Here comes yet another recipe from Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats. But first a little side note. While looking to see if this recipe was already posted online, I found this blog - One Year Project. This family took on a year-long endeavor to cook every single recipe in the 365 cookbook - and they did it. In order even. Which, as the author writes, included eating mac and cheese four nights in a row because that's the adore they came in the cookbook.
I'm not sure if I think they are admirable for taking on such a project and sticking to it or if I think they are crazy! I mean, what about leftovers? A lot of Rachael's recipes SAY they serve 4, but they end up serving 6-8 and out of this family of four, two were small children. And expense! Trying a new recipe every single day for a whole year would probably get pretty costly I imagine. Anyway, it makes for an interesting read and certainly an it's interesting concept.
The review on that site wasn't at all favorable to the recipe I'm going to share next. In fact, she called it "ridiculous" and "rubbish" but then again, she also admits to hating eggs, so take that review for what it's worth.
We on the other hand, loved this recipe. The only thing I don't like? You guessed it - the name. Eggs-traordinary Stuffed Toasty Baskets. Rachael, I love a lot of your recipes, but these names are killing me! And if she's like this without kids, imagine the cutesy talk once/if the babies come!
The baskets in this case are pieces of sandwich bread that are rolled thin and tucked into muffin pans. Each bread basket gets a brush of butter, then an egg and then a mixture of bacon, tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. The bacon-tomato mixture is quite simple but oh-so-good. It was one of the last recipes I was able to use my garden tomatoes in. Sigh. I miss them already.
The presentation is different and elegant and it really did work. I'm always skeptical that these things will be far more complicated than they let on - especially the removal from the pan part. But all save for one came out without too much effort though I do recommend buttering up your muffin pan very well even if it is nonstick - the eggs can and do leak a bit, causing a bit of sticking no matter how nonstick the pan.
Mmm....mmmm....I'm craving one of these just writing about it. The bread baskets come out very nicely - almost like a pastry crust - and the eggs cooked up solid without being overdone at the recommended time of 15 minutes. I might bake them for less time to see if I can get a slightly runny egg next time.
The One Year Project author also complained that the portions are puny for this meal. I disagree again. When you deconstruct it you have one egg, one piece of bread and one slice of bacon per person. Serve it with a big veggie salad and/or some fresh fruit and it's plenty of food. But then again, I often like our vegetable sides to be more of the main dish anyway with the protein portion playing a smaller role.
I see a lot of potential for this recipe - different meats, different cheeses - whatever is on hand. This recipe would also make a very nice brunch presentation and you could bake up a large amount at one time. All it needs is a different name.....hmmm......how about Baked Egg Cups. Kinda boring, but at least it's not cutesy.