Saturday morning and the husband needed a good breakfast before going out to play rugby. Yes, Kyle has upgraded from fiance to husband in recent months. Hooray! We got married in July for those who are interested. Weekend breakfast food in our household changes on a weekly basis depending on inspiration and what we have in the house at the time. I can't be bothered with a fry up every week, although "eggs over easy" do have their place in life. I had been to Borough Market on Friday afternoon to buy groceries for dinner. "Just a simple supper for two," she says, and I had various bits and bobs left over that I could not let go to waste.
So what did I have left over I hear you ask? Eggs, matured Emmental, flour, milk, butter, pain au Levain and mixed baby salad leaves. A veritable feast waiting to happen. My mum used to make baked eggs on the odd occasion on a Sunday evening for a light supper and I just love the oozy, cheesy, delicious goodness. I had and still do have a habit of dunking a spoon in the cheese sauce and tasting it, for quality control purposes of course, before pouring the sauce over the eggs.
Its a super simple recipe. Perfect for cold weather breakfast/brunch or a quick and easy Sunday night supper. You can flex the recipe up or down depending on how many people you are feeding or how hungry, greedy, you are.
Cheesy Baked Eggs - Serves 2
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 Cups whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Cups grated hard cheese - I used a matured Emmental but you can use Cheddar, Gruyere or any cheese that you fancy
A sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg
4 eggs - preferably organic or at least free range
2 large slices sourdough bread, toasted in a griddle pan
Handful of washed, mixed leaf salad
Olive oil to drizzle
Lemon Juice, just a squeeze
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade, fan assisted or 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently bring your milk to the boil in a small pot on the stove and then remove from the heat. In a separate pot melt your butter, then add the flour and stir until it makes a paste. This is called a roux. Cook the flour mixture for 2 minutes. Gradually add your warmed milk to the roux and keep stirring until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Cook on a low heat for 5 - 10 minutes. Do not stop stirring! Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Add 1 cup of cheese at the end and allow it to melt and mix through. Remove your sauce from the heat.
In a deep oven proof dish spread a thin layer of the cheese sauce, about 2 cm should be enough. Make little wells with the back of a spoon in the sauce at even intervals. This allows your eggs to stay in place when you crack them in. Crack each of your eggs into the little wells you have made and then cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly over the top and bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden and crisp. The eggs will be cooked through. Any longer and you may land up with bouncing balls. But again if you like firmer eggs take them to 18 minutes in the oven.
On a plate place your toasted sourdough and then scoop 2 eggs onto the toast with the surrounding gorgeous cheese sauce. Add a handful of washed salad leaves on the side, drizzle with about 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and half that of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to take it up a notch you can sprinkle some freshly chopped red chilli over your eggs or just add a dash of hot sauce.
A warning; you will be so excited to tuck in that you will forget that it has just come out of the oven. It will be hot, so please don't be like me and burn your mouth!
Enjoy your breakfast/brunch/supper and we would love to hear about any variations you have made to the recipe.
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain