As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we're making the effort to revisit some gold recipes and the stories that inspired them. Today, the spotlight belongs to Jay Guerrero, a former sous chef at Gabrielle Hamilton's restaurant Prune, who fueled the busy New York eatery's staff with this pre-service "family meal" of baked eggs.
As soon as I saw this rich, doable, published-in-2009 recipe on our site—endearingly preceded by an uncredited image of plain ricotta cheese on a cutting board—I wasted no time in inviting my friends over and testing this recipe (work masquerading as a lazy brunch, but I'm not complaining).
A lot has changed in 9 years!Photo by a mystery, Julia Gartland
Here's what its inventor, Jay Guerrero, said about the dish way back when:
Prepping for service means your body is occupied with completing a set list of tasks—rolling out pasta, making an aioli, cooking bacon—but your mind is free to consider what to eat. I like making this dish—in which eggs are baked atop layers of ricotta and ham—because it's easy to put together and goes in the oven for several minutes, giving my body a chance to keep working.
Or, in my case, keep yakking away to my friends about the latest season of Black Mirror and why it feels like April in February (and whether those things are related). That's when I learned my first lesson: Don't forget to peek into the oven and check in on your baked goods. My eggs came out hard-cooked, unlike the perfectly soft, pillowy goodness that came out of the office test kitchen. Which is great if you like harder yolks, but I'd advise you to start taking a look 10 minutes into the cooking time, and give the egg yolks a gentle nudge to see if they are set to your likeness.
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My second lesson: If you're baking this on a metal sheet pan, rather than a small-ish ceramic baking dish, make little indents on the top of the ricotta bed, which the egg yolks can sit in comfortably. This will prevent them from sliding off to the side.
With an updated recipe and an updated photo, there's no reason not to make this dish ASAP, because breakfast for dinner is always a good idea, right up there with Paris.
What are some of your lazy brunch go-to's? Let us know in the comments!