Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Of mice and men....

The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go oft awry
That statement, from Robert Burns’s poem, “To a Mouse” and inspiration for George Steinbeck’s iconic Of Mice and Men, was never truer to me then it was this weekend when I finally began working on recipes from Hors D’Oeuvres.
I had an extensive day laid out for myself; I’d spent a decent amount of time writing out my shopping lists and an extensive prep list. I’ve made a significant amount of recipes from this book in the past with good to great results, so I wasn’t concerned at all as I set off to the store, visions of bouchees and galettes dancing in my head.
Well, none of this was meant to be it seems. It started out harmless enough. No crème fraiche? That’s okay, I’ll substitute sour cream. No lobster meat? I’ll use crab. No fresh tarragon? I guess I’ll just use dried. When I began passing off no wonton skins or puff pastry as simple fixes I should have known I was in trouble. Instead, I toiled away for hours trying to salvage a menu that was doomed from the start leaving me, ultimately, spent and depressed (Must give my man credit for taking the bad attitude and bland food like a champ!).
The next morning I decided to treat myself to a little comfort food to numb the pain. I decided to make a baked eggs recipe that Lara Ferroni had recently featured on her blog. Usually opting for tomato sauce with my baked eggs, I was looking for a change of pace.
This experiment went much smoother than the first. My step by step after the jump…
For these eggs I used ramekins but little crock pots would do nicely and look better when served.
1.       Preheat the oven to 350
2.       Cut small squares of stale bread and toss in a little salt and olive oil
3.       Toast them in a pan until slightly crunchy
4.       Place them in your ramekin (or crock)
5.       Crack an egg (or 2, if you prefer) on top
6.       Pour a little bit of cream over the eggs and a generous sprinkling of smoky paprika
7.       Bake until the whites are set*
*This varies depending on size and height of your baking dish so keep checking in order not to overcook your eggs

I must be honest, besides tasting great, baked eggs can be incredibly comforting. They’re like a little pot of love that you can eat.
Once satiated and properly comforted, I had an opportunity to reflect on my culinary er… hiccup. I suppose best laid plans do often go awry, but less so when one simply sticks to the plan.

On a side note, today is National Margarita Day! Try out Paul Abercrombie’s Basil Margarita from Organic, Shaken & Stirred. Ben from Bside Blog has already done the work for you!


  1. Oh, I think I will make these for dinner tonight! Thanks for the idea!

  2. @ Anne: I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I went on a binge right before I started the diet. Great anytime!