These days, I’ve been focusing on my art-making, playing catch-up with various projects, and *gasp* being a “housewife.” The term is repulsive to me. No offense to y’all, but without kids at home, I want a serious full-time, work-my-pants-off job. Even with kids I want that. It’s just my personality. Blake’s gonna be a better “momma” than me, anyway. But, since I am working from home for now, I try to have a nice dinner ready when Blake gets home, on top of the other things I do.
Blake was a bit down in the dumps, both mentally exhausted at starting a new week after the busy trip to Nashville (more on that coming soon!) and also a little digestive-ly indisposed due to being off of our normal diet.
My magnificent grandmother and close friend sends me a Country Living gift subscription. I must admit that I love looking through it! Southern just seeps out of me like a slurry of runny grits as I explore the lovely homes and recipes wedged between the saccharine ads. I received my first copy in Ohio yesterday, and I was inspired by their Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato recipe.
When couples come together as Blake and I did, they bring an assortment of weird and disparate utensils and dishes. One of the anomalies of Blake’s collection is a serious set of ramekins that I’ve never used. I didn’t even know what a “ramekin” was before I met him! This dish fulfilled my wish to break those bad boys out from the top-most cabinet and put them to use.
I combined the Country Living recipe with a Paleo recipe for Rutabaga Egg Nests. We had a rutabaga in the fridge, plus I wasn’t particularly in the mood for anything tomato-based. This recipe is a lovely substitute for hash browns, and it’ll make your gut super happy.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 1/2 a rutabaga, peeled
- Hungarian paprika
- Sea salt
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Assorted Hot Peppers (to your desired spicy-ness)
- 1/2 a yellow onion, thinly sliced
- a few tbs diced garlic
- 1/2 a can of sauerkraut, drained
- Sriracha hot sauce to taste
- freshly ground black peppercorns
- Olive oil + other reserved animal cooking fat: i.e. bacon, duck, chicken, etc.
First, start by cooking down 1/2 an onion in a cast iron or other skillet using any saved fat you have: bacon fat, duck fat, chicken fat, butter or olive oil all work well. I make my own broth from whatever food we cook, and I always freeze it to save it for later. A nice fat layer forms on the top of the frozen broth, and I shave the fat off to cook with periodically.
Cook the onions down slowly over med-low heat. After onions begin to soften, add diced hot peppers and garlic to taste and stir and cook until soft over low heat.
Since we don’t own a food processor, I tried several methods to get the 1/2 rutabaga to a shredded “hash browns” state. The spiral cutter and the mandolin didn’t work very well. I ended up processing the rutabaga into thin strands just using a regular cheese grater. Add the grated rutabaga to the pan with the onion mixture and cook. Stir often.
Drain half a can of sauerkraut and add to the onion mixture and continue to cook. Cooking time depends, but cook for about 40 minutes until liquid is reduced, but contents are not scorched. Cook over low to med-low heat and stir occasionally. Add the other spices listed in the ingredients list and continue to stir. This isn’t an exact science. I just cooked them until the moisture was mostly gone, but nothing was sticking to the pan yet. I added a TBSP of olive oil to the mix during cooking for flavor and to reduce sticking.
Once done, spoon the mixture into ramekins and pack them so that a small round hollow remains in the middle. Crack an egg and drop it whole into the nest you have created.
Bake the ramekins in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure the whites are done. The yellows should still be a bit runny.
I served them alongside baked Kale chips with canned salmon (which is surprisingly good!), sprinkled in freshly-squeezed lime juice and salt. FANTASTIC dinner. And easy, too!