Cream eggs and ham

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English was not my first language, and it was a challenge for me as the only Asian child growing up and going to school in a Western society.  Even though my fluency in the English language is now at a native speaker’s level, I still remember the path I needed to take to get there.  My favorite children’s books which gave me the right motivation to read were those by Dr. Seuss.  I remember coming home from school one day to see a starter collection of 4 Dr. Seuss books on the kitchen counter.  My mum told me those were for me to improve my reading, and I remember dreading the idea of reading all those books.  Among the collection was one of the Dr. Seuss’s most celebrated books, Green Eggs and Ham.

My inspiration for this recipe comes from my beloved memory from reading Green Eggs and Ham with my mum.  February is the month of Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to make breakfast in bed for my hubby.  I was working on how to make the eggs green in color, and in the end I decided that neither I nor my hubby would like the result!  I was feeling extra creative, and the idea of cream eggs with ham surfaced in my mind as a brilliant substitute and a perfect slant rhyme to green eggs.

The best thing about making my eggs this way is that they are quick to prepare, pleasing to the eye, and they contain meat and vegetables with eggs done sunny-side up.  It’s like a complete breakfast in one ramekin!  Needless to say, in the end hubby kindly let me know that he doesn’t prefer to eat breakfast in bed because it isn’t as comfortable as sitting at a solid table, and he didn’t like having to worry about getting food on the bed sheets.  And since we like to start our day with breakfast as the main meal, I decided that we can each have two eggs.  After all, how can we stop at just one?

Grocery list

1/4 cup chopped ham (or luncheon meat)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp finely chopped green onion
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 tsp finely chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
10 oz endives, coarse stems discarded (spinach works too!)
4 large eggs

 

Preheat oven to 350oF with oven rack in the middle.

Bring ham and cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.

Let steep, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Drain in a sieve set over a bowl, while reserving the cream.

Cook green onion in 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring, until softened.  Add garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper, then cook for another minute.

Add endives and cook, turning with tongs, until endives are wilted.

Divide endives, then ham, among 4 ramekins, spooning 1 tbsp cream into each serving.

Crack an egg into each ramekin and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cut the remaining 1 tbsp butter into 4 pieces and dot each egg with a piece.

Space out ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve as brunch with toast and fruit juice.

     

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