The Daring Cooks Make Edible Containers!



When I first saw what this month’s challenge was, I had mixed feelings. I definitely thought it was cool, and wanted to do something more fun than just a bread-bowl, but I also was at a loss as to what to do. My mind has been utterly buzzing lately with a giant list of “to-do” lists, a slurry of ideas, and half finshed thoughts. I didn’t have the brain power to think of something ridiculous and crazy, but after scouring the internet for a while, I  found the perfect thing!
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com/!

Add to that pile, a much needed vacation! My husband’s Aunt and Uncle lovingly decided to take us on a vacation (in a guise of a medical convention) to San Diego this past week. We had a fantastic time, visiting the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and a bunch of great parks and museums! It was a little cold and windy (definitely not what we were expecting for San Diego weather), but we had a wonderful time, took a plethora of awesome pictures, and made a lot of memories! Our little bug LOVED it (she is destined to be a world traveler) and can only be described as both giddy and hyper the entire week!

For this month’s challenge, I decided on BRINNER! (that’s breakfast for dinner, in case you didn’t know), which is one of my favorite things of all time. Breakfast is really one of my favorite meals. Well, breakfast on the weekends. The weekday rush to get to work obviously necessitates baggies of cereal and microwave oatmeal, but the weekend, oh the weekend is made for pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I jokingly tell my husband, who approaches breakfast with a hum-drum take it or leave it attitude, that if I had known of this shocking behavior earlier, I probably would not have married him. At least, I tell him I’m joking.

I love the way these turned out! I've been wanting to make baked eggs for a while now, and the idea of putting them in a bacon cup was just too much fun to pass up! I also threw a little cheese, sauteed shallots, thyme, and garlic, and some toasted english muffin cubes on the bottom. I am not sorry I did, either, they were great! I had a momentary "uh..." moment when it was time to get them out of the muffin pan, but it was nothing a paring knife, fork, and being super fast couldn't fix.

While I liked the bacon cups a lot, I really LOVED the peaches cups! Peaches, Brie cheese (ohmygodmyfavoritecheeseever), thyme, and bacon crumbles in there. They were deliciouuuuuus! I didn't even care that a river of molten hot brie cheese was burning a path down my face and hands, I just kept eating!


Baked Bacon Cups

6 slices thick cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 English muffins, cubed
3/4 cup Jarlsberg cheese, finely shredded
6 teaspoons half-and-half
6 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the bacon in a single layer.
Bake until the bacon is cooked, but not crispy, 6 to 10 minutes. It is important that the bacon is still pliable enough to wrap the inside of the muffin tins without breaking.
While the bacon cooks, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until the shallots are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the English muffin cubes, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing continually with a spatula until the muffin cubes are lightly toasted.
Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and spiral wrap one slice of the bacon inside each of 6 cups. Divide the English muffin mixture between the cups and top each with about 2 tablespoons of the shredded Jarlsberg.

Press down on the mixture with the back of a spoon to make room for the eggs, then drizzle 1 teaspoon of half-and-half over each cup.
Crack one egg on top of the cheese layer, being careful not to break the yolk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the cups to cool in the pan for several minutes before carefully transferring them to a plate.
(Makes 6 cups)

Savory Summer Fruit Tartlets (adapted from http://www.eatcaliforniafruit.com/)
1sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package)
1/3pound wedge Brie cheese
2 small California peaches or nectarines or 2 large plums (or any mixture), diced
2-3 strips cooked bacon, chopped
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Thaw pastry according to package directions and lightly roll to remove creases.
With a pairing knife, cut the puff pastry into 12 rectangles.
Flatten each rectangle between your hands, pulling and stretching it just a tiny bit.
Press each into the bottom of a mini-muffin cup, and up the sides. It won't be perfect, let it spill over the top and overlap a bit. You want it to look rustic, just make sure that the majority of the muffin tin is lined.
Trim away the rind of Brie and cut into small pieces (1-inch cubes).
Place equal amounts in the bottom of pastry lined cups.

Place several pieces (or lots) of fruit in each cup on top of cheese.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped thyme and bacon.
Serve warm.

6 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I love breakfast, too (well, brunch, to be specific - breakfast foods at a leisurely-I-got-to-sleep-in hour...), and your brinner looks absolutely delicious - love both the bacon cups and the peach ones. Now I want to have brinner tonight... :) Awesome job.

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  2. The brie tartlet sounds so so so delicious yes I can imagine it now so so so tasty well done and the Brinner is a brilliant idea great job! Lovely work on this challenge I love the photos of the child so cute.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  3. I'm glad you had fun in our lovely town of San Diego! Your brie tarts sound amazing! I love the sweet and savory combination.

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  4. LOVED everything about your post... your writing is so interesting I loved reading every word..BRINNER! will be using that term from now on..I love breakfast too. Last but definitely not least, those eggs and tarts sound super yummy.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and you have an adorable kid :)

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  5. OMG, we linked brain waves during this challenge, almost right down to the brie! Yours look amazing! BTW..love that Butterbeer cake! Every time I read a new HP book, especially the first two, my mouth watered when she wrote about Butterbeer. One to file away for sure :)

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  6. Both "brinner" ideas are awesome, and thanks for introducing me to this new meal, I also love breakfast and could easily repeat it at dinner time.
    Your baby is sooo cute!

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