Baked Eggs for Brunch

January 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm 15 comments

Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks

Brunch is by far my favorite time to sit down at the table.  It always feels so much like a luxury and like you’re somehow sneaking around the conventional dusty rules of three meals a day by combining two of them.  Plus, I do love to sleep in when time affords, and brunch is usually the result of a long lazy stretch in bed that morning.

Leeks soaking

I also like how brunch bends the rules by putting sweet pastries, warmly spiced French toast, savory quiches, and even heartier fare like meaty sandwiches all on one table.  There’s this place near me, Valley Green Inn, which serves an amazing (and generous) basket of homemade mini muffins, breads, and pastries to every table at brunch.  It makes my heart sing.  Somehow the sight of a slice of pumpkin bread nestled beside a blueberry muffin snuggled up with a hunk of sourdough truly tickles my fancy. 

Free range eggs

This recipe for Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks is a quintessential brunch dish.  It’s rich to the point of being just a little bit self-indulgent (just like sleeping in) and best eaten when you’ve got time to linger as the flavors demand being savored.  The onion hints of the leeks and their bright color offset the eggs as only leeks can.  The eggs, by the way, were some of those wonderful country brown eggs from chickens running around out in a pasture.  It’s always amazing to me (although it probably shouldn’t be) that you can taste the difference between a caged-up hen’s white eggs and a free range hen’s brown eggs – you really can! 

Egg ready to bakeLeeks in dishes

The news is a-buzz with the upcoming switch in Commander-in-Chiefs, and I got to thinking while I was making this about all the fancy affairs going on with the inauguration this coming week.  If you look up the list of events, you’ll see a number of high society brunches in D.C. and across the country.  The menu for the official inaugural luncheon looks quite tasty and rather suspiciously like brunch.   Once I got to thinking about all the celebratory inauguration brunches, I started wondering, what will Obama eat for breakfast the day he becomes president?   If I were him, I’d be too nervous to eat, but this tasty dish would be worthy of consideration for such a momentous breakfast.

Upclose of baked egg

Be it an important dignitary or Joe the Plumber, everyone will enjoy Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks.  And while the presentation is lovely enough for a brunch event, the preparation is so simple you can make it for your family any time you can all manage to gather around the table.  No matter what the time of day. 

Brunch is served

Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks
Adapted from Four Ingredient Cooking

1 T. butter
2 t. minced garlic
2 C. leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed
8 T. light cream
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 t. dried majoram or rubbed sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Generously spray the base and sides of the ramekins and set aside. 

Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the garlic and leeks over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes.  Reduce heat to low for a minute before adding half of the cream.  Stir in nutmeg and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Continue cooking and stirring until mixture has thickened and leeks are soft, about another 4 minutes. 

Place the ramekins in a small roasting pan and divide the leek mixture evenly among them.  Carefully break an egg in each and spoon over a tablespoon of the remaining cream.  Sprinkle with dried herbs, salt and pepper.

Put roasting pan on oven rack and then pour boiling water into the pan to come up about halfway on the sides of the ramekins.  Carefully push pan into the center of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, just until the eggs are set. 

Serve straight from the oven with a crusty roll. 

(serves 4)

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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. girlfiend  |  January 17, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I buy eggs from pastured hens and no matter what color the shells are you can tell the difference. My baked goods have never been better since I made the switch. Some of the eggshells are brown, some are blue.

    The pigment of the shell has nothing to do with how the eggs are raised. Some eggs from caged hens will have brown shells, others white.

    http://www.poultry.allotment.org.uk/Chicken_a/egg_shell_color/index.php

    Reply
    • 2. Jennie  |  January 17, 2009 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks for the link, Girlfriend. I didn’t mean to imply the hen’s living quarters determined the color of the egg shell. I grew up among chicken farmers and am plenty familiar with the biology of hens. :) But you’re right; it’s definitely good to clarify. I remember when I went to college, my new friends who came from cities found out I grew up on a farm and they asked with with all sincerity if brown cows made chocolate milk…

      Reply
  • 3. limeandlemon  |  January 18, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I really love the recipe .. its a must try for me … Looks sooo Delicious .. Laila .. http://limeandlemon.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  • 4. Butterball  |  January 18, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I think I am rather like those caged up hens & need some time running around a farm! May contemplate where over a brunch of these divine looking eggs! I adore leeks!

    Reply
  • 5. medha  |  January 19, 2009 at 4:01 am

    I love eggs and I certainly love leeks as well :) Thanks for sharing this lovely and simple dish!

    Reply
  • 6. lo  |  January 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Oh, yum. Those leeks make this recipe seriously gasp-worthy.

    Reply
  • 7. A. Woz  |  January 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Gosh I am always so overwhelmed by the photos! beautiful simplicity. thank you thank you. I’ll make some with my cage free bird egss tomorrow. Have loads of leeks in my freezer– will that matter?

    Reply
    • 8. Jennie  |  January 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      A. Woz – Frozen leeks should work just fine. Maybe watch them a bit to make sure they don’t get overcooked, but otherwise they’ll be just as tasty, I’m sure. And thanks so much for the glowing words! :)

      Reply
  • 9. Dana  |  January 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    We often have people over for brunch and I am always looking for an egg dish that is not an omelet or fritatta. These look lovely and I love that they are individually portioned.

    Reply
  • 10. A. Woz  |  January 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    And i just realized this is a ramakin sized serving! My new years goal is to watch portion size! THANKS!

    Reply
  • 11. Jason  |  February 3, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for posting the recipe and the wonderful pictures. We made these, recently, for our weekly Sunday Brunch. They were great, though I am interested in trying a few alterations for seasonal color.

    Reply
  • 12. Chocolate Pavlova « Straight from the Farm  |  May 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    [...] this meringue and formed stiff peaks in a flash.   I know I’ve got on a soapbox on here before about how much better local fresh eggs are than those bought in the supermarket so I’ll spare you the sermon this time.  Just do me a favor and see if you can find some local [...]

    Reply
  • 13. Top 10 for 2009 « Straight from the Farm  |  December 31, 2009 at 12:01 am

    [...] #4.  Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks [...]

    Reply
  • 14. Annette  |  May 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    This was so easy and delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply
  • [...] adapted from here [...]

    Reply

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