A few months back my friend Skennedy shared this whole “baked egg in an avocado” thing on Google+. I can’t remember or find the original source, but lord, did it quickly become one of my favorite things to have for breakfast or a snack or whatever. So when my friend Sarah asked earlier this week, “What do I do with all these avocados?” I said I’d share my baked egg in avocado recipe, since I found that it took a great deal of experimentation to make this work perfectly. This is not a hard recipe on the surface, but it’s a technique thing that can bite you on the ass if you are not careful aka egg everywhere but in the avocado.
In time I stopped using regular eggs, and switched to quail eggs, which are available locally in Charlotte at Healthy Home Market, and many places at specialty food stores and farmers markets. (I get 15 for $3.99) If you have access to quail eggs, I suggest this option.
After I posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Google+ people I know started making these like crazy town. I started some kind of baked egg in avocado craze. I was shocked. I was further shocked when several people said, “This didn’t work for me.” Mainly because I have no idea why – granted not many folks said how it didn’t work, just that it didn’t. So, as a courtesy to all those folks who had problems, here is my method.
Make sure you read the whole thing through and plan ahead. You’ll need some hardware planning for this, so trust me – read it through once before you make it.
Baked Eggs in Avocado
Serves: 1-2 depending on whether you want to share. Multiply as needed.
1 Hass Avocado (just ripe or slightly under ripe)
Eggs (either normal chicken eggs or quail eggs – duck are really too big for this)
Any additional seasoning you might like (summer savory, thyme, basil, etc.)
Preheat oven to 375-400F. (Ovens vary and I’m not convinced mine is accurate.)
While oven is preheating cut and avocado in half from top to bottom, around the pit. Pop the seed out.
Here we face technique issue #1: Look at your eggs. Look at that hole in in the avocado. Does your egg look like it’s gonna fit? Most of the time, especially if you using chicken eggs, the answer is gonna be “hell no.” Do not despair. This is the fun part: take a teaspoon (the eating kind, not the measuring kind) and enbiggen the hole. (What you do with this extra avocado is your business. I generally eat it straight – chef’s prerogative.) Make the hole big enough to contain your egg. I suggest then making it a bit bigger. I, and many others it seems, tend to underestimate the actual size of a whole egg, and if you go to small whites will spill out (which is okay, but not as pretty, or easy to eat).
Techique issue #2: You need a oven safe baking dish that will hold your avocado so that the cut side is flat & stable. This is supremely important as avocados are round and tend to roll around. A small ramekin or small Pyrex thingy (as pictured) works really well. This is important so your egg stays in your avocado while it bakes.
Once you have an avocado-stabilizing dish, place your avocado in it taking care to make sure it is stable and the cut surface is flat facing up. Sprinkle a touch of salt in (this is your sole chance to season the inside of the avocado – take it! Your meal will be better for it). Then crack your egg and place it in the hole. (I usually crack each egg into a separate dish, just in case. If you do too, just slide the egg into the hole.)
Then season the top with salt, and pepper or any other seasonings you like – I usually stick to one herb – dried thyme, dried basil, or dried summer savory.
Your avocado is going to be brimming with egg. I load them into the oven by opening the oven, pulling the middle rack out, settling the ramekins on the center of the rack, and gently, slowly pushing the rack back in. Once you’ve done this, turn the oven light on – you’ll be peeking in to check on doneness while it bakes.
Depending on your egg doneness preference it will take 12-20 minutes. I usually smell when mine are done. Remember, with eggs, residual heat will cook them a touch more, so plan accordingly.
Serve on a plate or small bowl. I usually excavate mine with a oven mitt & big spoon – they are HOT.
I discovered this evening, should you be attempting to gain weight (like me) or just believe in overt decadence, a soft goat cheese on the side sort of slide this dish into “things I might consider as a final meal” territory. It’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
How will you season yours? What dish did you use to balance your avocado? Did you have any problems? I know some folks love these, do you? Do tell! Remember, I’m happy to help with any questions you have.
Go forth & nom!