Hope you all had a great and safe St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. With that in mind, there’s nothing better for a hangover cure than a good brunch. Sunday brunch is a ritual here in New York, but if you want to stay in and have people over, I have a great (and somewhat healthy recipe) for you. Okay, actually the kale is the only thing healthy, but whatever, it’s delicious. =)
This particular recipe was inspired my local coffee shop here in Brooklyn. Every weekend, when I pop in for my morning latte, they have these amazing little kale and egg bird nests. However delicious they are, I’m always slightly bummed because the egg yolks are cooked through (which, I understand as they’re not made-to-order). So, I decided to do a little research (thank you Pinterest) and concocted a recipe à la my coffee shop version + a handful of other recipes to create perfect yolk’y goodness. =) So, here we go…
Kale & Egg Bird Nests
1/2 large bunch kale
2 big cloves of garlic (add more or less depending on your love of garlic)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
sea salt & pepper (to taste)
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced (if you don’t have fresh herbs, i get it, but they do make a big difference in taste)
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp butter cut into pats (can omit, but much tastier – of course) =)
Olive oil or canola oil spray (truffle oil wouldn’t be too shabby either)
Optional ingredients (I decided to add these suggestions in because, well, I like options and experimenting in the kitchen. =) Choose 1-3 if you like, but no more as those little cupcake tins can only hold so much deliciousness):
- freshly grated parmesan or cheddar
- jalapeño pepper – chopped
- crispy cooked bacon – chopped
- chopped artichoke hearts (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
- chopped prosciutto
- chopped sundried tomato
- chopped roasted red peppers (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
- the options are endless! (just make sure you chop whatever you choose into small bits)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 6 wells in your cupcake pan with canola or olive oil spray, making sure to not forget the sides. Cut pats of butter (use your discretion) and place 1/2 a pat in the bottom of each well. Put pan aside.
In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. Add shallot and sautée until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Add herbs and 1/2 tsp sea salt; remove from heat and stir to combine. The mixture should be somewhat coarse and just a little buttery.
Wash kale, shake or pad off excess water and rip leaves from stem. Discard stems. Put olive oil and chopped garlic cloves in a large sautée pan or skillet heated to med-high (i’m a fan of cast iron, but use whatever you like to sautée in). Sautée garlic for 1 min. Add kale and keep moving the mixture around. Sautée until bits of the kale start to turn brown. I like to sautée mine for a little longer to make it nice and crispy. Dash with sea salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Put sprayed cupcake pan with butter pats in the heated oven for 1 min to melt the butter. Remove from oven. Line each cupcake pan well with sauteed kale to form a nest for the egg to sit in. If adding any optional ingredients (cheese, jalapeño, bacon, etc..) do it now, putting a little bit of them on top of the kale nests. Don’t O.D. though as you need room for the egg (and you can always put more on top). Crack one egg for each nest, careful not break the egg yolks (I typically tap with a butter knife). Add the herb mixture on top (and if you have room, go nuts w/any additional ingredients). However, keep in mind you’re going to want to be able to see if the egg white is cooked through (and we do want this to actually cook). =)
Here’s mine before I popped them in (I did a variety of optional ingredients – those are jalapeños topping the right side):
Place in oven and set your timer to 7 mins. Make sure to pay attention to the timer as you don’t want to overcook the eggs. Check the eggs to see if the whites have cooked mostly through (if not, check on them again after another minute). When they’re almost cooked (white should be slightly milky-clear on the top, if that makes sense), crank up the broiler and put them in for another minute and then check to see if the whites are fully cooked. My oven took an additional 2 mins, but all ovens vary, just be vigilant. If you want the yolks runny, don’t overcook the whites. As soon as the whites are cooked, remove from oven. They should look something like this:
While you’ll want to inhale them immediately, let them sit for 3-5 mins. Then use a small spatula or knife to go around the edges and gently lift them out and wah-lah! Serve by themselves or with toasted English Muffins, crumpets, or whatever your carb of choice is. Enjoy!