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Huevos Hyacinth

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Preparation

Baking Directions:

My good friend Hyacinth and I like to cook together and try to figure out new and interesting ways to get food into our mouths.

Plus, she does all the dishes, which makes me love her all the more.

One day right after Easter, I lamented that I'd up and forgotten to dye Easter eggs with my children, after having bought three dozen eggs.

Nice mothering, eh?

Anyway, after scolding me for an hour or so, Hyacinth suddenly remembered an egg dish she'd enjoyed while visiting a bed and breakfast with her husband, our district court judge, whom I have a really hard time addressing as "your honor," but I still try.

After a little experimentation, we came up with Huevos Hyacinth, a single-serving dish prepared in individual ramekins.

The basic recipe can be used as a launching pad for your own interpretations: instead of sliced ham, use smoked turkey or salmon.

Instead of goat cheese, use Pepper Jack, Mexican Cotija, or even Boursin, if you're feeling especially French that day.

However you prepare it, Huevos Hyacinth is perfect for one or several guests.

Butter individual ramekins, and in each one place a piece of thinly sliced ham.

Top the ham with tomato slices.

Or, if you're feeling spicy, a couple of tablespoons of picante sauce instead.

Gently crack an egg over the top of each ramekin.

Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Top each ramekin with ¼ cup grated cheese.

Monterey Jack works nicely .

But crumbly cheeses such as Cotija or goat cheese are my personal faves.

Broil for 2 to 4 minutes, removing when the yellow of the egg is still soft but not overly runny.

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