Baked eggs

by Rosana McPhee
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Baked eggs

Eggs are high in protein, cheap and are quick to cook . Very versatile, eggs can be the star of a main meal. My mum used to bake them together with leftover vegetables, we called it ‘panelinha’, which means little pan. The outcome was different each time she made it, depending on what we had leftover in the fridge. This dish can however be made with any of your favourite vegetables, so you can design your own signature dish! This is a great dish for thrifty times.

Substitute the Parmesan (or omit completely) to make this recipe vegetarian.

1
Peel and slice the potatoes finely with the help of a mandoline and slice the leeks. Cook them in separate pans in salted water for 5-7 minutes. Drain well and reserve
2
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
3
To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, until incorporated. Gradually pour in the cold milk, whisking constantly
4
Return the pan to the medium heat, add the sprigs of thyme in a bundle and bring to the boil, still whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper. At this point you can add any cheese, if desired. Remove the sprigs of thyme and leave to one side. It makes about 600ml of white sauce
5
In an oven-proof buttered dish add the potatoes, and layer the leeks on top. Pour the white sauce over the leeks. I make them in individual ramekins so that I can cook each egg according to individual taste. Alternatively, feel free to make in a family size dish for ease
6
Break the eggs on top of the white sauce. Place the dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending how you and your guests/family like their eggs
7
Decorate with grated Parmesan, thyme and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve straightaway with salad and a nice crusty bread
Serve with salad and crusty bread