Post by Alison Hein.
Through researching old cookbooks I’ve found that baked egg dishes were popular during the 1920s, and that someone named Martin figured prominently in the culinary world. Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer included a recipe for Eggs à la Martin without spinach in her classic cookbook Many Ways for Cooking Eggs. Another great culinary matriarch, Fannie Farmer, showcased Eggs with Spinach à la Martin in her famed Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. In this case, however, ham, as well as red and green peppers, were added to the mix. The meat, vegetables and eggs were cooked omelet style, then served over a bed of cooked spinach.
Interpreting a bit from Sarah and a little from Fannie, I came up with my own take on Eggs à la Martin – individual egg portions nestled onto a thick bed of spinach and breadcrumbs, baked in a creamy white sauce and topped with melted sharp cheddar cheese. Bubbly and hot from the oven, golden yolks blending with rich creamed spinach, these little eggs are sure to delight for a lazy Sunday morning or cozy breakfast in bed.
Perhaps something even Martin (whoever he was) would approve.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
½ cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 325°. Spray 2 ramekins or small oven-proof dishes with cooking spray.
To make white sauce, melt butter in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, thick paste forms. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside and keep warm.
Add half of the breadcrumbs to each of the ramekins, then top with half the spinach. Pour enough white sauce on top to cover the spinach, then add a whole, cracked egg to each dish. Top with enough white sauce to cover each egg, then sprinkle half of the cheese on top of each dish.
Place eggs in oven and bake until whites are set and cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Cook eggs a little longer if you’d like the yolks to be cooked through. Serve hot with buttered toast, if you like.
Makes 2 servings.