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This is the kind of dinner to have on a weeknight when you're tempted to make breakfast for dinner but really want dinner for dinner. Baked eggs and garlic toast falls somewhere right in the middle -- satisfying and hearty like brunch, but also well suited to a glass of wine or simple cocktail. There's flexibility in the recipe, too: mushrooms, gruyere, and thyme taste sublime together, but feel free to use any cheese and herb in your fridge. The secret in the grilled garlic toast is rubbing crushed garlic onto the crusty bread after it's been toasted, infusing the bread with a garlicky flavor that's not at all overwhelming.
Serves 2 to 4
8 ounces mushrooms (any variety will do)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 large eggs
1/3 cup shredded gruyere
2 tablespoons heavy cream
6 slices good country bread
We're assuming you have some butter, olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 4 large eggs, salt, and pepper. If not, add those to your shopping list, too.
1. Heat your oven to 400°F. Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and the thyme in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
2. Grease an 8 x 8-inch or other small baking dish. Scrape the mushrooms into the baking dish.
3. Crack the eggs over the mushrooms and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs, then drizzle the cream over the top. Bake in the oven until the whites are set and the yolks are velvety and just barely runny, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.
4. While the eggs are baking, heat the grill to medium-high (or use a grill pan if you're cooking indoors). Brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil -- don't skimp, here! Sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the bread for a minute or two on each side, until it's crisp and brown (we like ours on the darker side). Rub one side of each toast with the cut edge of the garlic clove (lightly or vigorously, depending on your preference) and serve while still warm.