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There’s nothing like the savory comfort of a well-constructed fried egg sandwich and with the sudden closing of Town Talk Diner, I’m left with an opening at the  top of my Favorite Fried Egg Sandwich list. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone! For those remaining, the Iggy’s Fried Egg Sandwich (Good Day Cafe) and the Fried Egg and Pastrami (Bewiched) – I am a supporter. And perhaps upon recent recommendation I will indulge in Cafe Twenty Eight’s version of goodness. But beyond sandwiches and topping gourmet burgers, eggs are sharing the stage with lobster atop crostini (Bar LaGrassa), adorning artisan pizzas (Mozza Mia) and enhancing saucy enchiladas (Barrio). What is the attraction to eggs? Loaded with nutrition, they’re a comfort food that you can feel good about consuming… for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Try this simple, versatile egg dish!

Baked Eggs in Pastrami Cups

3 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 medium leek, (white and pale green) finely chopped
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
5 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt & Pepper
12 slices Pastrami, sliced thin
1 cup Fontina cheese (or Gruyere, Smoked Cheddar, Swiss), grated
12 large organic cage-free eggs
2 T. fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ºF

Mushrooms & Spinach:
Heat butter and oil in skillet on medium. Add leeks, shallots and mushrooms and thyme. Cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid is evaporated, about 12 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly oil a muffin pan (12 – 1/2 cup pan). Position 1 slice of ham or pastrami in each cup (ends will stick up). Divide mushroom/spinach mixture among cups. Sprinkle with Fontina cheese. Crack one egg into each cup. Bake until whites are cooked and yolks are slightly runny (15-17 minutes) or until desired firmness. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives.

Create: A variety of vegetables can be sauteed with the mushrooms: red pepper, asparagus, zucchini, sweet potato… whatever you have on hand!

Finish the plate:
Breakfast – fresh fruit
Lunch – mixed green salad
Dinner – roasted asparagus, sweet potato hash and truffle cream sauce

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