Our family loves eggs. They are an incredibly nutritious whole food, especially when they come from chickens on pasture (or in our case, free ranged on “lawn and garden”!) We love eggs so much that we’ve raised a baker’s dozen of chickens so far and have a handful currently laying. So when I find a new way to serve them up, one that looks incredibly sophisticated, while taking hardly any time at all, I am all for it. The My Pet Chicken blog came up with a winner with this recipe! I also tend to use egg yolks more often than whites for mayo, hollandaise sauce, custards and ice cream, eggnog, etc, so this is a good way to use up the extra whites.
Yield: 4 Egg Clouds
4 large or extra large farm fresh eggs, separated (and any additional egg whites you need to use up)
2 slices of ham or 4 pieces of cooked bacon, cooled and cut into small pieces
about 1/2 c finely shredded hard cheese such as parmesan, asiago, etc. Do not compact the cheese into the measuring cup!
thinly sliced chives, scallions or green onion tops
additional cheese and green onions to garnish
Preheat oven to 450. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form—you want the “clouds” to hold their shape when you place them on a baking sheet. Fold in ham/bacon, cheese and green onions, then spoon out four clouds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a little divot in the center, large enough to hold a yolk later.
Bake for about 2 minutes–the time will vary depending on the size of your eggs and your clouds, but it should be slightly browned. Remove from the oven and add one yolk to the center of each cloud, in the divot you made. Put them back into the hot oven for another two minutes or so, or until done.
Plate up. You can put the clouds on toast, or serve as is. Garnish and serve.
There are many ways to prepare this to your family’s tastes. For instance, I keep thinking about a southwest style with finely diced peppers, tomatoes and onions folded in, and then topped with avocado, salsa and sour cream! Or maybe I’ll fold in crumbled bacon and cheddar, then top with caramelized onions. How about smoked salmon and provolone topped with roasted garlic beaten into cream cheese? The variations are endless!