~recipe & photo updated & republished 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~
(2008) Dads and breakfasts: in my family, the combination 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 "Kellogg Eggs", a slice of bread with a circle cut from the center, then fried with an egg. Other people call these "gashouse eggs" and "egg in a hole" and "toad in a hole" and "hobo eggs" and more. (And that Kitchen Parade column for Kellogg Eggs lists dozens of those names ...)
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?
(2014) Turns out, spinach and eggs are one magical combination, the mix of "bitter" leafy greens and creamy soft yolks really works for me. So since fresh spinach is a staple in the fridge, these eggs make a regular appearance.
EASY SPINACH NESTS
Time to table: 20 minutes
Handful of fresh spinach, stems removed if tough, cut into ribbons
Salt & pepper to taste
Cream or half & half, just enough to bind the spinach
Salt & pepper
Heat a non-stick skillet on MEDIUM HIGH. Heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and garlic and cook til just softened. Add the spinach, stir to coat with fat, begin to season. Let cook, stirring often, until the spinach softens, tasting every so often for texture and seasoning. When the spinach is cooked, use the tip of a spatula to arrange the spinach in a donut shape, leaving the center open clear to the bottom of the skillet.
Reduce heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM LOW. Gently slip an egg into the center. While the egg cooks, drizzle a little cream over the spinach and use the tip of the spatula to press it 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.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
(2008) There was a time when I bought a bag of fresh baby spinach every week. I used it for everything, salads mostly, but also for cooking. But in recent months, I've realized that tender leaves of baby 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 once it's cooked, the baby spinach has less flavor.
(2014) Do season the spinach as it cooks, it makes all the difference. It needs to taste good, salt is important!
(2014) Half & half works just as well as cream, there's no telling the difference, really.
(2008) My skillet holds two nests quite easily but that's the limit.
(2009) 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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ANYONE ELSE COLLECT FAVORITE EGG RECIPES?
~ Baked Eggs in Cream with Spinach ~
~ Creamed Eggs with Spinach ~
~ Toad in a Pattypan Hole ~
~ How to Cook Eggs in a Coffee Cup in the Microwave ~
~ more recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Gashouse Eggs ~
~ Mexican Gas House Eggs ~
~ Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bake ~
~ Shakshuka (Eggs Nested in Summer Vegetables) ~
~ How to Poach a Perfect Egg ~
~ more recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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