|Why not treat yourself to a Sunday morning breakfast during the week? Go for it, you are worth it.|
This breakfast dish makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside with the very first bite. It has so many heartwarming elements. You get the creaminess from the egg, the buttery taste of the cream, the smoked hickory, sugar cured bacon gives it a smoky sweet flavor, the mushrooms lend an earthy yet meaty flavor and texture, the slowly caramelized onions offer a sweetness and then the lemony thyme bits, the mild yet fresh onion flavor of the scallions and the garlicky flavor of the chives, all in one bite. Here are all the ingredients you will need:
2 oz. bacon, or 1 rasher, sliced in ¼ inch thick slices
2 oz. onions, about ¼ medium size onion, sliced then cut in half
2 oz. mushrooms (1 oz. cremini mushrooms, 1 oz. white mushrooms) finely sliced. You can use all white mushrooms if you prefer or just use what you have on hand. Please don’t use canned or bottled mushrooms because the dish will get very watery and will also have a rubbery texture, which you really don’t want.
½ ounce scallion (1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon) chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon chives
1 ½ tablespoons on heavy cream
pinch of pepper
Preparing all the ingredients beforehand makes it so much easier to put together but don’t sweat it if you don’t, it’s actually quite easy and can be done pretty quickly in between the stages.
Use a non-stick skillet for this. Just turn the burner to a medium low heat. This will also depend on your burner of course, but lower is better for this dish. Heat the skillet until the bottom of the pan is toasty warm. You can check it by just placing your palm about 1½ inches above the bottom of the skillet. Just don’t touch it…or else!
Once you feel that warmth on your palm, you know the pan is
heating and it’s time for you to throw in the bacon. Keep your spatula at hand since you will want to move it around in the skillet every now and then. Sauté the bacon for about 2 minutes, not much longer. You will notice that the bacon is not getting crispy, but don’t worry, we really don’t want it to start getting crispy at this point.
While the bacon is gently sizzling away, slice the onions in the mean time. Add the onions and sauté with the bacon for another 3 minutes. The bacon is now getting a nice color, the fat is melting nicely and the onions are becoming translucent.
Start slicing the mushrooms, while the bacon and onions are being sautéed. If you have already bought sliced mushrooms, just run your knife through them again so that they are a bit finer and smaller in size. If using whole mushrooms, cut in half then slice finely.
Now, add the mushrooms and mix evenly through the skillet for a further 3 ½ - 4 minutes. Once that is done, you will realize that the bacon is nice and crispy, the onions have started to caramelize and the mushrooms have absorbed all the yummy oils and flavor of the bacon and onions. Do not add any salt. The bacon is already a bit salty, but if you add salt to the mushrooms, it will bring out the water and we are not looking for a saucy consistency with this dish. It is however okay to add some pepper if you wish. Sometimes, if I am feeling fiery, I will add a pinch of dried pepper flakes to give it a nice kick. Chop the herbs and set aside until needed. So, now with this mixture done, I turn the oven on to low broil while putting the final dish together, so that the oven is nicely heated before putting in the ramekin. Make sure that the tray is about 5 inches below the heat of the broiler.
Put the mixture in an 8 ounce ramekin. There will be no need to butter the ramekin, because there is enough fat in the mixture, so it wont stick on the dish when finished. Make sure all sides are covered with the mixture, sort of cupping on to the ramekin.
Crack two eggs in bowl, just to make sure that they are good, then gently pour into the ramekin. If a yolk breaks, no need to worry, it will still be good. Sprinkle the herbs on top of the eggs and then finally add the cream. Put the ramekin on top of a baking dish, just so that it doesn’t tip over in the oven, in between the spaces of the rack. That could get pretty messy. Once placed in the oven, broil on low for about 6 – 7 minutes. You should get a nice firm egg white and soft yolks underneath. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.
Voilà! If you are going to have this dish first thing in the morning, serve with toast, but if you are making it more around lunchtime, add a tossed green salad and some Italian bread and butter. Enjoy.