Don't wait until the weekend to try one of these delicious hot breakfast cups. They're easy to make, require few ingredients and are immensely satisfying. The baked cups, contrary to what you might think, pop right out of the tin used to bake them and keep their shape well. And, if you're watching your cholesterol, two of the breakfast cup recipes can be made with an egg substitute or modified to include turkey as alternatives to sausage and bacon.
Egg, Ham and Swiss Cheese Toast Cups would be excellent as part of brunch or might even be served as a light lunch, with a mixed fruit salad. Breakfast cups are economical, too, using ingredients you most likely already have in the house. If you can't get your family to come to the table for a hot breakfast, most breakfast cups are portable and make fine eating on the run. Egg, Sausage and Cheese Biscuits are especially good for this purpose and of the three recipes here, the easiest to toss together. Baked Eggs and Bacon in Toast is a terrific way to serve eggs to a crowd and eliminates the need for frying made-to-order eggs for folks who like dunking toast into an unbroken egg yolk. Quick, easy and portable, hot breakfast cups are fun to make and delicious to eat. Got milk? Got eggs? Got bread? You're ready to go.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the toast cups
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
6 slices homemade-style sliced sandwich bread with crusts left on*
For the filling
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon v#egetable oil
1/3 cup cubed cooked ham
3 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
5 large eggs (or egg substitute) beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Pinch each cayenne pepper and dry mustard
2 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced into 6 thin pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make the toast cups: Flatten the bread with a rolling pin, then make a 1-inch incision in each corner of the bread with a sharp knife. Brush bread on each side with the melted butter. Press bread into wells of a lightly greased muffin tin or 6-ounce custard cups, overlapping crusts. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove tin from oven and set aside. To make the filling: In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs with cayenne and mustard; set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Stir in ham and green pepper, cooking until peppers soften.
Lower heat and add eggs, lifting portions of the egg mixture as it cooks to that the runny part flows onto the bottom of the pan to cook. Continue to cook and lift eggs until they thicken and begin to coagulate to form soft, lumpy curds. Remove skillet from heat, then divide the egg mixture among the prepared toast cups. Evenly distribute the Swiss cheese over the tops of the toast cups. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until cheese melts and begins to bubble, watching carefully to keep them from burning. Remove toast cups from oven, then carefully run a small spatula around the edge of each cup to release
Makes 6 servings.
*Kitchen Ade Note: For the purposes of this recipe, Pepperidge Farm white sandwich bread was used.
6 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed and cut into rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled*
6 medium eggs
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 6 wells of a muffin tin. Press one round of bread into each muffin well.
Crack an egg into each bread-lined well taking care not to break yolk.
Place bacon around the edges of eggs in a circular fashion. Place muffin tin in oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until whites are set. (If you like your eggs runny, for safety's sake, use pasteurized eggs.)
Remove tin from oven and allow eggs to set a minute or two before easing out of well to serving plates. Serve immediately, seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired. Makes 6 servings.
*Kitchen Ade Note: Recipe ready Oscar Mayer brand real bacon pieces make a good substitute for raw bacon.
One heaping tablespoon of pre-cooked bacon pieces is the equivalent of one slice of bacon.
1 (9.6) ounce package Jimmy Dean fully-cooked hearty sausage crumbles*
1 1/4 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 large egg (or egg substitute), lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion, including some of the green part
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside. Combine biscuit mix, melted butter and water, stirring to make a dough. Place 1 tablespoon of the dough into the bottom and slightly up the sides of each muffin well. Divide sausage evenly among the wells.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg with milk. Stir in scallion, mixing to combine. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture into each muffin well. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and divide cheese over each biscuit. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove tin from oven and allow biscuits to rest for a few minutes before popping them out of the tin. Serve immediately. Makes 12 biscuits.
*Kitchen Ade Note: One (1/2-pound) package bulk breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled, may be substituted for the pre-made sausage crumbles.
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