Happy Christmas Eve, my friends!! I know I’m not alone in these sentiments, but Christmas Eve is my absolute favorite day of the year. It’s all about ritual and family and tradition and anticipation… the things I love the very most in life! So many things have changed over the past few years, but it’s nice that a few have stayed exactly the same : )
The first tradition of the day is family breakfast at The Market House, a little greasy spoon in my hometown. We’ve been kicking off the day there since I was a little kid and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I remember my grandfather joining us when he was still alive and Santa Claus himself stopping by for a visit back when I was in grade school. I remember arguments with my brother (sorry mom!) and pancakes, and eggs, and the famous breakfast scramble. Most of all I just cherish the memories of being together with my family doing this thing that we’ve always done. When you are growing up it never really occurs to you that the day will come when Christmas is the only time of year that the whole family is together for more than a day or two. Given that is now our reality, it makes the traditions and the memories of this day all the more special!
I didn’t snap any photos at breakfast this morning, but I do have a very special breakfast recipe to share in honor of the day. A few weekends ago, my college roommates came out to Philly for their annual Christmas In The City visit and we made these super simple baked eggs for breakfast on Saturday morning. They are great for entertaining because the recipe can be easily adjusted to your number of guests, and you don’t find yourself standing over the stove flipping pancakes or making omelettes while your friends are enjoying their breakfast. Pop these babies in the oven and then sit down to actually enjoy a meal together. I love serving them with fresh baked bread, perfect for dipping in that creamy ricotta and for scooping up those caramelized onions. This recipe is also the perfect canvas for substitutions, so use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, or throw in a little left over breakfast meat for an extra pop of flavor!
INGREDIENTS (per individual serving):
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 Tbs fresh sage, minced
- 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbs half and half
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
- Few grinds of fresh black pepper (or a pinch of table pepper)
- 2 Tbs whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 round baking ramekin per person (I found my festive ramekins on sale for $1 each at Michaels!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the ramekin with non-stick cooking spray.
Slice the onion very thinly and saute in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until sweet and caramelized. I like to throw a little extra salt in there with the onions as they cook. Transfer the caramelized onion to the prepared ramekin.
While the onion is cooking, whisk together the eggs, herbs, half and half, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Be sure to whisk vigorously so the half and half is fully incorporated into the eggs. Pour the egg mixture over the onions in the prepared ramekin and gently mix one more time with a fork, pulling the onions up into the eggs. Top with a 2 tablespoon scoop of ricotta cheese and bake for 20 minutes. The eggs will puff up and be fully set when ready to remove from the oven. Allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
I served my baked eggs with fresh French bread from the local bakery, homemade herb butter, and a side of applewood breakfast sausage.
Joy The Baker’s Onion and Ricotta Frittata.
Merry Christmas Eve to all and to all a good breakfast : )
…Like that? A classic Twas The Night Before Christmas reading happens to be another of our Christmas Eve traditions.