J Guerrero, a sous chef at Prune, is somewhat famous for his family meals. Here, he gives us a recipe for a new take on baked eggs that fully embraces the need for a hands-off breakfast dish, although I would argue for serving this dish as a light lunch or dinner. Easily adaptable, this is one to make a standard. -Helen
Shop the Story
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. Family meals are split up among the various services at Prune: the person working lunch makes breakfast, the daytime prep person makes lunch, and the dinner crew makes dinner.
Breakfast is my favorite meal, and 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. Most importantly, it’s forgiving and can easily be made vegetarian for those who choose that…lifestyle.
2 cups coarse breadcrumbs, big enough that they look like croutons
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 cups ricotta
1/2 - 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
4-5 slices good quality ham
1. Brush a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil. Heat your oven to 450.
2. Coat the base of a big saute pan with olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and thyme. Toss around a little bit until the onions are coated and turning translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and toast them with the onions for a few more minutes, until they start to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool as you prep the next step.
3. In a medium bowl, blend the ricotta with the milk/cream to loosen it up. Add the breadcrumb/onion mixture. Pour half this mixture into the baking pan. Lay the ham in a single layer over the breadcrumb/cheese mixture, and then top the layer of ham with the rest of the breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Crack your eggs over the top and bake until the whites are done and the yolks are set to your likeness, roughly 30 minutes.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).