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by on September 4th, 2010

Souffled Cheddar Egg Nest

Great way to start the day. So elegant looking but easy to make.

This souffled egg cup was topped with a jalapeno creme fraiche.

I have said before that breakfast has always been my least favorite meal of the day. If I have to scramble eggs, I will turn them into migas (scrambled eggs with onion, jalapeno, tomato, cheese and at the end you throw in a handful of crunched up tortilla chips.). If my husband wants a fried egg I usually talk him into Toad In A Hole (bread with hole cut out, buttered, grilled and you drop a cracked egg in the hole and continue cooking). If I want a extra special boiled egg, I will make Scotch Eggs (peeled boiled egg, surround in pork sausage, brushed with egg and dipped in bread crumbs and fried). Well this egg dish is no ordinary egg either. It looks hard to make but very easy and will delight your weekend guests or do it just for your family.

I first saw this recipe at Sugarlaws blog and I think she got the idea from Eating-SF. Who ever made it first, thank you. I love this recipe. I have added a few extra things. For a garnish I did use some jalapeno lime cream fraiche that I had made the night before to go with some fish tacos. On some of the cups I added fried bacon to the bottom of the cups before adding the whites. I like the surprise at the bottom of the dish. I also sprinkled a little bacon on top of some when they came out of the oven.  A side of toast would be great to dip in the egg yolks that are still runny when you take them out of the oven.

Separated yolks get put into water. I put into individual dishes, you can put them together if you are careful about taking them out of the water when ready to put on top of the souffle.

Beaten by hand. Ouch, did our arms get sore. Usually when I decide to whip egg whites by hand, I make sure there is someone else in the kitchen that I can pass the bowl to while my arm rest a bit.  I like doing them from scratch occasionally since our foremothers did not have Kitchen Aid mixers to whip up their whites or creams.

Stiffly beaten and ready for cheese.

Fold in cheese of your choice.

Fill the cups with the beaten egg white cheese mixture. Top with one of the egg yolks.

Top with extra cheese and chives.

This one was topped with cheese, chives and bacon. Pancetta is great also.

Souffled Cheddar Egg Nest

4 large eggs
butter, for greasing the ramekins
pinch or two of salt
pinch or two of freshly-grated black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup of coarsely grated white cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons of jalapeno cream fraiche
chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
fried bacon or pancetta, chopped, for garnish (optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Generously butter two 8-ounce ramekins.

Fill a small bowl with cold water and set aside. Separate the eggs, putting the eggs whites in a large bowl and gently slipping the egg yolks into the small bowl of cold water–it sounds risky, but you’ll see that they stay intact just fine.

Season the egg whites with the salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk at high speed using an electric mixer until the whites hold stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cheese and evenly divide the mixture between the two ramekins.

Make a small little hole/nest in the middle of each of the ramekins. Use a spoon to gently remove the yolks from the water and slip one into each of the nests. Grate some more cheese over the ramekins and top each with a tablespoon of creme fraiche.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes, until the whites are puffed and lightly golden and the yolks resemble sunny-side up eggs. Sprinkle with chopped chives and bacon (optional)before serving.

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