The Hodge-Podge Brunch: Baked Eggs in Avocado, Hard-boiled Egg Sandwich, & Maine Popovers

Winter mornings and early afternoons call for a good old-fashioned brunch every now and again. My ideal brunch encompasses some sort of variation of eggs as well as a (preferably sweet) starch. I’ve been continuously burnt out on egg scrambles and omelette as of late, so I was looking for a fresh recipe to satisfy this pertinent aspect of brunch. I was also feeling particularly lazy this past Sunday morning, so I wanted to put forth minimal effort into finding the right starch for the occasion. As luck would have it, my girlfriend happened to be in town and took care of the egg recipes, in two forms. I am incredibly grateful for this act, as my burnout with eggs has reached a fever pitch an unprecedented low. We decided on baked eggs in avocado and hard-boiled eggs with mozzarella, herbs, and hot sauce on a flatbread. Simple, easy and best of all – new. I stumbled upon some popover (pre-made) mix in my cupboard and decided that it would be the perfect complement to the egg duo. I’ve finally started putting hot sauce on my eggs and while I know I’m late to the party, I’m just happy to spice up my eggs and this technique works particularly well with the flatbread recipe below.

Before I get into the specifics, I felt like an anecdote was entirely necessary to describe the origin of these popovers.

Growing up, I had the pleasure of driving up the New England coast every year and was fortunate to spend every July in Northeast Harbor, ME, where my family has been going for decades.  Mount Desert Island, which is entirely devoid of the humidity and “stickiness” found on the east coast throughout the summer, is paradise. Acadia National Park, one of America’s most revered national parks, is as close as one gets to “heaven on earth” and has some of the most scenic hikes and vantage points you’ll ever com across in your lifetime. I’m fairly certain that over half of my flashbulb memories are chalk full of this one I have: driving over the bridge that connects MDI with the mainland and acquiring the first scents of the salty Atlantic Ocean. MDI is one of those rare places where “the mountains meet the sea” in the most magnificent fashion.

IMG_3386Back to the starch. Along with some of the best hiking and biking trails in the country, Acadia National Park boasts the Jordan Pond house, which is the ideal spot to stop for a bite to eat, grab some tea, gift shop, and just take in the natural beauty that Mount Desert Island and Maine have to offer. I’ve been going to this pond house essentially since I was born and eating popovers from this establishment for an equal amount of time. In fact, my cousin holds the family record for consuming 14 in one sitting. It sounds gross, but careful not to bite your tongue when wanting more after you have just one. Popovers are a bit more airy than their french toast, pancake, or waffle counterparts and leave plenty of space inside to spread douse them with copious amounts of butter and jam. The best part about popovers is that you can have them at any meal or for dessert with ice cream, but I prefer them for breakfast or in this case, brunch. You can buy them at the Jordan Pond website in either a gift set (with strawberry jam) or stand alone. If you’re feeling really ambitious and want to make these bad boys from scratch, use the recipe below. Best served with a ridiculous amount of butter and jam.

Jordan Pond Popovers
Yields 6 popovers

6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
3 to taste jam (necessary and highly encouraged)
3 to taste butter (necessary and highly encouraged)

Preheat oven to 425. Beat the eggs at high speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, or until the mixture turns lemon yellow. Slow the mixer to a crawl, and dribble in ½ cup of milk, taking about 20 seconds to pour it inches.

Into another bowl, sift the flour and measure 1 cup as exactly as you can, then add salt and baking soda and sift again. With the mixer still running on its slowest speed, add the dry ingredients to the eggs and milk. Turn the mixer off and use a rubber spatula to make sure that all of the flour has blended in with the liquid.

Set the mixer to medium speed and dribble in the remaining milk. Blend for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to its highest speed and beat for 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if you have a Kitchen-aid style mixer that uses a wire whip for beating). Extra beating won’t hurt.

Filter the batter through a fine-mesh screen strainer to remove any lumps, then pour into well-buttered popover cups or custard cups. (If you must use a muffin tin, fill only the corners.).

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, turn heat to 350 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes (20 minutes if your oven door has a window).

Baked Avocado & Egg
Serves 1

1 egg, whites and yolk
1 ripe avocado
salt and freshly ground pepper

Crack egg and put contents into a sliced avocado. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Open-faced Egg, Tomato, Mozzarella Flatbread with Parsley & Chives
Serves 2

2 eggs, hard-boiled
1 Pepperidge Farm flatbread 
2 small tomatoes
2 small slices of mozzarella 
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh chives, chopped
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Sriracha or Cholula hot sauce, optional

Boil the eggs for about 15-20 minutes. When cooled, strip them of their shells and cut into small slices.

Cut slices of tomato and mozzarella, place them on a 1/2 of the flatbread with the egg slices and broil for 5 minutes until cheese starts to melt.

Garnish with parsley and chives (or herbs of choice), season with S&P, and top with Cholula or Sriracha, if desired.

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