11th May, 2011 - Posted by admin - No Comments
The benefits of eating an organic diet are widely known, the part that’s never talked about is how to afford it. Organic food is more expensive that non – and there’s really no avoiding that fact.
When deciding how to spread the grocery budget around, the way to get the most bang for your organic buck is to spend on meat first, then eggs and dairy, then vegetables. The life of an organic carrot isn’t dramatically different from a non-organic, but an all-natural, free range chicken lives a much better existence than one that’s not.
Personally, I feel that one area where there’s really no comparison between organic vs. non-organic is eggs. An organic typically has a bright yellow or orange yolk and tastes like the very essence of an egg. It’s one of those experiences that lets your taste buds know exactly what an egg could and should be. The good news is that while organic eggs do cost more than their factory-raised counterparts, the price difference is not unsurmountable and can be absorbed by most grocery budgets. Plus, they taste so good, it’s hard to go back.
Eggs also have the benefit of having the same amount of protein as an equal-sized portion of meat – and they cook up in a flash, so they are ideal for a quick weeknight supper or lunch.
Baked eggs are one of those things that can be as plain or fancy as you like. They have the advantages of an omelette, in that they can be a base for many things, without the hassle of keeping a pan at a consistent temperature. They can also be made in large batches, a bunch of people can eat all at once.
The tricky part comes from using the broiler. Be sure to use a container that is heat safe. Pyrex, ceramic and metal are all good choices. Be careful before choosing glass. Heavy ceramic ramekins are ideal for this job, and can be used for lots of other things as well. The cups in the photo are oven safe up to 500 degrees, but not all glass is created equal. Just keep in mind that broilers, broken glass and egg yolk can really ruin a day.
The directions involve popping the dishes under a broiler twice. To make this move easier, arrange everything on a baking sheet prior to opening the oven.
The first broil is to melt the butter and get a very slight crunch on the bread crumbs. The next round actually cooks the egg. The egg should be mostly firm with the yolk still a little runny.
When it comes to fillings, sky’s the limit. If there are fresh herbs on hand, definitely use them. Chopped ham or bacon is good, as is cheese. Again, it’s hard to go too far wrong here.
Once everything is set, let the eggs cool for a couple minutes and serve warm. A classic accompaniment is buttered toast cut into thirds for dipping into the egg yolk.
Makes 4 eggs (1 egg per small ramekin)
1/4 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan
1 Tbsp crumbled cooked bacon
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tbp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the broiler while you prepare the ramekins.
2. Mix the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parmesan and bread crumbs. Add 1/4 Tbsp butter and 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream in each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until melted and bubbly.
3. Remove the ramekins from the oven and very carefully crack 1 egg into each. quickly sprinkle with the crumb/herb topping and place back in the broiler for anther 2-3 minutes. the eggs will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven. let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving warm.