Breakfast for dinner? Not exactly. My version of these carb-free cupcake tin delights are on the savory side. However - if you change up the fillings, you can definitely dish them out for breakfast or brunch.
My good friend, Chef Amanda Nahas, (of Gourmania Chef and Gourmania with Chef Amanda Nahas, and her regular co-host, Ronnie Pino) came up with a similar breakfast-based recipe (Quick and Easy Egg Cups) that includes refrigerator biscuits in its base.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that it produces a half-dozen delights all at once. There's no waiting around while individual omelettes are created, and the chef gets to sit and eat, too, instead of being glued to the stove!
1/4 cup whole milk
1 clove garlic, minced (the garlic gives a savory quality to this dish; substitute 1/4 diced onion for a breakfast edition)
1 tomato, diced
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup shredded Gouda or Gruyère cheese
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 package fresh spinach, plus 12 nice looking spinach leaves for garnish
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1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
2. Sauté the sliced mushrooms in 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil with a little salt and pepper. If the mushrooms are fresh mushrooms, sauté them for about 10 minutes until they soften and become pliable. If the mushrooms are canned, place them in the pan with the spinach and garlic at the same time. (Reserve those 12 nice spinach leaves on the side. You don't want to cook them.)
3. If you are using fresh mushrooms, and they are done sautéing, add the spinach and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more until the spinach is slightly wilted and the garlic is fragrant. If you are using canned mushrooms and placed the spinach and garlic in the pan with them, just sauté everything for about 2 - 3 minutes total.
4. Grease 6 cupcake tin cups with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Alternate / stagger the cups you oil so everything will bake evenly.
5. Dice your tomato, and place equal amounts in each of the 6 greased cupcake tins.
6. Crack the 4 eggs in a bowl. Add the milk and some salt and pepper. Whisk.
7. Place equal amounts of the spinach-mushroom mixture on top of the tomatoes in the muffin tin.
8. Top each of the vegetable stuffed cups with equal portions of the grated cheese.
9. Add equal portions of the egg mixture to each cup that has ingredients in it.
10. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese and edges turn just a little bit light brown. The omelette cups will rise slightly. Turn the cupcake tin over onto a cutting board and the omelette cups should release easily. If you need to pry any out, gently use a butter knife.
That's it! Garnish each pair of omelette cups with two spinach leaves for presentation. Enjoy as a side dish with any meal, or this is a great addition to a brunch!
You can double this recipe for a full dozen omelette cups. This recipe serves 2 as a main dish, or 3 as a side dish.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated the next day in the microwave for a few seconds.
Using a non-stick cupcake tin works best, but still take the time to grease it with olive oil before adding ingredients.
If you are not a fan of Gruyère or Gouda cheese, you can substitute your favorite cheese of choice. Do not omit it from the dish as it acts as a binding agent.
Any kind of mushrooms can be used. Or if you hate mushrooms, don't use them! :)
Try changing up the ingredients for variety, even within the same batch. You can add cooked, diced ham, sautéed green or red bell peppers, a grated cheese blend (cheddar-American or American-mozzerella works well), sautéed, diced and cooked potatoes, chopped, cooked bacon, sautéed zucchini cubes... the combinations are endless.
This is a fun dish for kids to help with in the kitchen as they can customize each cup with their favorite ingredients.
To make this dish breakfast or brunch ready, omit the garlic and substitute 1/4 diced onion instead when doing the sauté.