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As we head into the New Year, we have regressed back to a breakfast post on our Dinner Blog. Apologies. But as the year ends and we head out on hikes to attempt to work off the significant holiday food intake, breakfast becomes an important start of the day.

This one is a simple, and elegant, favorite that is served best on sourdough toast with a side of fruit – in our case, strawberries.

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You’ll obviously need ramekins – small, round, baking friendly ceramic containers. Single-portion sized. We use a single ramekin for each person, so we’ll work with the recipe for four. You’ll need bacon, a head of fresh spinach, sharp cheddar cheese and eggs.

First, cut about 4-5 slices of bacon into small pieces and fry quickly in a hot skillet until brown. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate lined with with paper towel – but remove these bacon-bits with a slotted spoon to leave as much of the bacon grease as you can in the skillet.

With a small spoon and a tilted skillet, remove about 1/2-1 tsp of the grease from the pan and drop into the bottom of each ramekin. Then, either with your (clean) fingers or a paper towel, spread this small amount of bacon grease around the bottom and all sides of the ramekins.

In the same skillet, with the remaining bacon grease still medium-warm, add the washed and coarsely chopped spinach and quickly sauté. Add a little salt and pepper and stir constantly until the leaves are reduced and wilted – about 2-3 mins. Remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Grate the cheese – about 1 – 1 1/2 cups at most.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 and “build” each ramekin: a thin layer of spinach, followed by a layer of bacon bits, topped with grated cheese – then another layer of spinach, another layer of bacon – then crack an egg (or two if you have enough room) over these two layers and put grated cheese on top of the egg white. Season lightly with paprika or pepper or both.

Place the ramekins on top of a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 mins until the egg whites have set and the yolks have not.

Remove from oven and place the tray aside to let the ramekins “set” for about 2-3 mins. Get a hot-mitt for one of your hands – in order to handle the hot ramekins for serving.

Place a piece of buttered sourdough toast on a plate and with your mitted-hand hold the ramekin. Then, with a butter knife, separate the sides of the egg-spinach mixture from the sides of the ramekin and gently slide the contents onto the toast. Use the butter knife to help coax it along. If you can get it right side up on the toast, you’re a star – but don’t worry if it turns over – it still tastes great any way around.

Serve with fruit and coffee.

The head out on the Holiday Hiking Trail Happy.

 

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