Ring in the New Year With Sara Moulton's Recipes

Sara Moulton shares her eggs-celent recipes.

Jan. 1, 2008 — -- Eggs can be more than merely a breakfast staple. The versatile food can be used in a variety of ways and chef Sara Moulton shares some of her recipes. Rediscover how great eggs can be with these yummy foods. Check out the recipes below.

Eggs Baked in Ham With Sofrito

Eggs baked in ham cups with creamed mushrooms underneath appeared on the February 2002 cover of Gourmet magazine. I made them on my show and was astonished (I don't know why — everything is tested at my magazine a zillion times until it is perfect) to find how easily they unmolded from the muffin tins and held their shape. This is an adaptation using my Guatemalan housekeeper Magda's sofrito in place of the mushroom base. Once you have tried this recipe and marveled, as I did, at how well it holds up, I guarantee you will start experimenting with it to see what other items — cheese, spinach, tomatoes — might also go nicely with the egg in its little ham cup.

Makes 4 servings

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

½ large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)

1 large plum tomato coarsely chopped (about ½cup)

½ cup packed rinsed and dried fresh cilantro

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)

Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper

8 thin slices Black Forest or Virginia ham (without holes; 6 to 8 ounces)

2 ounces plain or jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about ½ cup)

8 large eggs

8 large tortilla chips (3-inch triangles), coarsely crushed (about ½ cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Combine the bell pepper, onion, tomato, cilantro, garlic, ½teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Fit a slice of ham into each of 8 lightly oiled muffin cups, custard cups, or mini souffle dishes (they must hold a scant ½-cup) with the ends of the ham extending above the edges of cups. Divide the sofrito mixture among the cups, shaping a hollow in the center. Crack 1 egg into each, and divide the cheese over the tops. If using custard cups or souffle dishes, place on a rimmed baking sheet for easy handling.

4. Bake in the center of the oven until the whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and carefully remove (with the ham) from the muffin cups, using 2 spoons or spatulas. Sprinkle with tortilla chips and serve.

Egg, Canadian Bacon, and Cheddar Biscuit Sandwiches

All right, I'll be honest. This is a take on you know what served by that fast-food restaurant. Only they use English muffins, which actually makes for a pretty lean breakfast sandwich. You can use English muffins also if you want to cut back on time and calories. But these are the best biscuits you will ever eat. They are cream biscuits — the only fat and liquid in them is cream — and they couldn't be simpler to make.

Makes 4 servings

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total preparation time: 30 minutes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon table salt

1 to 1 ½ cups heavy cream

8 thin slices Canadian bacon (about 6 ounces)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 large eggs, lightly beaten

Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper

4 ounces coarsely grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in enough of the cream to just form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently several times and divide into 4 equal balls. Pat out each ball to make a flat 3-inch round on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until pale golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon, turning once, until just golden. Transfer the bacon to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Reduce the heat down to low, add the butter to the skillet and heat until the foam subsides. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the eggs and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs are just beginning to set. Sprinkle the cheese on top, cover, and remove the pan from the heat. Let stand for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

4. To assemble the sandwiches, cut the biscuits in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Top the four bottom halves with a slice of bacon and one fourth of the cheese-covered scrambled eggs. Top the eggs with another slice of bacon and the remaining biscuit halves.

Recipes Courtesy of Sara's Secretes For Weeknight Meals