April 6, 2020

CHEESY HAM AND EGG BASKETS - more confinement cooking.

One of the things I miss most whilst being confined to quarters is having a nice lunch out.
We usually go out to lunch every week or two, mostly on a spur of the moment basis, but of course, "that particular avenue of pleasure is currently closed off".  So, in our efforts to make the best of things, we have been trying to have more interesting food.  Often out of necessity (shortage of ingredients) but also as entertainment.  Eating out is entertainment after all and we do miss that.  Dredging my memory for lunch inspiration I was reminded of these tasty little frittatas which we first had last year and you can see the original idea here.  

You line a muffin tin with ordinary ham and fill with an eggy mixture and other bits and pieces.  I used cheddar cheese and tomatoes but you could use sliced peppers, bits of spring onion, chunks of goats cheese, anything along those lines.
You could of course just make one big frittata in a pan with bits of ham in it instead, but cooking them like this you end up with little ham baskets with crispy edges and a tasty filling.  This way takes a little longer to prepare but time is something we are not short of at the moment.  Each one is a portion for a snack, or two or three each make a nice lunch.  Serve with salad, crusty bread or, if you're feeling that side out, chips!
6 slices of ordinary supermarket ham (not too thick but not the wafer thin kind)
6 eggs
2 tblsp whole milk (you could use cream!)
2 medium tomatoes
a handful of grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 fan / gas mk6.  Butter a six hole muffin tin (or double up the quantities for a 12 hole tin, adjust down to make just four).
If your ham is in nice small rounds, make four slashes in each slice so that you can tuck them into the tin to line each hole, overlapping the edges.  (See picture.)  If using the larger oblong or square slices of ham such as you find in France, use a saucer, jam jar or similar as a template to cut rounds of roughly the right size before slashing them.  You might have to experiment a bit and if you end up with scraps of ham just add them to the mix or save them for something else (omelette, pasta, quiche, dog, etc.).
Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug, season with salt and pepper (you could add herbs if you like) and divide equally between the holes.  Add a slice of tomato and a good sprinkling of grated cheese on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.  Remove from the oven and allow the filling to settle down before removing gently with a palette knife.
Serves 2-3 people, depending on how hungry they are and what you serve with them.


  1. I have a similar recipe in an ancient cookbook of my Mum's, where you line the tins with a buttered square of bread, and divide one slice of ham, chopped up between the 4 cups. I think it's a wartime recipe.

    1. Angela, that sounds very similar to the croque madame muffins I make, very frugal and delicious!

  2. I've put eggy fillings in few different sorts of pastry and bread containers over the years but never in ham. Sounds like a spiffing idea. I really miss the opportunity to wander out to lunch whenever I fancy it and I must admit that I very often fancy it.