Or solitary egg, in this case.
When I was a kid, my mother used to make this dish sometimes on Sunday mornings. It’s a slow-morning kind of breakfast, and Dad’s photography business was closed on Sundays.
I haven’t had savory baked eggs since that time, and lately it’s been on my mind. So I asked my Mom for details recently and here we are. The ingredients are simple – onions, butter, salt and pepper, eggs, cheese. The end result is so simple and incredibly yummy, I’m kind of annoyed with myself for not giving this a try years ago.
First, caramelize a bunch of onions. I did mine last night while we were making dinner, just to save time this morning. It’s very easy – thinly slice a bunch of onions, melt some butter in a pan, add the onions and a good sprinkling of salt, and cook the onions on medium low, stirring them around every now and then, until they are brown and soft and smell so enticing that you want to eat them for dinner.
Allow to cool, put them in a container and store in the fridge if you are making them ahead of time.
Now, I remember my Mom making this in a 13 x 9 Pyrex baking dish. She spread the caramelized onions over the bottom of the pan first. No need to grease it first – there’s plenty of butter incorporated in the onions.
The 13×9 pan was fine for our family – we all liked eggs. I thought it would be too big in this house, as Alex does not like eggs. At all. Not one bit.
So I thought I’d make individual servings.
So here’s a little oval baking dish with some of the caramelized onions on the bottom. Yes, I buttered this one – it was before my brain was switched on for the day.
Next, I added two eggs:
And then some cheese. I used sharp cheddar, but you can use whatever you like. When I was talking to my mother about it, she said she thought she used cheddar, but part of me suspects Velveeta might have made an appearance now and then as well. We liked Velveeta.
After that I added a bit of salt and pepper, covered the whole thing with foil, and put it in a 350F oven. About ten minutes later I checked on the eggs and they were exactly the same…the cheese was just barely beginning to melt…so I kept the foil off and bumped the temperature up to 375F. Much better.
Here’s a peek toward the end:
Pretty cool, huh?
But…I over cooked the eggs – the yolks were hard boiled, but still – the whole thing was incredibly flavorful, thanks to the caramelized onions.
Can’t sing their praises enough – caramelized onions are incredible!
Julia didn’t have any after all – I made waffles and both kids ate about two hundred of those.
But when Bill woke up, I tried again.
Just one egg this time.
No cover, just straight into the 375 oven for about 15 minutes or so.
And – perfect! The whites were set, the cheese turning golden around the edge of the dish, and the yolk was maybe just toying with the idea of firming up, but hadn’t committed to it yet.
Bill said it was one of the best egg dishes he’d ever tasted.
I’ll take that.