Cooking for one is a funny thing. I love the idea of making a delicious dinner just for me. It seems wonderfully indulgent. Yet every time the opportunity arises, I lose motivation. Thoughts of ingredients that need to be prepped, dirty pans, and the final clean-up leave me feeling exhausted. As if on cue, I’m mysteriously pulled to the pantry where cereal is lurking and before I realize it, I’m seated on the couch eating breakfast.
To be fair, I’m not complaining. When I’m alone for dinner, I tend to eat in pajamas and that cereal with a nice glass of white wine goes pretty well with some mindless TV. I feel relaxed, I’m not dreading the clean-up, and while I wouldn’t want to make it a nightly habit, it’s a nice change from the norm if done sparingly.
Unfortunately, cereal is not the most satisfying entrée and as I slurp up the last bit of milk, I start making plans for what I’ll actually “cook” for myself the next time I find myself alone for dinner. And then, you’ve guessed it, the cycle repeats itself.
Or it did until now. I love flipping through food magazines for inspiration and over the past couple of months I’ve noticed a lot of recipes for baked eggs. Brilliant yellow yolks sit framed by their whites in a pan filled of sautéed greens or a yummy tomato sauce. It’s casual food, but also alluring.
So a couple of weeks ago, I convinced my husband that the world would not end if he ate eggs for dinner (he’s not a breakfast for dinner sort of guy) and I made a version of this one
pot pan meal. Served with a slightly chilled glass of Beaujolais and a crisp piece of toast slathered with butter, it was comforting, simple, and yet still very special. In short, it had the potential to be the perfect meal for one.
And it is. The recipe that follows is for one serving. Yes, you could make this dish for more than one person, but make it for just you first. The ingredients take just a couple of minutes to prep, while the dish bakes (about 8 minutes) you’ll have time to get the kitchen cleaned up, and when you sit down to eat it, I know that you’ll agree that you were worth the effort. Bon appetit!
Baked Egg with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Leek
Printer Friendly Recipe
Adapted from the recipe for “Eggs Baked Over Sautéed Mushrooms and Spinach” in the October 2011 Food & Wine magazine.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced leek (white and light green part only)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry red wine
5 ounces spinach, washed, dried, stems removed (ends up being about 3.5 ounces)
1 large egg
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes or until soft. Stir the mushrooms as needed. Add the leek, green onion, and garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes or until just soft.
Carefully add the soy sauce and dry red wine to the pan and let them reduce by about half. Add the spinach in handfuls and stir until it wilts before adding more. Remove the skillet from the heat and create a “nest” in the middle of the pan. Crack the egg into the nest and place the pan in the oven.
Bake for 8 minutes or until the white of the egg has just set. Remove the pan from the oven and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with buttered toast. For an extra touch of decadence (which lets face it we all deserve), I like to finish this dish with some truffle-infused salt.