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Baked Ham and Eggs Crisp



3/4 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lemon pepper to taste
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (we use sour cream)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh
tarragon or 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon
12 slices of Black Forest or
Virginia ham (without holes) we use Virginia Ham because it's usually round
12 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare mushrooms:
Cook mushrooms and shallots in butter with salt in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring until mushrooms are tender and the liquid they gave off is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and tarragon.

Assemble and bake:

Fit 1 slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups (ends will stick up and hang over edge of cups). Divide mushrooms among cups and crack an egg into each. Bake in middle of oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season eggs with salt and lemon pepper and remove from muffin cup using 2 spoons or small spatulas.

Cook's note:
Eggs in this recipe are sometimes not fully cooked which may be a concern in your area. In our kitchen we cook eggs a little longer to be sure that the eggs are fully cooked. Ham should be thin enough to bend into muffin cups but not too thick to bend.

This recipe came from Gourmet Magazine, February 2002. The only change is the addition of lemon pepper. Spinach could be used in place of the mushrooms. Serve with buttered toast.