Sunday, 11 August 2013

Out of the Frying Pan...

Prosciutto, Uove, Pomodori e Formaggio in Padella al Forno
One-Pan Ham, Eggs, Tomato & Cheese Bake

...into the oven! That was the way my breakfast went this morning! I was in the mood for something savory for a change, with good, strong flavors to wake me up. Well, there was that... and there was also the fact that I had bought myself this nifty little cast-iron pan yesterday and that I wanted to try it out!

All kidding aside- this is a great way to get breakfast put together quickly and easily and in a fun way. If you don't have one of these little pans, or if you have a family or group of people you want to prepare these for, you can use the same method, use a muffin tray and make a whole batch of smaller ones in one go!

Basically, the whole idea is to line a frying pan, baking tin or muffin tray with thinly sliced ham- in this case it was the last slice of Black Forest ham that I just happened to have at home, but you can use whichever you may prefer. I have done something similar in the past with bacon, but found that to be too greasy and to take too long to get crispy- and you don't want to have your egg in the oven for too long because it will otherwise transform itself magically into inedible egg-flavored rubber. I think you catch my drift :-)

Ham is great because it soon becomes firm, crispy, deliciously salty so that it will season the egg and much less greasy than bacon- all good things! Make sure to use thinly sliced and lean ham if you can as there will be a build-up of moisture as the ham becomes hot and it will not be able to escape so easily- otherwise it will end up "boiling" rather than crisping up.

Bear in mind that the ham will shrink when it gets hot, so don't stretch it to fit your pan or tray- fold it over to fit loosely- as you can see from my pictures, mine would have worked out a bit better if I had done so. I cracked the egg straight into the pan and then popped the pan onto the stove top. As soon as it began to bubble away, the bacon to crisp up and the egg white to set, I added halved cherry tomatoes and a few pieces of cheese, set out here and there and then popped the pan into the oven. The cheese I used in this case was a mild Gouda, which melted quickly and also added seasoning- remember- no salt added! And after 5-10 minutes in the oven, at 350°F, depending on how firm or runny you like your eggs- they were done and ready to be served up!

I added a hint of grated nutmeg, some coarsely ground black pepper and a generous sprinkle of parsley to mine before serving- all I needed to go with it was a slice or two of toast and a nice mug of strong coffee- delicious! The only thing missing was a little something sweet... but if you click onto my next post- you will see what I did about that soon enough! In the meantime- enjoy the breakfast! I know that I did!

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