Deborah Madison describes her recipe for eggs baked on a bed of sautéed mushrooms and croutons as a dish you can turn to when you're tired but want to do something more satisfying than pop leftovers in the microwave; "this offers just the right amount of involvement to feel as if you've done something nice for yourself." I greatly welcome this feeling, as when it comes to eggs I tend to simply fry them in a pan and plop them on a plate without any accoutrements, resulting in something that's resembles sustenance than "something nice." If you don't have mushrooms and croutons, you can bake the eggs over just about anything else you have lying in your refrigerator (preferably edible and fresh).
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 slices bread, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely diced shallot or onion
- 6 large brown mushrooms, cremini or portobello, thickly sliced (about 1/2 pound)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped marjoram or rosemary sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 generous teaspoons tomato paste
- 3/4 cup red wine, preferably the wine you"1l be drinking
- 2 or 4 eggs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 2 shallow baking dishes and set them on a sheet pan.
Heat the oil and remaining butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Raise the heat, then add the mushrooms, most of the herbs, and a few pinches of salt. Sauteé until the mushrooms have started to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the wine and immediately scrape the pan to release the juicy bits. Lower the heat and simmer until a few tablespoons of juice remain. Season with salt and pepper and divide the mushrooms between the dishes.
Break one or two eggs over the croutons and mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Bake until the whites are set, about 15 minutes, and the yolks are as firm as you like. Remove, sprinkle the rest of the herbs over the top, and serve.