Friday, April 24, 2009

A Beachy Breakfast

I've got breakfast on the brain this week. Timely too, because on Tuesday night, the New York City Foodbuzz Featured Publishers were treated to "Breakfast for Dinner" by the good folks at Eggland's Best. The event was held at Beacon restaurant in midtown and it was both fun and informative. I learned more about the care and feeding of chickens than I ever dreamed possible.

I also learned a thing or two about Eggland's Best eggs. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical, thinking that the increased Omega 3s and such were the by product of some chemical process ... yet, not at all! I was delighted to learn that the abundance of good things in Eggland's Best eggs are due to the high-quality, 100% vegetarian chicken feed. As a result of this nutrient rich feed, their eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 10 times more Vitamin E, 3 times more Omega 3, and 25% more lutein than regular eggs. They are locally produced across the country, incredibly fresh, and have less cholesterol to boot. Color me impressed!

Given my eggy state of mind, I thought I'd offer you something to go with your Breakfast Martini this weekend. A classic recipe that will be familiar to anyone who's ever been on the South Beach Diet - or any high protein diet for that matter.

Egg Muffins:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2/3 cup diced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add the shallots and saute for one minute. Add the diced mushrooms, red bell pepper, a pinch of salt and some fresh black pepper, and saute until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the spinach, by handfuls, stirring well to combine and saute until all of the spinach has been added and is wilted. The spinach will give off some liquid, saute until the pan is mostly dry, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

  • 1 dozen large Eggland's Best Eggs
  • 2/3 cup shredded Gruyere or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a grating of fresh nutmeg
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Crack all 12 eggs into a blender. Add the cheese, parsley, a bit of salt, pepper and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg. Blend on high until well combined.

Spoon a bit of the sauteed vegetable mixture into the bottom of each cup of a non-stick 12 cup muffin tin, distributing the mixture evenly among the cups. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in each cup in equal measure. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set and beginning to turn pale golden brown. Do not over bake. Remove from pan, serve and enjoy!

As written this recipe will serve 6, two egg muffins per person.

This is my version of a classic dish and I encourage you to create your own. Not a fan of mushrooms? Leave them out. Big fan of cheese? Go right ahead and add more. Mostly we're talking about technique here, so the actual ingredients are up to you. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination ... and the results will be delicious, I promise.

One especially nice feature of this recipe is that it freezes well. Simply freeze the individual muffins and thaw/heat in the microwave for a quick and easy breakfast on the run.

So, are you a fan of the egg muffin? If so, what's in yours? Hungry Diva wants to know.

Bon appetit!


Tracy said...

These egg muffins sound great... filling and good for you too! I'm glad to see you didn't forget to add the cheese like my omelet guy did on Tuesday night (wink) LOL.



I do love a good egg!
Ciao - not got much time which was why I was so, well, short!

Scarlet xx

Anonymous said...

The more cheese and veggies in there, there the better. A little bacon or sausage never hurt either. :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Tracy - that really did make me LOL! ;)

Scarlet - I know you've been busy lately. Hope all is well! xoxoxo

Duo - you are so right, a bit of bacon or sausage never hurts. A bacon, cheese, asparagus version would be awesome as well. Yum!

words...words...words... said...

I like pretty much anything that has eggs in it, and these look delicious! When I was little, I loved breakfast for dinner. It was a special treat every now and then.

Daniel said...

These sound like mini-frittatas! Thanks also for giving some modification suggestions.

I'm sure in a recipe like this you can really tell the quality of the eggs.

Casual Kitchen

Anonymous said...

These savory egg muffins sound really good with mushrooms and cheese! I'm now getting hungry for our Saturday family breakfast!

Tangled Noodle said...

Now I know exactly what I'll be serving during the next family visit. It would be fun coming up with variations on the cheese/veggie/meat combos. Hmmmm . . . I'll have to give this some thought. Let me have my Breakfast Martini to help me think.

pixelgal said...

The egg muffin looks great. I'll have to try it now that summer is looming and the coats are coming off. Maybe you could work on a popover that's beach friendly????

Astra Libris said...

Such a gorgeous, fabulous recipe!! I positively adore grand brunch recipes such as these - can't wait to fix your lovely eggy muffins soon!

aoife mc said...

My goodness, there's nothing like an egg muffin.

Actually myself and Niall shared a fried goose egg for brekkie this morning. I didn't take a pic and now I'm regretting it! The egg was about double the size of a chicken's egg and honestly, had the tastiest most yellowest yoke I've ever witnessed!

I like Jamie Oliver's eggy crumpets actually - I made them a while back. Crumpets are really good for soaking up the eggs because they have all the little air holes in them. Yum!

Seriously though, the difference between free-range/organic and battery hen eggs is massive. Both ethically and taste wise. It just makes sense to go free-range, and in Ireland anyway, that doesn't mean paying loads extra, just a little bit more, and so worth it.

Long comment, sorry. I really love eggs and I try my best to eat ones that come from happy chickens!

aoife mc said...

Oh! Just remembered that the eggy crumpets post was the first time you commented on my blog. So glad you did! See? Eggs are great :)

Deb said...

The egg muffins were a good pahse one choice but I must say I prefer a good frittata with onions and red peppers and seeded tomatoes. Put in the oven with a good layer of cheese on top to melt and brown up - yum!

Cookie Brochette said...

Oooo, Diva, that looks splendid! I wonder if I could cut that recipe in twelfths and pop it into the Easy Bake?! :-)

Cookie B.
Lightbulb Cuisine

Daily Spud said...

Excellent way to have your morning eggs, I'd have no problem putting away several of these along with a breakfast martini, of course!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Good morning blog people! My post will be up on the late side today ... I need to get cooking!

words words words - I agree, breakfast for dinner is always a treat. :)

Dan - they are rather like mini frittatas ... though I prefer them, because they get less brown. Do not like brown eggs. LOL

5 Star - aw, Saturday family breakfasts are such a nice thing. :)

Tangled Noodle - a breakfast martini will certainly help you get creative with the muffins! They'd be great to make in quantity for a crowd. Easy too.

Pixelgal - what a good idea about the popover. I'll give it a go and report back! Thanks.

Astra - I hope you love them! Will look forward to hearing what you put in your version. :)

Aoife - I couldn't agree more on the cage-free, quality eggs. Eggland's Best does make both organic and cage-free varieties. Actually, my favorite eggs come straight from an egg farm located near my parents house. So fresh and delicious. Nothing better! Oh, and you're right, it was the egg-crumpets that introduced us. Yay! :)

Deb - I do love the tomato and cheese combo as well. Throw in some chives and ... perfect!

Cookie - I wonder if you could find a *really* tiny muffin tin and use like a tsp. of eggs at a time! I wonder how many you could make from just 1 egg? LOL ;)

Daily Spud - with the breakfast martini, of course! Say, you could probably work some kind of tasty spud into the mix as well. Yum!

Melissa Good Taste said...

Egg muffins sound great. Sweet recipe!