1 half of a toasted English muffin, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled
1/4 cup diced cherry tomatoes (or other tomato with some flavor)
1 Tablespoon diced roasted and peeled hot green chiles (canned is fine)
1 lightly poached egg (the egg will cook a little more in the oven)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded good-quality aged cheddar
Recipe is for one serving prepared in a 10-12 oz oven-proof ramekin. Repeat as required.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put half of the muffin, bacon, tomatoes and chiles in the bottom of an ovenproof ramekin or bowl, nestle the egg on top and season with salt and pepper.
Scatter the rest of the bacon, tomatoes and chiles on top of the egg, add the remaining muffin, and pour the cream over the top. Sprinkle with cheese.
Let the dish sit at least 15 minutes before baking, to let the muffins absorb some of the cream.
Put the ramekin on a sheet pan for easy handling, and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown and most of the cream has been absorbed, 14 to 15 minutes.
Let rest about 5 minutes before serving, for the best consistency and flavor.
Note: This can be assembled the night before baking. Be sure to cover tightly and refrigerate. Add an extra 1 to 2 minutes to the baking time.
Notes, Options, Substitutions
Use the muffin, egg and cream as in the main recipe, but replace the bacon, tomatoes, chiles and cheddar with your choice of the following ingredients:
1 ounce thinly sliced ham, cut into ribbons; 1 teaspoon horseradish (was Dijon mustard) whisked into the cream, plus 1 teaspoon spread onto the toasted muffin; 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese.
1/4 cup medium salsa; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro; 1/4 cup drained canned pinto beans; 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 teaspoon pesto whisked into the cream; 2 drained and minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes; 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese; 2 teaspoons freshly grated parmesan cheese.
2 to 3 ounces fresh spinach, lightly wilted, seasoned with salt and pepper, squeezed dry and chopped; 1/2 cup 1/4-inch slices of cooked chicken sausage (any flavor); 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese.
2 marinated artichoke heart quarters, chopped; 1 chopped roasted red pepper from a jar; 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese.
1 ounce cold-smoked salmon or lox, cut into bite-size pieces; 1 teaspoon drained capers; 1 teaspoon minced red onion, sautéed in olive oil until soft; 1/4 cup crème fraîche (you'll still add the 1/4 cup heavy cream from the master recipe); no cheese in this one.