I’ve been struggling with what to write about this week. I’d love to say something meaningful about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death, but I think I like what Russell Brand had to say better than anything I could put together. Likewise, I’d love to offer my thoughts on the upcoming Sochi Olympics. But I’m home with a sick child and not feeling great myself, so instead of stalking FB all day for news of my soon-to-arrive nephew (!!) I’m going to talk about bacon. Because bacon, duh!
A friend and I were talking last week about the rage induced by kids futzing around in the morning instead of getting ready for school. The potential for rage only increases when you add cooking a healthy protein-laden breakfast to the mix of morning chores. Oh how I long for the days when I could eat a piece of toast with my coffee and not have to take a mid-morning nap to sleep off the carbs…
Anyhow, here’s one easy solution I’ve come up with to the protein in the morning dilemma. Because while I’ve embraced eating leftover steak for breakfast, I’m not quite up for left over arctic char.
3-4 ounces of ricotta or turkish yogurt (optional, although I do think it improves the texture)
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and arrange the uncooked bacon evenly on a baking tray. Cook until crisp and drain on paper towel. I’ll be honest, you don’t need 600g (over a pound) of bacon for this recipe. Except that in my house, when you’ve got a sick kid at home, you can bet that a few pieces are going to disappear during cooking and I thought it would be nice to give my daughter some too.
In a large bowl, mix the ricotta and the eggs until very smooth. It’s important to get all the lumps out so that you get a nice, light, quiche-like texture. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste.
Line two muffin tins with either silicon or paper liners. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in one of the cups and then use a pastry brush to swipe the insides of all 24 liners with olive oil. This will make it easier for the muffins to come out of the liners before they go in the freezer.
Crumble half a slice of bacon into the bottom of each muffin cup. Then ladle a scant 1/4c of the egg mixture into each cup. Eggs vary in size, as do slices of bacon, so this may not come out perfectly. When I made these today, I needed a thirteenth egg to fill the last two cups, but some days I end up with enough extra to make a little scramble.
Bake until golden on top and puffy–20 – 25 minutes.
Once the muffins have cooled, you can pop them out of the liners and put them in a sealed zip-top bag in the fridge for a day or so, or in the freezer for quite a bit longer. Make sure they’re completely cool or they will get icy in the freezer. To reheat, put one or two muffins in the microwave for thirty seconds to a minute.
There are a zillion substitutions you can make here–they’re always yummy! Try it with ground beef and taco seasoning, or sautéed Chorizo, onions, and bell peppers. Plain old breakfast sausage works too. So does substituting cottage cheese for the ricotta. Really, anything you’d put in an omelette (Swiss cheese and spinach? Tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella?) would be good in these muffins.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a couple of these muffins downstairs to my sickie and watch The Sound of Music with her for the rest of the afternoon…