Splurge on breakfast
August 8, 2015
If you want to use up your week’s worth of fat and cholesterol, here’s your breakfast, right here.
This is so rich I can’t eat a whole serving. But I can do significant damage to half of it.
It’s a riff on the classic French dish, eggs en cocotte, or baked in a casserole with cream. In this case, with a few additions to that. Like cheese grits. And bacon. And more cheese on top.
Nothing succeeds, after all, like excess.
I love this breakfast. It’s decadent and rich and creamy and good and everything a breakfast ought to be. Start things out with a batch of cheese grits. I like to make mine with smoked gouda; just adds the perfect taste to grits, it seems to me. I make my grits the usual way, with water and salt, and when they’re fairly thick, I whisk in about a cup of grated Gouda and a couple of tablespoons of butter. That is with the grits quantity the box says serves 4, although it strikes me it’d best be 4 who don’t care much for grits, because those would be some small servings.
When those are done, pour them about an inch and a half thick in the bottom of a four-inch ramekin. Or whatever size ramekin you want. I have some that are about 4 1/2 inches across and 3 inches deep that I use. Preheat your oven to 350.
Theoretically, you could do this in a baking dish, but I think it’d be awfully messy when it came to portioning it out. So I’ve never tried it.
Atop your grits, break two eggs. Now, I will confess my preference is to separate those eggs, set the whites aside for some other purpose, and use the yolks. You can do that, or use the whole egg, whichever you prefer.
Over the egg, put whatever else you desire. For me, this morning it was bacon, pre-cooked and chopped into pieces. I have used ham. I have used broccoli. I have used roasted cherry tomatoes. I have used chopped and drained bits of fresh tomatoes. I have used sausage, browned in a scramble. Use whatever trips your trigger and would taste good with eggs and grits.
Over that, I drizzled about a tablespoon or so of cream. Maybe two. And over THAT, I sprinkled about a tablespoon of queso fresco. Because I had it,and I could.
Slide those ramekins into your preheated oven, look at your watch, and give ’em about 12-14 minutes. That’s for a runny yolk, which I prefer. If you are one of those perverse people who want your eggs with a solid yolk, you are probably not going to enjoy this dish as much as I do. Sorry.
At the end of the allotted time, snatch those babies out of the oven and slide them onto a plate. The only accompaniment they want is a piece of toast, which I made from a boule’ of beer cheese bread I’d made yesterday. And maybe some fresh fruit, which never goes amiss with any meal.
This is a breakfast that’ll stay with you. Which is good, because I can eat a really light lunch, because I have a knockout dinner planned. My preference is to immediately stir the whole thing together, so the runny yolk can distribute itself throughout the grits and the bacon and the cheese and the cream and you get lots of good stuff in every bite.
I have some smaller ramekins I use for custards and such, and next time I have a fancy brunch, I’m going to make these in them, set them on a warming tray, and make them the centerpiece of the menu.
You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em try this sometime when you want something different for breakfast.