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Archive for April, 2011

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Mandatory Items: To make a SAVORY edible container and fill it with something appropriate.

Variations allowed:

  • You may want to use one of the ideas provided here as described, or give them your own twists and your own recipes for the content.
  • Or, you can choose to create something totally new, from scratch.
  • As long as it is a container, it is edible, and has a content suitable for it, I want you all to have a lot of fun challenging your creativity!

Well, my faithful kittens, I feel like I am finally shaking off the late-winter malaise that’s been affecting my cooking. I read this challenge when it came out, gave a cheer, then promptly became distracted by the menu for my birthday party dinner. Then Jim sends me an email asking me to send the link to the Daring Kitchen website to someone, because “his wife cooks like [I] do.” Is this a compliment? Because I took it as one. And it reminded me to do the challenge post haste, since the posting date was fast approaching!

The challenge is to make an edible container, and we can take this dictum wherever our creativity leads! I loved the idea of toast cups that is put forth in the challenge intro: a slice of bread molded in to a bake-proof container, filled with an egg and baked to doneness. Well, I also had some Canadian bacon in the freezer, and some shredded low-fat 4 cheese blend, and a mad hankering for some guacamole, so I put them all together with the idea of a baked toast cup and made it happen.

It’s amazingly easy:

1. Take a slice of toast and cut the crusts off with a sharp knife. Place the bread in an oven-proof container sprayed lightly with non-stick spray to assist in removing the finished product.

2. If desired, place a slice of Canadian bacon, or some fried bacon, or a few sausage crumbles, or sliced ham, or sliced turkey, or whatever, on top of the bread.

3. Gently crack an egg over the meat. Now, the challenge host said be careful not to let your egg leak outside of your bread, but since it was inevitable in my case, I didn’t worry about it. This was part of the reason I used non-stick spray, so that any escaped egg wouldn’t gum up my removal process.

4. Place in a preheated oven and bake until the yolks and white reach desired doneness. I placed my individual vessels on a cookie sheet to aid placement in and removal from the oven.

And now, a word. The challenge directions recommend a 180-degree oven for this. I started out with the oven preheated to 180 degrees, but after a half hour of my egg not cooking, I began to gradually bump up the oven temperature. I finally settled at 300 degrees, when I started to get some really excellent browning action on the exposed toast corners, and some lovely setting of the whites and yolks.

5. Once the eggs are about as cooked as you’d like them to be, remove them from the oven and  layer 1/4 cup of shredded cheese over the eggs. Make an even layer, and once again, I didn’t worry about the potential of any cheese to run outside the toast container. No big deal, right? Pop vessels back in to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes for the cheese to melt.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool so that the contents retain their shapes when removed from the baking vessel. After a couple of minutes I tentatively reached in with a fork and made sure the cheesy, eggy stacks would release from the edges, and when I was satisfied, I left them to sit for another 5 minutes to cool.

7. Use two forks to gently airlift your cheesy, eggy, bacon toast cups on to a waiting plate! Garnish with a small spoonful of prepared guacamole and enjoy.

(Jim says: Since this took an hour and a half to bake, does that make it gourmet?)

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