Baked egg sandwiches

School is back in (already?!) and Kiddo is off to first grade. And by “off to” I mean “off to the dining room” where we homeschool. :) Since time is a little more of the essence than in the lazy summer mornings, I’ve been trying to think of a quick breakfast that still gets some good protein and fat in us. When Michael Ruhlman posted about baked eggs in a mini-cocotte, I had my answer.

Unfortunately, I don’t own a mini-cocotte (quelle tragedy). I do, however, own this petite pie plate from Le Creuset, and I figured that was just about the right size for what I wanted anyway. Add a couple slices of whole wheat bread, and that’s a pretty healthy breakfast! The best part is how customizable this is — you can add anything you want to it, baked in or as a topping, to keep you from getting bored with it. Here’s my favorite method:

Baked egg sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (I do this in the toaster oven)
  2. Coat the pie plate with olive oil and crack the egg into the dish. Leave it alone if you like it like a fried egg; I like it more like scrambled so I poke at the yolk a little till it spread out into the whites
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, hot sauce, or whatever floats your boat
  4. Bake 5-8 minutes until egg whites are cooked through, then switch to broil for about two minutes until the yolk is as cooked as you like it
  5. Top with cheese and build your sandwich!

Notes

Variations!

Use butter or bacon grease instead of olive oil

Add in blue cheese crumbles

Top with crispy bacon

Sprinkle in red pepper flakes

Add some chopped veggies

Serve over mashed avocado

Add sliced tomatoes

Top with buffalo sauce

What other variations sound good? We have a steady supply of eggs from a farmer friend of The Yankee’s, so all suggestions welcome. :)

Peach pie

This is Magee’s peach pie recipe and I just love it. She scribbled it on a post-it note for me years ago and I go back to it every year. As you can see in the picture, I have a hard time waiting for the pie to actually cool before I eat it, so mine gets messy. Maybe you’ll have more patience than I do. ;)

Informal poll! How do you like your peach pie? Plain? With ice cream? With whipped cream? My Grandpa used to top his apple pie with half a slice of American cheese; I was never sure how I felt about that.  What’s your vote for peach pie?

Peach pie

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts of your choice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups peaches, sliced (this can be approximate)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Place one pie crust in your pie pan and brush with some of the egg (so the crust doesn’t get soggy)
  3. Gently mix together the peaches, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg, then pour into pie pan
  4. Cut up the butter and dot it over the top of the pie, then top with the other pie crust. Be sure to cut slits or use a pie bird so the steam can escape, and brush the top crust with the rest of the egg
  5. Put the pie pan on a foil-covered cookie sheet for easy cleanup of any spillover, then bake for 10 minutes 450, then add a pie shield or cover the crust edges with foil
  6. Reduce temp to 350F and bake another 30 minutes or so, until juice is bubbling through crust vents

 

North Carolina pie

This recipe comes from Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. by way of Katie Workman, by way of NPR. It was tweeted and retweeted and favorited all over the place till I decided I just had to try it out. This turned out to be an excellent decision.

It’s very similar in construction to key lime pie , with the obvious difference of a Saltine crust, which is fabulous. This pie is sweet and tart and salty all at once — everything a summer dessert should be.

North Carolina pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sleeves Saltine crackers
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish (which I completely forgot)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush the crackers pretty finely, but not to complete dust. Add the sugar and knead in the butter till the mixture holds together like dough
  3. Press into an 8 inch pie pan, chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned
  4. While the crust is partially cooling, beat the egg yolks and milk together, then mix in citrus juice, making sure everything is completely combined. Pour into the pie shell (it doesn’t need to be completely cooled), and bake for 16 minutes or until the filling has set
  5. Chill pie completely now, and serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt

Make this. You will not be sorry. :)

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Okay, these were meant to be like pop tarts, only with pumpkin pie filling. They turned out to be so much more flaky and tender and decadent than that that I’m not entirely sure what to call them! Other than, ahem, gone.

Moving on.

The long and the short of it: to make these I made pie crust from Ruhlman’s Ratio app on my iPhone, and a pretty standard pumpkin pie filling from Libby’s. I cut the pie crust into rectangles, put some cooked pumpkin pie filling on one, then a little egg wash around the edges, then put another rectangle on top and crimped the edges closed with a fork. A little more egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar on top, then baked at 400 for about 10 minutes.

To make these super fast you can absolutely use refrigerated, pre-made pie crust. Heck, you can buy an already-made pumpkin pie (hello, Publix bakery?) and scoop out the filling — see how fast this just got? Life is short; do what it takes. Here’s the longer way around, for those who are game:

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Ingredients

For the pumpkin pie filling:
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated (not condensed) milk
For the pie crust:
    • 340 grams (2.4 cups) of flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 227 grams (1 cup) of butter
    • 113 grams (1/2 cup) cold water
For an egg wash:
  • One beaten egg + a little bit of water

Instructions

Make the pie filling:
    1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves
    2. In a larger bowl beat eggs, then stir in pumpkin and sugar & spice mix, then slowly stir in milk
    3. Bake in a buttered glass dish at 325 F for about one hour, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since this is technically a custard, I set my glass dish in a larger dish, then filled the larger dish with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the smaller dish (a water bath — aren’t we fancy?)
    4. Leave in the water bath to cool, then move to the fridge after an hour or so
Make the pie crust:
  1. Using a food processor, a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar till the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, then pulse or cut in water till flour is just moistened (it will not look like pie crust yet)
  2. Shape into a disc, wrap in saran wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but up to a day
  3. Retrieve your pumpkin pie filling and make little pies! Go crazy. Use cookie cutter shapes, make rectangles, use biscuit cutters and make half moons — whatever entertains you. For each roughly pop-tart-sized rectangle I made I put in about 2 Tbsp. of chilled filling, but you can kind of eyeball it. The good news is that it’s not runny so it’s not going to go everywhere. Use a little egg wash around the edges before you seal them closed, then put a little more egg wash on the top and sprinkle sugar over it just to be pretty. Poke a couple holes in the top for steam to escape
  4. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 400F for about 10 minutes, but just keep an eye on them — you want lightly browned

Enjoy with coffee and remind yourself that this is a breakfast pastry containing pumpkin, which is a vegetable; you’re totally not eating pie for breakfast

Cornbread taco pie

A few months back I tried to make something out of an old cookbook of my mama’s; it was similar to this but used polenta and unseasoned ground beef. It was… dismal. So last night I decided to make up my own version. Success! SO tasty and good gravy it smelled amazing. The Yankee ate three helpings for supper; this counts as a thumbs-up, no?

Cornbread taco pie

Ingredients

  • One pound ground beef
  • One packet taco seasoning
  • Water
  • One cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • One box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a deep skillet (I obviously used cast iron) brown up and drain the ground beef; add in taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water and let it simmer (i.e. follow directions on taco seasoning packet)
  3. Mix up Jiffy cornbread according to package directions, but use two eggs instead of one to give yourself a little extra batter
  4. Turn off the heat under the ground beef and sprinkle on shredded cheese; spread cornbread batter over the top and bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned on top

That’s it! This is perfect for a quick fall supper that tastes like you put hours of work into it. So warm and filling without you actually having to stand over the stove forever and a day. What’s not to love?

Disclaimer: Jiffy cornbread does not know that I exist; I just love the stuff.

Cheeseburger pie

We were drowning (drowning I say!) in frozen hamburger patties. And there are only so many burgers a girl can eat (no, really), so I decided to re-purpose some of the beef. And there was my big ol’ cast iron skillet, lying in neglect, not having been used since… um….  last night. For pizza. Um, anyway.

This is, obviously, an adaptation of the classic Bisquick recipe. :)

You will need:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion — less or more, depending on the likelihood of smooching someone later; I used about 1/4 of an onion, maybe less
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry milk
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  1. Brown up the meat and onion, preferably in a cast iron skillet, and drain the grease out — I tilt the pan till any grease is on one side, then use a paper towel to blot it out
  2. Spread the meat and onion evenly in the bottom of your skillet (if you’re not using an oven-safe skillet, then spray a pie plate with non-stick spray and spread the meat in there)
  3. Sprinkle meat with cheese
  4. Using a fork, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, dry milk
  5. Drizzle in canola oil, then work it in with your fork till it looks crumbly
  6. To the flour mix, add milk and eggs and whisk together, then pour over meat/onion/cheese mix — since this was use-what-we’ve-got supper night, you’ll see some shredded mozzarella, some shredded colby jack and a few Kraft singles. It’s what we had! :)
  7. Bake pie at 400F for about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean

This was really yummy. Comfort food! If you don’t do it in a cast iron, this could easily be assembled and put in the fridge beforehand, too.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my top three comfort food meals — the other two being chicken and dumplings and macaroni and cheese. Mmmmm…. Anyway, this cooks up beautifully, travels well, freezes well and reheats well. What more could you ask?

There are three main parts to this dish: the chicken, the pie crust, and the sauce.

Let’s start with the chicken.

You will need:

  • Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • A few stalks of celery if they’re just lying around
  • Salt, pepper, onion or onion powder

I do this part in a slow cooker the night before; you can also just boil the chicken the same day if you’re in more of a hurry.

  1. The night before you’re going to to eat half a chicken pot pie serve this for supper, put the chicken breasts in the crock pot with a few stalks of celery, some salt and pepper, an onion if you have it (or onion powder on the chicken) and fill it up with water.  Let it cook on low overnight
  2. The next morning, put the chicken on a plate and let it cool, then refrigerate
  3. Strain the chicken broth that’s now filling your crockpot and save one cup of it for this recipe. Refrigerate or freeze the rest

Now the pie crust (modified from Alton Brown’s recipe). You will need:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening or lard, chilled
  • 1 cup AP flour + more for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vodka (yes, really; here‘s why)

In a perfect world, you’ll also have this nifty pie crust bag, which makes everything a little easier. Now:

  1. Chop butter and shortening or lard into little pieces, and put them in two separate bowls in the freezer for 15 minutes
  2. Measure out 1 cup (or 6 oz.) flour and put it in the freezer too
  3. When everything is chilled, put the flour and 1/2 tsp table salt into the food processor and pulse three or four times to combine
  4. Add butter and pulse till texture looks mealy; this took me about 6 or 7 pulses
  5. Add lard and pulse another 4 or 5 times
  6. Slowly drizzle in one tablespoon of water, dispersing as much as possible, and pulse 5 times
  7. Slowly drizzle in one tablespoon of vodka and pulse again
  8. Check it at this point. If you squeeze the  mixture together does it hold? If not, add more vodka. If so, it’s ready. It will not immediately look like pie crust, even when it’s ready; it will look like this:

Now put it in your nifty pie crust bag or a zip-top bag, squeeze it all together in a ball, then press into a rounded disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While that’s chilling, we’ll work on the white sauce. You will need:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth (which you ever so prudently reserved from your earlier chicken cooking)

To make sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat
  2. Whisk in flour and keep whisking until your sauce is smooth and bubbling
  3. Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, whisking like a crazy person to keep it smooth
  4. Return the pan to the burner and bring to a simmer
  5. Cook, stirring insanely often, until it thickens up. Add salt and pepper to taste (plenty of it for this, I think)
  6. Once it’s nice and thick, set it back off the burner

Now assemble your pie!

  1. In a food processor or by hand, shred or chop your cold chicken breasts into pretty small pieces
  2. In a large bowl, stir together your white sauce, your chopped chicken and one bag of frozen mixed vegetables (still frozen — easy!)
  3. Remove pie dough from refrigerator and roll out two crusts (see Alton’s recipe for lots of technique info, but we’re not blind baking ours)
  4. Put one crust in an ungreased pie plate and spread in your sauce/chicken/veggie mixture. See how pretty it is?
  5. Put on your top crust. I actually don’t put it all the way to the edges because I like it to have lots of steaming room. Also cut vents in the top of your crust, like so:
  6. Just in case, put your pie plate on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Foil is easier to clean than the bottom of your oven
  7. Bake at 375 until top is browned — remember everything in it is cooked, so you’re just heating. Let sit for a good 15 minutes to cool before you cut into it. Then go nuts!

Your total ingredient list for this pie:

  • Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Celery, onion (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder
  • 6 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp. butter, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening or lard, chilled
  • 1 cup AP flour + 6 Tbsp + more for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vodka
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bag frozen, mixed veggies

Ways to shortcut this recipe:

  • Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred the meat from there
  • Use rolled, refrigerated pie crust
  • Use two cans of cream of chicken soup instead of the white sauce