Of all the perks to working at a cheese shop like Formaggio Kitchen, it's the family breakfasts I miss the most. These meals were quickly prepared by whoever had time before the store opened, and were inevitably cheesy and always delicious. Created by two cheese mongers (Tripp and Emily) who needed a quick breakfast that was simple to prepare and used very few ingredients, the "hamekin" was born out of necessity.
Ideally, use a combination of both soft and hard cheeses, but any kind of cheese will work. The type of ham is personal preference, but I like a lightly smoked variety the best. Serve with plenty of toast for dunking, and a delicate fizzy cocktail (unless you're at work, then stick to coffee).
About the author:
Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at www.sydneyoland.com (or read www.eatingnosetotail.com)
- 6 ounces ham, thinly sliced (smoked, honey, black forest)
- 4 ounces cheese (Swiss, comte, cheddar, brie; whatever you like)
- 4 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper
- bread for dipping and scooping
Preheat oven to 375°. Tear or chop ham and cheese into small pieces. Toss ham and cheese together and divide evenly among ramekins. Spoon one tablespoon of sour cream or crème fraiche on top of ham and cheese, then break an egg on top. Season with salt and black pepper.
Place ramekins in high-rimmed baking dish large enough to hold them all and pour hot water in larger baking dish until it reaches half way up sides of the ramekins. Bake until egg is just set, about 18-20 minutes.