Monday Night Martha: Leeks with Eggs and Cheese

Strictly speaking, this is not a "Monday Night" dish but a "Sunday Morning" one. We made it for breakfast over the weekend but it was so good, we say you could easily talk yourself into having it as part of an easy-breezy weeknight dinner. This dish is adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe. Over at the New York Times, they call it "Baked Eggs with Onion and Cheese". We prefer to call it "Happy Husband Eggs".

We woke up Sunday morning determined to use up these three massive leeks that had been sitting in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for nearly a week. This dish calls for onions but leeks are a kindler, gentler counterpart. We think if you actually made this dish with onions, the taste might be overpowering.

Whenever you cook with leeks, an important step to remember is to wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt. Then lightly dry to remove excess water. Only after rinsing and drying do you saute the leeks in butter until they are soft. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

Once the leeks are cooked, put them into the bottom of a baking dish. Then pour a layer of bread crumbs over it, and then a layer of cheese. The recipe online calls for Gruyere and Parmesan but we used a simple sharp cheddar. Then make little divots in the casserole dish for the eggs. Crack each egg in its own little nest, and then cover them up with another layer of bread crumbs and cheese. We should also mention that we were using Italian bread crumbs and the dish didn't suffer for it.

Now you're home free. You can bake and then broil the dish, as indicated in the recipe, or simply bake it for 15 minutes. Serve with toast points. We knew this recipe was a success when our husband asked us to make it for him every weekend for the rest of his life.

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Rene Gutel
Contact: Rene Gutel