Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach

I love making baked eggs!  They feel special, but are so easy to make and are not nearly as much effort as poached eggs or an omelette.

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For a perfect Sunday brunch dish, these really hit the spot and are full of flavour and pretty substantial too.

I’ve used Gruyere cheese here as its such a good melting cheese, but cheddar or any other melting cheese would work well.  The vegetables I’ve used with my eggs are sauteed onions, mushrooms and wilted spinach, with just a little cream to give it a rich and decadant feel.

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You really need to serve this with hot buttered toast to mop up the creamy mushrooms and runny yolk and my favourite is always sourdough, which I think makes the best toast.

This recipe is so easy and can be scaled up or down.  Use a ramekin for one egg, or a large oven-proof dish to serve a crowd.

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Here, I have made enough for 2 people with 2 eggs each.

Ingredients:
4 extra-large eggs
1 large bunch of spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 punnet of mushrooms, sliced – wild/Portobello/button – the choice is yours
150g gruyere cheese
Small pat of butter and a little oil
4tbs double/heavy cream – 1tbs per egg
Salt and pepper
Some nice bread for toasting, I’ve used sourdough

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Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and lightly butter the dishes

Melt the rest of the butter with a tiny splash of oil and sauté the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and pepper until translucent.  The little splash of oil will help ensure the butter doesn’t burn.

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Add in the mushrooms and continue cooking until everything is softened and the mushrooms are just starting to colour.  Stir in the spinach, it will wilt really quickly and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Divide the vegetable mixture between the dishes and add half the cheese.

Break two eggs per person into each dish – taking care not to break the yolks.  Season with a little salt and pepper, add 2tbs cream and top with the remaining cheese.

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Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake until the white is just set and the cheese is bubbling. You want the yolk to be runny enough to dip the toast in, so don’t overcook.  It should take around 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them.

Serve immediately with hot buttered toast.

Baked Eggs

Perfect for brunch, lunch or add a salad for supper. I’ve added some roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine here too.

Smoked Salmon Devilled Eggs

I love devilled eggs and eggs with smoked salmon are so good together, I think this might be my new favourite devilled egg recipe.

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I’ve added horseradish, cream cheese and dill to my eggs, but Dijon mustard can be used if you don’t like horseradish. If you are using horseradish though, make sure it’s the smooth kind. I bought some a while ago that had big chunks of horseradish in and it wasn’t good at all!

I’ve topped the eggs with a little scroll of smoked salmon, but you could top with capers if that’s your thing. I’m a bit hit and miss with capers, but they do work well with the eggs and salmon.

I think its worth paying a little more for your smoked salmon too. Whenever I have been tempted to buy some ‘cheap’ smoked salmon, I have always been disappointed. A lot of it is slimy, salty and fishy. Really good smoked salmon is a joy to eat.

Devilled eggs are the perfect finger food for a buffet, Easter brunch table or any party.

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Ingredients:
12 extra large eggs
75g cream cheese
1tbs mayonnaise
200g smoked salmon – finely chopped, plus a litte extra for garnish
1-2tbs prepared horseradish or Dijon mustard
1tbs lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill

Method:
You want the yolks in the middle of the eggs when you halve them. There are a couple of ways to do this – either lay the eggs on their sides a couple of hours before you boil them, or give them a gentle shake. This will centre the yolk, making it easier to scoop it out.

To boil the eggs, I like to place my eggs in cold water, bring them up to the boil, turn off the heat, put the lid on and leave them for 16 minutes. This is for room temperature, extra large eggs. If you use them straight from the fridge, they will take a little longer.

When the eggs are ready, place in iced water, before carefully peeling them.

Slice each egg in half lengthways and scoop the yolks out into a bowl.

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Mash the yolks with the cream cheese, mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon and black pepper until completely smooth, before mixing with the finely chopped smoked salmon and a little chopped dill. Taste to make sure it’s just right. I haven’t included any salt as I think there is enough, but adjust to personal taste.

Place the filling in a piping bag, fitted with a star tip and pipe the filling into the waiting egg halves.

Garnish with a little snipped dill and top with a scroll of smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon devilled egg

These are a delicious alternative to chocolate eggs for Easter!

Roasted Jalapeno and Lime Cream Cheese

We love bagels with plain cream cheese in my house, but I’m always looking for ways to be a little more creative and add other ingredients.

Roasted jalapeno cream cheese

You can buy flavoured cream cheese, but I am always a little disappointed by the flavour. Perhaps it’s because it has sat on the shelf of the supermarket for a while. Using fresh ingredients is always going to taste better and the options are endless.

This is a spicy recipe and so quick to make if you use a gas hob. I have been burning the skins off peppers over gas flames since I saw Jamie Oliver do it many, many years ago, but they can always be roasted under a hot grill or in the oven. So much quicker over the flame though!

Burnt chilli

I have used jalapeno peppers which aren’t super spicy, but it’s always best to taste the chilli to find out just how hot it is first. I used two for this recipe and they add a lovely spicy, smoky flavour that works well with the zesty, fresh lime. An additional 60 grams of cheddar cheese also works well in this too, but I would have cucumber or salad leaves rather than smoked salmon if I added extra cheese.

Ingredients:
1-2 fat fresh jalapeno chilli peppers – depending on how spicy you like it
1 lime
280g pack of good quality cream cheese – I used Philadelphia full fat
2tbs fresh dill – chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt

Method:
Prick the chillies all over and using metal tongs, place directly onto a gas flame and burn the skin until it is black all over. If you don’t prick the skin, the chillies can explode!

When the chillies are completely black, place in a plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic and leave to cool down and steam.

When they are cool enough to handle, rub off the skins, remove the seeds and finely chop.

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Add the peppers and seasonings to the cream cheese. Stir in the zest of the lime and then add the juice of half of it. Stir to thoroughly combine and refrigerate until needed.

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The perfect way to serve this is on a warm, fresh bagel, but equally delicious spread on savoury scones, crackers and oatcakes. It’s good with the traditional pairing of smoked salmon too!

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