Thursday, March 17, 2011

Potato, Bacon, and Cheddar Egg Bake

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats on $6/day.

Man, talk about boring titles. But I was really struggling with this one. Oh, sure, I toyed with a few different things:

The Fat and Starch Egg Bake
The High Cholesterol Egg Bake
Artery Infusion

But for some reason, I just wasn't feeling it. So we're stuck with the bland, but accurate Potato, Bacon, and Cheddar Egg Bake.

And if any of my failed titles have discouraged you from making this, I assure you that they're just throw-backs from the 80's. These days eggs are hip, normal-fat cheese is cool (thank goodness) and bacon, well, bacon never really went away. It just had to hide in the closet for a few years until people couldn't hide the love any more.

Seriously, though (in case you don't think I've been serious enough to convince you to eat something I called "Artery Infusion"), this is very good and it is my opinion that it is also good for you. It is my opinion that eggs and potatoes are nothing short of virtuous (A, B, C-vitamins, fiber, etc.). And as for the outed bacon, I only used 2 slices and I let my daughter nibble on a bit of one of those slices, so you really need very very little to add some flavor and loveliness to this. Furthermore, it could totally support some carrots or some chopped spinach or kale if you wanted to make it even more nutrient dense. And now I realize that I could have used kale in mine and called it Colcannon Egg Bake, which would have been both a fabulous title and perfectly appropriate to today and healthier than what I made. (Excuse me while I bang my head on the desk a few times. And, hey, no stealing that idea and publishing it in your upcoming cookbook with cute, clever recipe titles, okay. The patent is pending and stuff.)

And now, the recipe.

Potato, Bacon, and Cheddar Egg Bake
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook times: 30 minutes
Cost: $1.47
(bacon: .20, butter. 07, potato: .13, onion: .05, eggs: .50, milk: .02, cheese: .50)

2 slices bacon
1 Tbsp butter
1 C red potato, diced with skin on (1 medium potato)
1/4-1/2 onion, shredded (see note)
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
a few scallions or chives, chopped
4 oz (1/2 C) cheddar cheese, diced (mine was scant and still worked great)

Note on onion: I shredded mine (in the little shredder holes), which makes it into a sort of pulp. Why would I do such a thing? Because Kip has a texture problem with onion. When you shred/pulpify it, there are no chunks of textured onion to get in the way, but you still get good onion flavor (which he can handle in non-overpowering doses).

Note on cheese: You can use shredded, but it will float to the top. The diced is nicer because it's heavier and will sink a bit. We used shredded and lived to tell the tale, but I like those chunks of cheese.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook bacon in cast-iron skillet or something else oven-proof. (If you don't have such a skillet, just cook the first part in a regular skillet and then pour it into an oven-proof pan--probably a 9-inch cake pan would work or a 9-inch square pan.)

Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Don't let your 3-year-old eat it all. Add butter to the pan (make sure your pan isn't too hot or the butter will burn instantly--with cast iron, you'll probably be set at medium low). Add potato and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally until the potato is tender but firm.

In the meantime, whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Sitr in scallions and cheddar. When potato is ready, throw the bacon onto it and then pour the egg mixture over it all. Place the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes (at least 160 on an instant read thermometer) or until the center is done.


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