Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bacon-Wrapped Baked Eggs with Cream Cheese Biscuits and Arugula

Cream Cheese Biscuits
  • 280g (2 cups) all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached

  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 55g (4 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 240g (1 cup) cold buttermilk, preferably low-fat (I used coddled milk, or 240g milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice, left to stand for 10 minutes)

  • 110g (4oz or 1/2 package) cream cheese, softened

  • additional 140g (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • additional 30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 260°C (500°F). Sprinkle a baking sheet with the additional all-purpose flour. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda until well-combined. Scatter the butter cubes and cream cheese evenly over the mixture and cut into it with a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (alternatively you can process it in a food processor, with 8 1-second pulses). Add the buttermilk and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated.

Working quickly with the wet dough, use a 1/4 cup (60mL) measure to scoop out level amounts of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You should be able to make about 12 evenly-sized mounds. Dust the tops of the mounds with flour from the sheet. Pick up a mound of dough and gently shape into a rough ball, shake off the excess flour, and place in the prepared cake pan as photographed above. Brush the tops with melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 230°C (450°F) and continue to bake until deep golden, about 14 minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes, then take out of the pan and break apart (I sliced them cleanly with a knife), and cool for 5 more minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Baked Eggs with Cream Cheese Biscuits
For a single serving, you will need:
  • 2-1/2 thick rashers of bacon

  • a half of a cream cheese biscuit

  • a small handful (about 20g or 3/4oz) of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • a small handful (about 20g or 3/4oz) of Gruyere cheese, grated

  • 1 large egg

  • minced fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Heat a large skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon for about 4 minutes or until brown but still pliable. Drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon drippings. Line the sides of a 1-cup custard cup/ramekin with 2 slices of bacon, forming a collar. Place half a slice of bacon on the bottom. Place a biscuit half on the bottom, then sprinkle most of both cheeses over the top. Crack an egg in the center and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, thyme, and fresh-cracked black pepper. Bake until the egg whites are almost set, about 20 minutes (though I would definitely prefer it on the rarer side). Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cups, tilt on to the serving plate and slide the whole dish out.

Arugula with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 60g (1/4 cup) balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from the baked eggs above

  • 115g (4oz) arugula (rocket)

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and bacon dripping together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the arugula and toss lightly. Serve alongside the baked eggs.

No comments: