Sunday, September 11, 2011

Brunch on Baked Eggs Au Gratin

Nearly everyone loves brunching on a hearty plate of eggs on the weekend.  But the form you usually see them in is either as omelets, scrambled, poached, fried, but not often baked.  Completely intrigued by a homestyle recipe I found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Dishing Up Vermont, I cooked up a cute little gratin dish of them for Dan and myself. 

Not exactly following the recipe to a T, I tried to keep the dish lighter by using 1% fat free milk instead of whole, which worked perfectly well.  I also substituted good quality gruyere cheese for the cheddar and also topped the eggs with fresh basil, picked from my friend Kanu's garden.  The dish came out well, as you can see from the above, and Dan was all to eager to dig in.  We paired it with a crusty piece of dark pumpernickel bread, and had ourselves a nice breakfast of champions.  Hope you enjoy it too.

Eggs au Gratin by way of Dishing Up Vermont

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups of whole milk
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Crowley, gruyere - whatever you like!)
8 farm-fresh eggs
Minced parsley (or basil)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter 4 ramekins, and set them aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually whisk in milk.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until flour mixture thickens.  Add the cheese and continue to cook until cheese has melted and mixture is well combined.  Divide the sauce equally into prepared ramekins.

Carefully beat 2 eggs into each ramekin.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes (I cooked it about 30 minutes) or until eggs set in the middle.  Garnish with parsley or basil.  

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