Be Better Than the Ramen
The Worst, June 2013.
I get it. You’ve had a really long day. If your boss wasn’t bitching at you, your girlfriend/boyfriend/parent/neighborhood hobo was bitching at you. Drained and exhausted, now you have to feed yourself and the last thing you want to do is spend hours to prep and cook.
What are you doing with that $0.50 ramen?
Oh my god. Are you actually going to eat it? Put the hot water down. I know things seem tough right now, but you don’t have to resort to this! IT WILL GET BETTER!
Ok that was a little overdramatic, but seriously. Snap out of it. You’re a grown-ass woman/man. It doesn’t matter if you’re pressed for time or if you got them for free: overly-processed, chemically-produced ramen is never the answer. Have a little self-respect! Life’s too short to be eating hydrogenated whatsits with noodles that have about the same shelf-life as a nuked cockroach.
What about something fresh? Let’s start with some crusty bread, toasted with some olive oil. And how about something that’s satisfyingly warm? I’m thinking eggs, swimming in a pool of heavy cream and ooh — bacon. Mmm, bacon is always a good idea. Throw everything in the oven and bake for a few minutes, just to the point where the yolk is still a little runny. Spoon all that creamy gold on a piece of bread and indulge. Oh, it takes practically zero prep time and about 15 minutes? Sounds delicious.
Creamy Baked Egg with Bacon
1 cup heavy cream
1 shallot (peeled & minced)
1 tbsp tarragon
1 tbsp thyme
2 strips of thick-cut bacon*
4 thick slices of country bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp unsalted butter
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, mix the cream, shallot, tarragon, and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Drizzle olive oil on the sliced bread. Place the pieces in the oven and toast until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. If you like to mark your food, toast the bread in a grill pan until both sides are marked. If all this seems too complicated, just stick your bread in the toaster and toast, you lazy bum.
Divide the butter evenly among four oven-safe 6-oz. ramekins or shallow baking dishes and smear it along the bottom and sides of the dish surface. Crack an egg into each baking dish. Pour or spoon the cream into each dish to completely submerge the egg white, while keeping the yolk exposed. Add bacon, cheese and whatever leftovers/savory tidbits you’d like at this point.
Place baking dishes in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. Egg whites should begin to set while the yolks are still soft. For an impressive touch, blast the eggs with the broiler for about 1 minute until they begin to brown slightly. Remove the baking dishes from the oven and let rest for 1 minute (the heat will continue to cook the egg). Serve with warm bread.
*Feel free to substitute cheese or leftovers in your fridge. If you’re going to go the leftover route, I’d recommend cutting the seasoning to about half or forgo it completely. Tarragon and Chinese takeout may not mesh well.
Consider this your official PSA. Just because you’re broke and/or busy doesn’t mean your quality of life should suffer. With just a smattering of ingredients and a little prep, you can have your dinner without a heaping side of self-loathing. You CAN be better than the ramen. I believe in you.