The first game I bought after graduating was a darling little used copy of "Harvest Moon" for the Wii. I was skeptical at first, it set me back $35, but the priceless hours of play time were exactly that, priceless. When I felt, temporarily, like the world had gone black after graduation my little ranch was a safe haven with the predictable seasons, the notoriously lucrative harvests and friendly, if solitary, neighbors. A world where sushi, covered wagons and simple, wholesome displays of undying affection was a perfect world. One feature I found especially endearing was the ability to learn "recipes" to make things like Herb Fish, Strawberry Shortcake and Rice Cocktail. These yummy little dishes could be sold, along with a slue of farm products like butter or wool, or given as gifts to friends or secret heart-throbs. (Yes, you can get married). And while I never found someone to appreciate them as much as I did, my all-time favorite thing to cook in my cartoon kitchen were baked eggs.
Conveniently, "Bon Appetit Keep It Simple" (2002) seems to think baked eggs are a delicious go-to recipe for the everyday cook too! They are extremely inexpensive with only 3-4 ingredients and they take all of 15 minutes to make. The first time I cooked them my yolks were set to the point of being cooked through but they were no less delicious for not having a runny, silky smooth yolk to dip toast triangles in. And, in honor of Harvest Moon, I have added a little sauteed spinach and some cheese to Bon Appetit's recipe. A few slices of buttered toast and you are in business whether it is dinner, brunch or a late night breakfast. And as they say in Harvest Moon, "Baked Eggs is done. It looks great!"
Is this the beginning of a long tirade of posts inspired by the food eaten in video games... maybe. Is the recipe worth making regardless of it's hodgepodge of an origin... absolutely.
Note: Water Baths are often used to keep dishes especially moist and to help them cook evenly. It is essential that the water you pour into the dish is boiling, otherwise it will have to heat up in the oven which could affect the outcome of your dish!
Shopping list: 1/2 dozen fresh eggs 1/2 stick butter 1 package/bunch chives Fresh spinach 2 Ramekins, 8ounce each (see your local home store or amazon.com)
2-3 generous handfuls of fresh spinach 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped finely 4 large eggs 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese salt, pepper
Preparation: 1. Beat the room temperature butter in a small bowl. (Zapping it in the microwave for a few minutes works just so long as you don't melt it). Stir in the chives and salt and pepper. I saved the extra to spread on English muffins or a fish fillet later this week. 2. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon olive oil and then the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and toss until it is wilted. Remove from the heat. 3. Preheat the oven to a blistering 400. Set two 8 ounce ramekins in a small baking dish. Fill the baking dish with boiling water, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 4. Add 1 teaspoon of the chive butter to each ramekin. Set the pan of water with the ramekins into the oven for 2-3 minutes or until they are hot. 5. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Remove the dish from the oven and add half of the spinach to each ramekin. 6. Slide one egg into the ramekin, repeating until each ramekin has two eggs. (This seems excessive but it helps to prevent the yolks from breaking). Add a second little dab of chive butter to each egg. 7. Return the ramekins (still in the dish of hot water) to the oven and cook for 6-7 minutes or until the white is opaque and the yolk is set to the desired consistency. Remove the ramekins from the pan, drying the bottoms, sprinkle with a little extra salt, pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.