I know that Mother’s Day was last weekend for most of you (and a few months ago for those who celebrate “Mothering Sunday“), but I didn’t have time with all that was happening last weekend to post this recipe.
And, technically, it’s still Mother’s Day in our house, as we served this meal to my lovely step-mother last weekend (and my Dad—he was invited too, naturally), and we had another brunch for The Husband’s mother this weekend, as she just moved back in to town.
This is the part when I can say “Hello!” and “I love you!” to both of them, because of course they’ve subscribed to my blog. And not because I forced them to. (Whew!)
This recipe would be super easy to vegetarianize, but not as easy to veganize, because of the egg taking center stage. But I know that I have many a creative vegan blogger friend out there who could figure out a tofu-scramble-type-thing that would work wonders as substitute, and you can always just omit the cheese or use some Daiya.
Vegetarians, all you need to do is use some veggie sausage crumbles or Soyrizo and you’re good to go!
I was so happy I remembered that I had four heart-shaped springform pans out in one of my external storage areas, because it made these little guys (a) perfect for Mother’s Day and (b) absolutely adorable. Being able to take them completely out of the baking pan also made them easier to eat, as usually you need to dig them out of a ramekin with a spoon. Which is its own kind of fun, of course, but this just worked wonderfully.
There’s not a huge or complicated recipe here, it’s mostly assembly and oven time.
Cheesy Polenta Egg Bake
1 cup polenta
3 cups of vegetable stock (preferably mushroom)
4 oz. goat cheese or vegan cream cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Get the stock up to a nice boil and pour in the polenta, stirring well with a whisk. It will thicken up pretty quickly, and once it does, turn it down and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Make sure to have a lid on it, because it splatters a lot, and when it does it’s like napalm on your skin!
When it’s done cooking, add the goat or cream cheese and stir well. Season to taste.
While the polenta’s cooking, cook up your sausage in a frying pan. We used Mulay chorizo, but you can use Italian sausage, veggie crumbles or Soyrizo. Really, use whatever sausage is your favorite. You could even substitute it for some chopped, sautéed Swiss chard or spinach, or even mushrooms. If you’re using sausage, drain on some kitchen towels when it’s cooked.
Use the best eggs you can find, and make sure that they are room temp before you start. Line your ramekins or dishes with a quarter of the polenta, top with the sausage (or substitute) and carefully crack an egg over the top. This recipe is for a kind of poached egg on the top, but feel free to scramble or break the yolk if that’s what you prefer.
Place all the ramekins on a baking tray. Carefully slide into a 350°F oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check the eggs; at this point they should be starting to firm up. Top with some grated manchego or cheddar cheese and return to the oven. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until egg is at desired doneness.
These are great served with a side of sautéed greens or a little fruit salad. And Bloody Marys or mimosas, of course!