Sense of Home Kitchen
4am. That is the time that I wake up every morning. Not on purpose, mind you, that is just when I wake up. I don't get up, I don't want to wake my husband or the cat whose head is on my upper arm, near my shoulder. My mind just starts working at that time of day, sometimes I can shut it off and go back to sleep, sometimes I can't. I reanalyze things from the previous day or week, not that I always agree with my thoughts later. My mind also begins ticking off a list of things I would like to accomplish during the day, way more than is reasonably possible. Remember how mom always said, "do not bite off more than you can chew", I applied that well to literal food, I generally don't take more than I can eat, but I can't seem to apply that same principle to projects or tasks. I always think I can do more than I have energy or time for, which only leads to frustration. There is a reason for my 4am internal alarm.
I started waking at 4am when my first husband died. His death was sudden and unexpected, he was just a few years older than me, but had a heart attack and died at home. I was 36 and left with the responsibility of raising our two children and caring for the needs and expenses of our household, I had a lot to mull over in the wee hours of the morning. I had always relied on him, but had to learn to rely on myself and in so doing I became very independent, actually afraid to allow myself to rely on someone else. The children have now grown, I will be 50 (a half century!) in a little over a month from now, and I have remarried, but it is only within the last couple of years that I have started to let go of independence and rely again on my husband. It is better to find joy in the moment than to live in fear of losing someone you love.
A simple recipe today. Sometimes you need something quick and easy, but don't think for a minute that because it is quick it is not full of flavor, these eggs in their reborn state are bursting with flavor. You could use any cheese, but the bold flavors in the combination I have chosen pair very well with onions and spinach, give it a try. Plus your house will smell wonderful and if you are not serving company or a large family you will have wonderful leftovers for lunch the next day.
Florentine Egg Bake
~Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by a Crustless Quiche recipe from Gourmet, March 2008~
Serves 4 - 6
1 1/2 tablespoons fine dry plain bread crumbs
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the pan
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, drained and liquid squeezed out
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F. with rack in middle.
Butter an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish, then sprinkle all over with bread crumbs.
Cut the onion in half and slice each half, place in a 12-inch heavy skillet along with the butter and olive oil, sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onion begins to caramelize. Add thawed and well drained and squeezed spinach, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste, lower heat and sauté for another minute to blend. Spread mixture in baking dish, then evenly sprinkle both cheeses on top.
Whisk together eggs, cream, and milk and pour over the cheese in the baking dish. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, to taste.
Bake until top is golden and custard is set in center, approximately 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into squares.
Sense of Home / Recipes / Eggs