So next to pizza, breakfast foods are probably one of my favorite things to eat. I think it stems back from my childhood as breakfast is where I was first introduced to bacon. It was truly love at first bite however this post isn’t about bacon though I literally could write an entire blog about my love with bacon. I’ll spare you that…for now. LOL Now I’ve shared with you a recipe kinda-sorta-but-not-really similar to this recipe – Baked Egg Florentine Breakfast Birdnests. Those are one of the Fantabulous in-laws favorite things I make.
I had every intention to make that recipe on to find when I went to make it I had no hash browns nor any potatoes. But since I was so craving something like that I had to think fast on my feet cause I needed something like that in my belly STAT!
Since it was early morning, I was in my Princess jammies, my hair looked like a rake went through it, I had scary face on (no make up) and my butt was sore from the gym (no literally it was sore from doing 872 squats the night before) I had ZERO intention of going to the market to get potatoes. So I started rummaging through my cabinets. As I spied the open bread drawer – no *I* didn’t open it, Mr. Fantabulous apparently possesses the gene that does not send a signal to his genius mind to close a cabinet door when he is done with it.
No you don’t understand I honestly don’t think there has been a single day where I’ve either gotten up to go to work and walked out into the kitchen, came home from work, or anything that would require me to pass through the kitchen that at least one drawer/cabinet is left WIDE OPEN. WHY??? Who does this? I can remember the one time I got home from work and as I rounded the corner to enter the kitchen I hipchecked the corner of the one drawer. Down went my drink, my purse, I almost peed my pants (cause I’m old and have to pee like every 14 minutes I swear!) and IMMEDIATELY the pain hit me. OMG I thought I bore a hole into my hip I hit it so hard. Almost instantly the bruise appeared and then the huge welt. It hurt for like 2 weeks. I was so utterly ticked off that I flipped out on Mr. Fantabulous griping about his inability to close the &^%$#@ (I cannot repeat the exact language or words I used because they were far from ladylike!) drawers and cabinets.
I was so mad in fact that I actually went to bed mad at him. Yeah I know therapists and marriage counselors will tell you to never go to bed mad at your spouse. Screw that! I was impaled here people! LOL So the next morning at 3:30am I get up and get ready for work. As I walked out to the kitchen my *darling angelic husband* didn’t leave a drawer or cabinet open. Oh no folks. My darling angelic husband (who I swear is going to get beat with a pillowcase full of oranges one night in his sleep LOL) opened up EVERY SINGLE CABINET, DRAWER, OVEN, DISHWASHER and so forth. ANNNNNNNNNNND he also took every single box of cereal we owned (opened or not) and stacked them to the ceiling on the kitchen island. I’m surprised he didn’t leave the fridge drawer open but then I’m sure he realized that would have pretty much sealed his fate.
LOL Seriously, I married an 8 year old joker at times. See that was his way of trying to make me laugh (because it did) and amongst all of those open drawers and cabinets were a bajillion sticky notes saying “Lori doesn’t like this open. Close when shut.” Me, being me added in red ink “… OR ELSE!” LOL
But back to this recipe and the opened bread drawer. It was in there I found a loaf of whole grain bread with just the 2 ends and a lonely piece in the package. Now Mr. Fantabulous will NEVER eat the ends of a loaf of bread. I mean NEVER. I even tried once slicing the ‘crust’ side off and he knew it was the butt of the bread. It doesn’t matter to me if I eat it or not. On fresh from the oven bread, OMG yes.. that’s the best part! But store bought loaf bread, it’s a bit drier than the rest of the slices. So I grabbed those and was going to toss them outside for the birds when I realized I could use them in kinda like the hash browns only keeping them as full pieces.
Since I was making this just for me, I opted for a mini loaf pan. To ensure that the bread was all uniform in thickness I grabbed my trusty rolling pin and rolled the bread to super thin. To ensure that it wouldn’t stick to the pan I brushed the insides with some melted butter.
… and then I stood there staring. My mind was wandering on what all I could put in it. So literally I opened up my fridge and grabbed the first things I saw – cheese, spinach, ham and eggs. Since I wasn’t sure if the rolled bread would make it too dry I opted for more cheese than normal but then again is there really any amount of cheese that is considered ‘abnormal’. Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
Since coming up with this recipe I’ve made this 47 different ways from Sunday. I love kale and arugula in it, even shredded zucchini (just be sure that you squeeze as much moisture out of it as possible). Cooked bacon and crumbled sausage is killer in this. And OMG.. you don’t even want to get me started on spaghetti noodles mixed with marinara, ricotta and tons of cheese! Yeah, trust me.. I went crazy with this recipe once I perfected. I can’t wait for you guys to make this your own too!
As you can see by this awesome picture above (I absolutely LOVE how it’s all toasted around the edges), this holds its shape beautifully. The melted butter helps with the toastability factor. Yes, toastability – go with it. For me I like my yolks just lightly set… not runny yet not dried out and powdery. The thing is, if you’ve never baked an egg before it can be a bit confusing. The yolk part cooks faster than the white so if a recipe calls for 20 minutes in the oven and when you pull it out the yolk may still be jiggly and the white will most definitely be. That’s OK because as it cools you’ll still get that residual heat factor so the egg will still continue to cook a bit.
So when you pull this out, you want a slight jiggle (yes ladies, this is when a little jiggle is perfect *wink*). These loaves are meant to be served warm or room temperature as they are more than a single portion size so you’ll want to slice them. Well okay, let me rephrase that… they should feed more than one person at a time or more than 2 meals for one. But hey I’m not going to judge as we’ve been that hungry. Trust me, after a hardcore workout, you best get out of my way! But at that I hold back on how much I eat and more importantly what I eat.
This dish is perfect for a Sunday after church brunch. I would slice, cover with foil and kept warm before serving. What I often do with these is make a few on a Sunday and when I hit the road Monday morning for work, I’ll grab a few and put them on a tray in the toaster oven while I gather my stuff just to warm up. Yes you can eat them cold – think it more like a hard boiled egg at that point. I personally wouldn’t recommend the microwave method as I hate bread and eggs in the microwave. They tend to get chewy and rubbery. And these are way too awesome to ruin like that.
So while either I’m driving to work I’ll eat these if I honestly can’t wait until I get to work (did you ever just wake up famished???) or once I get settled into the office eat them as I start my day. Dependent on what all you put in these it’s a great way to kick off your morning as it has protein and carbs to help fuel your body and mind and keep you full until say mid morning (10am for me) when you need a little something to tide you over until lunch.
Now if you do not have the mini loaf pans, you can make this in a standard loaf pan however you’ll (obviously) need to put more fillings in each one. When I make them in that I typically can get 2 loaves out of one recipe. Because you’ll have more filling in these your bake time should increase. I’m thinking 27-37 minutes. If you don’t have a loaf pan then use muffin tins. I’d say dependent on the size of your bread once you roll it out you may 1-1 1/2 slices of bread per well. For that the bake time should be around 18-22 minutes for the eggs to just set.
I cannot wait for you guys to make these because I KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO FALL IN LOVE with this recipe just like I have. I can’t wait for you to tell me how you made it your own with your own fillings. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s just past 8am and I need to get my booty to the gym and work off some of that unwanted jiggle. *wink*Print
- 12 sandwich slices bread (I prefer whole grain wheat)
- 12 sandwich-style slices cheddar (or any cheese)
- 8 slices baked ham (can use turkey or omit all together)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (or any other melty-type cheese)
- 8 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup fresh spinach or kale
- 2 tablespoon melted butter, unsalted
- Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the middle.
- Brush the insides of 4 5-1/2 by 3-Inch Mini Loaf Pans with melted butter and set aside.
- Taking a rolling pin, roll each slice of bread out until it’s flat and thin.
- Line each loaf pan with 3 slices of bread cutting to fit as needed. You will want the bread to extend just slightly above the rim of the pan.
- Place 3 slices of cheddar along the inside of the bread trying to cover up the sides and corners. It may not cover the entire thing; that’s OK.
- Place 2 slices of ham on top of the cheese and up the sides of the pan. Essentially you want to line the inside of the pan with layers covering all surfaces. If your ham is smaller, you may need an additional slice per pan. My ham was about 5” round.
- Evenly divide the shredded cheese and spinach on top of the ham just covering the bottom.
- Carefully place 2 egg yolks in each of the loaf pans.
- Pour the egg whites in the well over top of the egg yolks until they are about 1/4” from the top of the pan. You’ll have extra egg whites so save them for another use.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the yolks have barely set and the whites are no longer translucent and have very little jiggle left to them. The eggs will firm up completely as they cool.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack before removing from the pan.
- Once cooled, remove from the pan with an offset spatula.
- Slice and serve. These can be eaten room temperature or warmed.