Dads and breakfasts: in my family, this is a recipe for great memories. When my sister started kindergarten, our mother went back to work and our dad went back to the kitchen. Dad cooked breakfast every single day -- and without resorting to boxes of cornflakes or quick slices of toast. Instead, he had a Breakfast Plan, a two-week menu written on yellow lined paper taped to the inside of a cupboard. Oatmeal. Fried eggs. Every other Friday, hamburger patties with tomato soup. (Yes ...) My favorite day was the first Thursday when Dad made gashouse eggs, a slice of bread with a circle cut from the center, then fried with an egg. Other people call them "egg in a hole" and "toad in a hole" and "hobo eggs" and more.
I couldn't help but reminisce about Dad's breakfast specialties while waiting for the eggs to cook in these nests of fresh spinach. Hmm, perhaps this is a recipe for a low-carb toad-in-the-hole?
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~ more breakfast & brunch recipes ~
~ more recipes for egg main dishes ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
EASY SPINACH NESTS
Time to table: maybe 25 minutes?
Serves as many as needed
Handful of fresh chopped spinach, stems removed if tough
Salt & pepper to taste
Cream or half & half, just enough to bind the spinach
Seasoning (I used Lawry's)
Heat a non-stick skillet on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the olive oil til it shimmers. Add the onion and garlic and cook til just softened. Add the spinach, stir to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring often, til spinach softens. Season the spinach. With a spatula, arrange the spinach into a donut shape, with the center left open clear to the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM LOW. Drop in an egg. While the egg cooks, drizzle a little cream over the spinach, use the tip of the skillet to press inward to compact a bit. Cover the skillet so the egg will cook evenly from both sides. When the egg is nearly cooked, sprinkle it with a seasoning salt or more salt and pepper. Gently slip the egg onto a plate for serving.
There was a time when I bought a bag of fresh baby spinach every week. I used it for everything, salads mostly but also cooking. But in recent months, I've realized that tender leaves of spinach are best left raw or in recipes where the leaves cook for just a minute. For longer cooking, heavier spinach leaves are better. They do need to be washed well (I'm training myself to do this as soon as they enter the kitchen), stems removed and chopped. Some time I intend to do a flavor comparison too, I suspect that cooked, the baby spinach has less flavor.
My skillet holds two nests quite easily but that's the limit.
When I made these for my dad one morning, I used less oil in the skillet and so the spinach actually formed a slight crust on the bottom: he loved this.
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