so obviously this is a relative usage of the words ‘useful’ and important’.' But I do consider baking to be a valuable activity, particularly so over the holidays when the day’s activities consist primarily of getting together with family and eating, meeting up with friends and eating, catching up with old family friends and eating…you get the picture. In such a gastronomically focused time, baking and other food production techniques grow to paramount importance.
Thus, I present to you the newest addition to my useful brunch party repertoire: The Wake and Bake Eggs. Simple, cheap, non-labor intensive, adaptable, and basically idiotproof.
At the beginning, with all this unexpected morning time at my disposal, I enjoyed baking complicated dessert productions like the Orange Almond Coriander Polenta Cake from the most recent Rambling Restaurant dinner and the Carrot and Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from the glossy and gorgeous Ottolenghi cookbook.
But other times, especially when you’ve got a whole group of people coming over and have multiple other dishes to prepare, it’s great to have a dish you can put together with little effort and little time. Hence, the baked eggs, which I know sounds gross to a lot of people – yes, I’ve seen your faces when I mention it – but it’s oh so easy and delicious and perfect for when you start adjusting to a new time zone and are no longer quite so gloriously productive before noon.
It’s also excellent for when you’ve got 10 people coming over for brunch and you don’t want to have to worry about the timing of scrambled or the production of poaching or the mess of frying for every single person. Also, baked eggs means one pan for extreme ease of dishwashing. Unless you happen to own an attractive selection of individually portioned ramekins, in which case I am one-quarter disdainful of your arsenal of random and rarely used kitchen items and three-quarters seriously jealous.
Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey aka Baked Eggs In Tomato Sauce With Cheese
What You Need:
8 eggs or however many you plan to eat. At least 1 per person.
1 large can crushed tomatoes, 1 large can whole tomatoes (I like to chop a can of whole tomatoes to get more texture, but you can use all crushed if you’re lazy. If you’ve got fresh tomatoes, toss those in too).
1/2 cup shredded cheese – parmesan is great, I used a really tasty Parmesan/Asiago/Fontina blend
Chopped herbs – I used chives, thyme, chervil and tarragon, but only because they were already in the fridge.
What You Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 while you dice the canned or fresh whole tomatoes and pour them into a roasting pan with
the crushed tomatoes.
2. Crack the eggs into the pan like so:
3. Sprinkle the top with herbs and cheese.
4. Stick it into the oven and wait. Depending on whether you like your eggs soft and runny or hard and firm, could be anywhere from 10-15 minutes or so. Poke a fork into the yolks to test every so often until the eggs have reached your happy level of doneness. I like runny oozy yolks for prime egg and tomato mixing on just-baked bread.
5. Scoop out an egg for everyone. Dip bread into the hot cheesy tomato sauce. Gloat that you don’t have to stand in front of the stove doing individual eggs for all 10 of your friends. Well done you.
I highly recommend serving alongside the reverse color spotted Cherry Tomato and Roasted Garlic Focaccia.
Nothing like a good wake and bake to celebrate the holidays…