Baked Eggs and Ham: Meal for All Seasons

On Sunday mornings, my husband cooks breakfast. As I like to start the day with protein, he comes up with the best recipes from his considerable collection (he’s a personal chef) to delight us with.

What I love about this breakfast is the versatility. OK, I love the way it looks, too. Essentially, he bakes eggs in ham squares pushed into cookie tins. The ham corners stand up and get brown and crisp.

Baked Ham and Egg Cups

Baked Ham and Egg Cups

The mushrooms between the egg and the ham get juicy and flavorful.

But wait, there’s more! You can eat it for breakfast with a slice of whole-grain bread and be ready for the day. Not a big breakfast eater? Just eat one egg cup.

You can eat two for lunch and add a slice of melon or some berries for dessert and have a meal that tastes great and is healthy–something most people appreciate.

And yes, you can eat it for supper by adding a green salad, some herbed bread, and a dessert like a fruit crisp (in autumn) or fruit sorbet (in hot weather) and feel deliciously full without overburdening your calorie consumption for a day.

If you have company, it is a breakfast that doesn’t demand constant watching and can be made for a lot of people without a lot of work.

Here is the recipe he used:

Baked Ham & Egg Cups
Serves 2

4 eggs
4 slices boiled ham, thin but not shaved
2 shallots, finely chopped
4-6 button/cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, finely chopped
4 +/- sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped *
2T butter, unsalted
S&P to taste
Minced chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots until translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring now and then. Add mushrooms, sauté until they start to give up their liquid. Add thyme, season with S&P. Continue to cook until most of the mushroom liquid has been cooked off. Remove from heat.

Spray the center 4 cups with PAM. Line each cup with a slice of ham, being careful to avoid tearing. Divide the shallot/mushroom mix among the cups. Carefully crack open the eggs, placing one in each of the four cups.

Bake for 15 minutes, check for doneness. Depending on how loose or hard you prefer your yolk, you might want to continue baking for an extra 2-3 minutes.

When done, carefully transfer to plate. Garnish with minced chives, serve immediately.

* The original recipe calls for tarragon, but I find it a bit too pushy for my taste.

—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach married to Kent, a personal chef who cooks yummy (and healthy) meals for busy people. He’s the owner of KentCooks. She’s happily letting him do the cooking now that they are both on the same side of the country.