Arsip Tag: egg

leek, ham and cheese egg bake – smitten kitchen

A friend from high school texted me a couple weeks ago to say that he’d made the Spinach and Cheese Strata for Christmas morning brunch and it was a big hit. Ever the smartass, I asked him where he’d found a whole room of people willing to eat bread and he said that this was Pittsburgh, where every salad has french fries on it and I said it sounded like a heavenly place and then he pointed me to this to prove his point.

prepping it out
leeks, cooked until sweet

Joking aside, even when Celiac is not an issue, odds are good that in any room these days you’re going to find one or two people who do not — sometimes it’s even me! — and if that room is your living room and you’re hosting brunch, it might mean that your brunch standard is in need of an update.

assembly line
cheese then leeks then ham then cheese

And so it was on New Year’s Day that I had invited our families over for brunch, because although I already had too much on my plate, it was still not enough that I was more willing to fight for a 10-person table to eat overpriced, underwhelming eggs* and the polite thing to do was to accommodate everyone. What I really wanted was to make a giant crustless quiche with ham, cheese and piles of sautéed leeks — like a big baked omelet but more custardy — but I couldn’t find a template anywhere that fit what I wanted and so I just threw a bunch of things together in a baking dish a little before people got here, wrote almost nothing down and took no pictures, which means the predictable happened: 1. It took disastrously long to bake (don’t worry, I’ve fixed this), so long that I lost track of time and we basically had it for dinner. 2. It was actually crazy delicious, meaning if I ever wanted to make it again I was going to have to rely on memory and mine is so compromised these days I can barely remember what the first part of this sentence was about. (Maybe it’s you guys we should pity on that note.)

giant egg bake

Thus, with a storm a-brewing and much “forced” (oh, how “sad” we’ll be) weekend lazy-ing ahead of us, it seems the perfect time to get this in your oven and feast for days. It’s rich and rustic, going spectacularly well on toast but also with a wedge of this kugel (also gluten-free and serves a crowd) and a side of greyhounds (if vodka representation is as essential in your family as it is in ours). And it turns out it reheats really well so it can be breakfast or brunch or making-dinner-is-overrated-anyway several days in a row, which is how we’re rolling this week. I highly recommend it.

leek, ham and cheese egg bake

* Shouldn’t this be all of our mantras? Thus… [New] We’ve built a long-overdue Brunch Category!

One year ago: Fried Egg Salad
Two years ago: Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
Three years ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage Chard and Garlic
Four years ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Five years ago: Chocolate Peanut Spread
Six years ago: Cranberry Syrup and an Intensely Almond Cake
Seven years ago: Clementine Cake
Eight years ago: Fried Chicken
Nine years ago: Leek and Mushroom Quiche

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
1.5 Years Ago: Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde
2.5 Years Ago: Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Peach Pie
4.5 Years Ago: Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini-Radish Slaw

Leek, Ham and Cheese Egg Bake

One big note, as I failed on this both times so do as I say and not as I did, is to Beware The Weep. Eggs baked too long can emit a watery run-off, which I, a non-food-scientist so feel free to chime and correct/clarify, understand comes from proteins in the eggs overcoagulating. To avoid this, bake this just until it’s done and the safest way to do that is to start checking in before you need to (I’ve suggested this in the recipe). It’s done when no liquid egg seeps into the gap formed where a knife inserted into the center and turned or pulled back slightly or a temperature of 165 to 170 degrees. Should your eggs weep, you’ll see this at the bottom of the dish as a little puddle that will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the taste; it’s just a thing that will bother you, the cook.

Serves 10 to 12

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing baking dish
6 medium-large leeks or 3 leeks and 2 small yellow onions, diced (just white and pale green parts from leeks; leeks washed well)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large eggs
3 1/3 cups milk, preferably whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound grated cheese (I use a mix of gruyere and comte)
10 ounces cooked ham, diced very small

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a large (9×13-inch, 3-quart or more) baking dish.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Once hot, add leeks (and onions, if using) and season generously with salt (I use a full teaspoon kosher salt) and pepper. Cook, stirring, until they’re tender, sweet and just starting to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low if they’re picking up color too quickly.

Beat eggs with salt (I used another teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste) and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in milk.

Assemble by layering in prepared dish: 1/3 of grated cheese, 1/2 of each leeks and ham, next 1/3 cheese, remaining leeks and ham. Pour eggs over then sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Bake until gently set in center, being careful about overbaking (see note up top). It’s done when no liquid egg seeps into the gap formed where a knife inserted into the center and turned or pulled back slightly or a temperature of 165 to 170 degrees. Start checking at 55 minutes and then every 5 minutes after that until it’s done. Mine took a total of 65 minutes. Should the top brown too much before the center is set, put foil over the baking dish for remaining baking time.

Let rest on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, or risk a room full of burned tongues. (It packs serious heat!) Serve in squares or scoops.

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asparagus and egg salad with walnuts and mint – smitten kitchen

I found my new favorite spring lunch salad while I was hiding from a pot of brisket, which is the kind of thing that happens three days after Passover. Day one (which is actually day two or three after you’ve cooked the brisket, because you know I’d never lead you astray, right?) is lovely: my goodness, why don’t we eat long-cooked, saucy slabs of beef more often? Day two isn’t so bad either, albeit a touch less enthusiastic: yay, brisket. Day three is: my god this isn’t natural, nobody should eat this much brisket, what am I going to do? I cannot waste food. It’s too long into the brisket’s lifespan to freeze it now. And my thoughts turned to the vibrant green asparagus stalks we’d had with it, and that brisket was instantly relegated to a side dish.

well-toasted walnuts
walnuts, parmesan, lemon zest, salt, pepper, pepper flakes

I wasn’t even a little bit surprised that I found inspiration for asparagus in the Six Seasons cookbook. Have you bought it yet? I know this is awfully bossy of me, but I think you should. I think that if you, like me, delight in inventive but not overly complicated vegetable preparations (225 of them, even), things you hadn’t thought of but that you’ll immediately tuck into your repertoire, you’re going to love this book as much as I do. I confess I’ve had it for almost a year. In that year, I’ve been almost overwhelmed with how much I’ve wanted to cook from it — a favorite so far has been the comfortable cabbage and farro soup with parmesan and lemon — almost to the point of paralysis, which is as ridiculous of a first-world problem as having too much brisket to eat, but here we are and at least one impasse helped resolve another.

thinly sliced raw apsaragus

So let’s talk about this dish: It’s been so long since we did an asparagus salad, and only one has been raw, a shame because thinly sliced asparagus is almost sweet and not dry or woodsy at all. Previously, I’ve just ribboned it with a peeler. This is easier, more satisfyingly crisp, and less fragile too. The original recipe uses breadcrumbs to enhance the crunch; I skipped them because I pictured this on toast or crackers but missed them so little, I don’t think I’d add them back in even if eating it straight from a bowl, as I am this minute.

medium-cooked eggs

I added the eggs. I call these medium-cooked eggs; feel free to use fully hard-boiled ones if that’s what you’ve gotten idling in your fridge, but I find these more interesting. They’re not runny, but they’re not fully set or opaque in the center either. They amount tender oases in a crunchy salad; all of the flavorful bits stick to them (vs. fully hard-boiled eggs, whose insides crumble and stick to everything else).

I was suspicious of the lemon zest and mint and they’re my two favorite parts. Don’t skip them at all.

gently mix the eggs

Finally, as might already be clear, I didn’t wait until asparagus season in New York to try this, as McFadden would have wanted us to. I have given up, just given up. It snowed in April, and might again before the week is out. When the asparagus shows up at the market, I’ll make it again and realize everything this salad is missing, but right now, when the grocery store is the greenest place I know, I couldn’t imagine another more perfect use of what’s there.

asparagus and egg salad with walnuts and mint
asparagus and egg salad with walnuts and mint


One year ago: Cornbread Waffles, Mushroom Tartines, and Almond Horn Cookies
Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, Sesame Soba and Ribboned Omelet Salad, and Apricot Hazelnut Brown Butter Hamantaschen
Three years ago: Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette, The Consolation Prize (A Mocktail), and Baked Chickpeas with Pita Chips and Yogurt
Four years ago: Sizzling Chicken Fajitas, Wholegrain Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Five years ago: Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini and Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast
Six years ago: Soft Eggs with Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toasts and Raspberry Coconut Macaroons
Seven years ago: Spaetzle
Eight years ago: Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs, St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, Breakfast Pizza, and Irish Soda Bread Scones
Nine years ago: Pita Bread, Layer Cake Tips and The Biggest Birthday Cake Yet and Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Cornbread
Ten years ago: Almond Biscotti and Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake
Eleven years ago: Skillet Irish Soda Bread, The Best Chocolate Cake, Expletive-Free, Rich Buttermilk Waffles, and Mixed Berry Pavlova

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Chocolate Tahini Challah Buns and Quick Pasta and Chickpeas
1.5 Years Ago: Piri Piri Chicken, Chocolate Pavlova, and Homemade Merguez with Herby Yogurt
2.5 Years Ago: Zucchini Rice and Cheese Gratin, Oat and Wheat Sandwich Bread, and The Perfect Manhattan
3.5 Years Ago: Chocolate and Toasted Hazelnut Milk, Herbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart, and Cauliflower Slaw
4.5 Years Ago: Butterscotch vs. Caramel and Butterscotch Pudding Popsicles

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crispy rice and egg bowl with ginger-scallion vinaigrette – smitten kitchen

It’s really unfortunate timing, because we’ve got a long year to go and I at one point had many great and luminous cooking plans for it, but they’re all cancelled now because on the afternoon of January 4th, before 2019 had really even kicked in, I ate the best thing I had or will all year or maybe ever — because what would the internet be without some unnecessary melodrama — and I threw it together from a mess of leftovers in my fridge.

scallionsgrating gingercarrotssliced cucumbers

Don’t you hate it when those lifestyle guru-types tell you about the meals they threw together from their leftovers, which just happen to be in tip-top shape, chromatically balanced, and Instagram-perfect. In real life, or at least mine, leftovers are a lot of Let’s Never Speak About That Again, the best of intentions cut short by poor planning, the now shamed and guilt-ridden humans responsible for the disgrace vowing to do better by that murky bag of herbs and liquefied cucumber next time.

ginger-scallion vinaigrette

But not last week. Last week, on January 1st, I made David Chang’s Bo Ssam, something I do once a year or so when I want to make a jaw-dropping feast for a crowd with exactly three ingredients (pork shoulder, salt, sugar) even a person living through the aftereffects of an evening of daquiris can handle. Of course, because most three-ingredient recipes are a lie, there are a few other things you make to serve with it: a Ssam sauce (it’s like a vinaigrette), a ginger-scallion sauce (a riff on the classic Cantonese sauce), rice, and I always like to serve it with marinated julienned carrots and thinly sliced cucumbers so needless to say, these leftovers were well above-average. Bo Ssam makes a lot; we ate it on the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd before we were finally out of pork, but I still had a smidge left of everything else so for lunch on that 4th day of the year, I put it all in a bowl and topped it with a crispy fried egg.

crispy underneath

But first, I crisped the rice. The world of crisped, stuck-pot, scorched, fried, bimbimbap-ed, tahdig-ed and socarrat rice is vast and nuanced and fascinating and I’m not going to even try to do it justice here, but what they all have in common, what they all know, is that cooked rice that’s been allowed to crisp is a glorious thing. My favorite — short-grain brown or white rice — is particularly good at this, starchy and thick enough to be both crackly edged and tender-centered in a single grain. (What a showoff.) It, apparently, smells like popcorn when you cook it.

crispy rice

I have told every single person I’ve seen or spoken to since about how amazing this lunch was (their eyes mostly glazed over, it’s fine, I understand) and now it’s your turn. I’ve tried to pare it down to just the most essential parts — crispy rice, a crispy egg, and a ginger-scallion-sauce-meets-vinaigrette — plus whatever crunchy or leftover vegetables you have around. I hope it becomes your new favorite 2019 meal, too.

crispy rice, crispy egg bowl


One year ago: Boulevardier
Two years ago: Crusty Baked Cauliflower and Farro
Three years ago: Ugly-But-Good Cookies and Swiss Chard Pancakes
Four years ago: Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake
Five years ago: Coconut Tapioca Pudding and Chicken Pho
Six years ago: Ethereally Smooth Hummus and Gnocchi in Tomato Broth
Seven years ago: Apple Sharlotka
Eight years ago: Vanilla Bean Pudding and Pizza with Bacon, Onions, and Cream
Nine years ago: Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens and Poppy Seed Lemon Cake
Ten years ago: Almond-Vanilla Rice Pudding and Light Wheat Bread
Eleven years ago: Lemon Bars and Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Twelve years ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bourbon Peach Smash
1.5 Years Ago: Confetti Party Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Peaches and Cream Bunny Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Green Beans with Almond Pesto
4.5 Years Ago: Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

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bodega-style egg and cheese sandwich – smitten kitchen

This makes one petite egg sandwich, which is all I need, but you can use the same method with two eggs and a slightly longer cooking time.

  • An English muffin, roll or two slices bread of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons butter or oil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 slice of cheese or a small pile of grated or crumbled cheese
  • Spoonful of sliced scallions, chives, crumbled bacon, or whatever else you want in your eggs
Toast your bread. Heat a medium-sized skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat.

Beat one egg with a 1/2-teaspoon water, a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper until just blended.

Melt butter in your pan or brush it with oil, to thinly coat it. Pour in the egg and roll it around so it coats the pan, as a thin crepe would. Immediately place your cheese and/or other fillings in the middle. After a minute, the egg will have set.

Fold the part of the egg closest to you over the cheese, like the first part of a business letter fold. Repeat this on the three remaining “sides,” forming a small square, or you can aim for more of a rectangle if that’s the shape your bread is. Leave the folded egg-and-cheese in the center of the skillet to cook for another 30 seconds, then slide onto your muffin or toast. Top the sandwich with the other half and eat immediately. Notice a couple sets of eyes gazing at you, perhaps wondering where their sandwich might be. Repeat a couple more times and not even mind because it’s so easy.

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sliced egg sandwich – smitten kitchen

sliced egg sandwich – smitten kitchen

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When things are quiet around here, one of two things are usually happening: I’m busy with a side project or traveling far from the physical Smitten Kitchen. Or, I’m really obsessed with eating something that I don’t expect to interest anyone but me. This month we have two for two. For the three weeks before I was briefly in San Francisco and Napa last week, I was absolutely fixated on this sandwich. Fixated! I craved it everyday. Sometimes it was breakfast; sometimes it was lunch. I could walk by a bagel shop wafting with warm everything seeds, by a cloud of bodega bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, and still beeline home to put a cold boiled egg on a roll with arugula. I know I make no sense. I decided to keep this weirdo thing myself but then I returned from California and yes, I had a suitcase full of Model Bakery english muffins and a stash of Dandelion Chocolate hot chocolate mix, and I still just needed this. I have finally accepted that the only way to move on, at least for long enough that I could tackle the rest of the amazing things I have on our cooking agenda for the summer, was to exorcise it, whether anyone cares to join in my strange little preoccupation or not.

sliced egg sandwich-01sliced egg sandwich-03sliced egg sandwich-04sliced egg sandwich-05

Think of this like a deviled egg, unmixed, or deconstructed egg salad sandwich. The essentials here are a sliced just-about-hard-boiled egg (I stop at 9.5 minutes), a challah roll or slices (but brioche or a potato bread would work), a great fistful of arugula, and what I consider the perfect sandwich spread — some mayo, sharp dijon, coarse dijon, and prepared horseradish. A shot of hot sauce is not unwelcome; the mixture should be sharp. Between the egg and the arugula, I always have a thin layer of something and it’s different almost every time, usually leftover from another dish — caramelized onions, pickled shallots, shaved fennel I’d tossed in lemon juice and olive oil, cucumber, and here, some thinly-sliced pickles and celery — and every single one is perfect. I cannot choose a favorite and I won’t ask you to. Please have fun with it.

sliced egg sandwich-06
sliced egg sandwich-09



6 months ago: Baked Brie with Garlic Butter Mushrooms
1 year ago: Summer Ricotta with Grilled Vegetables
2 years ago: Perfect, Forever Cornbread
3 years ago: Beach Bean Salad
4 year ago: Raspberry Crumble Tart Bars
5 years ago: Ice Cream Cake Roll
6 years ago: Strawberry Graham Icebox Cake and Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad
7 years ago: Almond-Rhubarb Picnic Bars
8 years ago: Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake, Fake Shack Burger, and Swirled Berry Yogurt Popsicles
9 years ago: Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crispy Chickpeas
10 years ago: Greek Salad with Lemon and Oregano and Two Classic Sangrias
11 years ago: Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice and Tzatziki Potato Salad
12 years ago: Classic Cobb Salad, Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce and Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits
13 years ago: Asparagus, Lemon and Goat Cheese Pasta and Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
14 years ago: Martha’s Mac-and-Cheese, Crisp Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
15 years ago: Cherry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
16 years ago: Homemade Oreos and Cellophane Noodle and Roast Pork Salad


sliced egg sandwich-10

Sliced Egg Sandwich

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 soft challah, brioche, or potato rolls, split, or slices from a loaf
  • Butter, for toasting
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cold, peeled, and sliced
  • Thinly sliced pickles, celery, pickled onions [more suggestions in Notes]
  • 2 cups fresh arugula, roughly torn
Make sandwich spread: Combine mayo, dijon, wholegrain mustard, and horseradish in a small dish or jar. Season as needed with salt and pepper and, if you wish, a dash or two of hot sauce. This makes a bit more than you might need but it keeps for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge, so feel free to double it, regardless.

Toast your bread: While you can toast it in a toaster, my favorite way to toast my sandwich rolls is to heat a pat of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place your rolls, cut-side down, in the pan. Cook until cut sides are golden-brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool slightly before assembling sandwiches.

Assemble: Generously coat both cut sides of first roll with sandwich spread. Arrange egg slices over the bottom half and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add pickles or any of the other alternates suggested below, a big handful of torn arugula, then press the top of the roll down, smooshing everything into place. Repeat with remaining sandwich.

Eat right away and repeat daily for as long as the fixation lasts. Personally, I’m walking into the kitchen to make another as soon as I hit publish.


  • Eggs: Here’s my go-to method for hard-boiled eggs. For a sliced sandwich, I stop cooking them at 9 minutes 30 to 40 seconds, to keep the centers a dark, never dry, yellow. I love a solid egg slicer; I’ve had mine for over a decade.
  • Spread: Just for reference, I’m using Hellman’s mayo, Amora dijon mustard, Maille wholegrain mustard, and I make my own prepared horseradish over Passover and use it for months after. My current jar of Amora is jarringly sharp (almost like wasabi) and I love it but just a heads-up that you might need to adjust your ingredient levels or seasoning to get the punchiness I promised with other brands.
  • Rolls: Any storebought roll will work but, but I made rolls recently from my challah recipe, turning one of the two challahs it yields into 12 rolls. They bake in 15 minutes.
  • Additional ingredients: As mentioned above, I tend to add to the sandwich a thin layer of whatever I have left in the fridge, from pickled to caramelized onions, thinly-sliced cucumber, celery, or fennel. Not one has tasted bad.



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