Diapers and Dragons

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seriously, My Mouth Is Watering Just Thinking About Them, People!

So in yesterday's suprisingly optimistic post about Christmas Past and Present (trust me, the optimism caught me off guard too), I mentioned my family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast: Christmas Eggs. And then DeeDee over at Fiddledeedee posted about a $100 Visa gift card giveaway that asked contestants to share a Christmas tradition they are continuing with their own families, and I wrote about Christmas Eggs. And she is also doing a Saturday Stirrings post today, so BOOM! I'm all meme-ing and stuff here. Head over to those two posts if you'd like to enter the contest and/or if you'd like to check out more awesome recipes.

While pigs and pork are relatively common out in Ivory Coast, West Africa (that's where I grew up, if you're new or oblivious), processed pork in the forms of ham and bacon are quite rare. Somehow my father would manage to track some down every year before Christmas: thick, rich, smoky bacon bursting with flavor and all the more delicious for its rarity. He also canned his own tomatoes and tomato sauce from tomatoes grown in his garden behind the house.

So each Christmas morning at some point toward the end of the gifting extravaganza, Dad would go off in to the kitchen and rattle around with muffin tins and eggs and bacon and tomato sauce, and soon we would smell the rich scent of Christmas Eggs. We each got two at breakfast and filled in the cracks with Mom's coffee cake.

Bacon is plentiful in Michigan grocery stores, and my tomato sauce comes out of a bottle or can, but I still carry on this tradition every Christmas. For some reason I simply cannot bring myself to make these eggs any other time of year--it just would not be right! So here you go. Perhaps you'll find yourself adding something new and delicious to your own Christmas breakfast.

Just--if you decide to make it other times during the year, don't let on to me, okay? 

Christmas Eggs

thick-cut bacon*
large eggs
tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line the sides of each cup in a muffin tin with bacon. Make sure the ends of the bacon strips overlap. Crack an egg into the center of each cup. Carefully pour a tablespoon or two of tomato sauce on top of each egg. Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes (don't you love my precision?) until bacon is cooked through and eggs are firm and opaque.

The cooked eggs/bacon should come out of the cups with the help of a large spoon. Serve hot and enjoy!

*I have made this successfully using turkey bacon, if you're looking for a lower-fat option. The thicker the cut the better, but you could also double layer if needed. I haven't tried that, so you'd be entering experimental arenas....

7 bits of love:

Heidi said...

Does the bacon stay soft or go crispy at all?

Kathleen said...

That sounds good! I wasn't too sure when you mentioned it yesterday, but I think I'll have to try it!!

And, hey, where did your dad find bacon in Africa? He must have kept it a secret because I don't recall EVER having a strip of bacon in Africa. Always a treat when back in the states!

Arby said...

This sounds like something I have to try on the campfire.

Pam Elmore said...

These sound really good! I think I might try them. I won't tell you when. ;)

Fiddledeedee said...

I don't know. I JUST DON'T KNOW. Do I dare try this? I'll be labeled a hypocrite, because every time my family goes near my beautiful scrambled eggs with ketchup, my head explodes.

This could be my Christmas surprise... :)

GingerB said...

OK, I'll try it. Is it just regular canned tomato sauce? Not paste, not ketchup, not fresh - just sauce? Tell us more about the bacon . . .

Dad said...

I ususally found the bacon (poitrine fumée) in the large stores in Abidjan or other large towns. We would have it sliced and then I would freeze it (sometimes a few months ahead of time depending on our trips to the big city). The bacon stays soft, not crispy. I ususally use tomato juice that has a little garlic salt added. In the US I would put some seasoned salt on top. If you rub the cupcake pan with the bacon first, then the eggs tend to stick less. Fill 1/2 way any empty slot in the cupcake pan with water to avoid overheating that slot. If you want a fresh tomato juice flavor, then just put some pealed fresh tomatoes in a blender, juice it, and use that.

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