Baked Eggs and Mushrooms In Ham Crisps

Sarah’s Notes: Adapted from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, these are showy and tasty. I make a batch of mushroom duxelles in the slow cooker and freeze it it muffin-tin sized portions to make the mushroom step as easy as thawing stuff in the microwave. I also scramble the eggs rather than bake them whole, usually.

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr

3/4 lb mushrooms, finely choppedHam Crisps served with coffee and muffins
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons cream cheese
12 slices Black Forest or Virginia ham (without holes; 10 oz.)
12 large eggs
Garnish: fresh tarragon leaves
Accompaniment: buttered brioche or challah toast
Special equipment: a muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cupsPreheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare mushrooms:
Cook mushrooms and shallot in butter with salt and pepper in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and liquid they give off is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon.

Assemble and bake:
Fit 1 slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups (ends will stick up and hang over edges of cups). Divide mushrooms and cream cheese among cups and crack 1 egg into each. Bake in middle of oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season eggs with salt and pepper and remove (with ham) from muffin cups carefully, using 2 spoons or small spatulas.

The eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.

Makes 6 servings.