holidays & recipes: baked ham and egg cups
Paula Deen is just outrageously fun to watch on TV. I imagine that I will have that much fun in the kitchen when Marie and I can finally meet and cook together. Paul Deen’s over-the-top personality suits me and, I think, Marie, perfectly. I think, together, Marie and I could tear it up a bit, if you know what I mean. Marie and I are ourselves, no holds barred. Paula Deen is herself and she is having a ball or as she would say, “bahwel”. I love thinking about having the opportunity to bake and cook with Marie as I know we will have as many laughs and, dare I say, be as outrageous as Paula Deen herself.
Paula Deen’s specialty is southern cooking. I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t know a grit from a green when I first moved to the south in the early 90’s as my husband’s first duty station was in North Carolina. I thought BBQ was a verb, as in, “I’ll BBQ.” I didn’t know it was a noun, as in “Let’s get some BBQ”. On top of that, I had no idea there were regional types of BBQ. I came to enjoy southern food, but never felt the need to learn much about the cuisine. I was, stubbornly, stinking to my Italian, north eastern food culture. But, as time passed I learned to love grits, eastern North Carolina barbeque, biscuits and gravy, and banana pudding made with Nilla wafers.
It wasn’t until this year that I bought my first southern cook book; Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. This is from where the next and last recipe for the Christmas breakfast buffet is taken. It is simple and savory; ham and egg cups. They are adorable and almost whimsical. You can adjust the recipe to your taste, for instance I used a smoked ham and instead of the ketchup in the original recipe, I used BBQ sauce (Kansas City style, which is tomato based). Choose your favorite ham, condiment and any other seasoning that suits your taste. You’ll love it. I promise, You Guys! – (that’s Jersey for “Ya”all”)
Christmas Breakfast Buffet
Baked Ham and Egg Cups
¼ pound ham, cut into 4 thick 1/8 inch slices
4 teaspoons ketchup (or bbq sauce)
4 large eggs (or 8 large eggs if you are using an oversized muffin pan)
Salt and black pepper
1 or 2 teaspoons sliced scallions
Hot sauce (optional for serving)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease four cups of a standard-sized muffin pan.
2. Line the cups with the ham slices. Spread a small dollop of ketchup on each slice of ham.
3. Carefully crack an egg into each ham-lined cup. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.
Paula Deen suggests spooning a little milk or cream on top of the eggs before baking to prevent the eggs from drying out.