Saturday, July 2, 2011

French Egg Casseroles

This recipe makes 2 casseroles and, boy, are they yummy! I especially remember eating these when I was younger (though I can't recall ever having actually used the breadcrumb topping). Although they were designed for times when you have leftover hard boiled eggs, they're really great whenever you want them! So go ahead, boil some extra eggs on purpose. I promise you won't regret it.

4 hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced
4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
1 cup medium white sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
dash of garlic powder
pinch each of thyme, marjoram and basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons buttered breadcrumbs (recipe follows)

you'll also need:
pan for cooking bacon
2 casseroles, au gratin dishes or 12-ounce custard cups (really, anything oven-proof that you can eat out of)
foil-lined cookie sheet (to avoid messes)

It's a good idea to assemble all your ingredients ahead of time. This makes things move faster.

1. hard boil your eggs, cool and shell them. It's a good idea to do this the day before. Set aside. Slice them with an egg slicer while assembling your casserole.
2. cook your bacon until crisp. When it's done, drain it on paper towels and set aside.
3. while the bacon is cooking, make the buttered bread crumbs: melt 1 tablespoon butter and put in 1 slice of crumbled bread. Toss until coated. Set aside.
4. make the medium white sauce: in a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Then slowly beat in 1 cup of milk to make a lumpless, creamy mixture. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Heat it slowly, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and just starting to bubble.
5. remove the sauce from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until combined. Add the garlic, marjoram, basil and parsley. Stir until everything has melted in.
6. place your bowls on the baking sheet, and preheat the oven to 350 F.
7. place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of each bowl. On top of that, place half a sliced egg in each; crumble half a slice of bacon over each and top with more sauce. Continue this process until all the eggs and bacon are used up. Make sure you have enough sauce to generously top each one so the casserole is completely covered with sauce. Put half the breadcrumbs on each.
8. bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the breadcrumbs have browned. Serve and enjoy! Oh, and be careful not to burn yourself.

I got this recipe from Gourmet Cooking for Two.

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