We tried a new recipe the other day and it was a big success! It involves making the polenta at least one day ahead, but it was worth it. The little secret is the hidden applewood- smoked bacon lining the nests. It gives a smokey flavor to the whole dish.
• 2 Tbs butter
• 1/4 cup minced scallions
• 3 cups water
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 cup of course yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
• 1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
• 20 slices of bacon, preferably applewood-smoked
• 6 oz grated mexican cheese blend, divided
• 6 oz grated gouda, divided
• 8 large eggs
• 1/4 cup sliced scallions
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
One or two days before serving make the Polenta
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add scallions and sauté just until limp.
- Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.
- Gradually whisk in the corn meal and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and creamy, 10-14 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in Parmesan and 1 Tbs fresh thyme. Season with salt & fresh ground pepper.
- Cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate at least overnight or for up to 2 days.
To make the baked eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat one or two large skillets over medium heat and add bacon. Fry until just brown but still pliable- not crisp!
- Drain on paper towels and cool enough to handle.
- Line the sides of eight Ramekins with two slices of bacon each forming a collar. Put 1/2 slice of bacon in the bottom of each Ramekin.
- Put about 1/3 cup of polenta into each Ramekin, pressing into the bottom and up the sides to form a nest.
- Mix the grated cheeses in a bowl and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese in each Ramekin.
- Crack one egg into the center of each “nest”.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese, scallions, thyme and black pepper.
- Place Ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake about 23 minutes or just until the egg whites are almost set.
- Let eggs stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. They will continue to cook.