So, I’ve got a thing with eggs. I could eat them for any meal, at any time, and any number of ways. There’s a culinary urban legend that the number of pleats in a traditional chef’s hats is directly correlated to the number of ways to cook eggs and, while I’ve never found concrete evidence backing that claim, it’s fair to say there are at least 5 kajillion ways to make eggs. And where there’s eggs, there’s certainly a thought or two about brunch. Our family isn’t all that religious but what we do love is a good Easter brunch filled with all sorts of eggs.
trimmed, halved, and cut crosswise into half moons
(about 10 cups)
skin removed and flaked into small pieces
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Prepare 4 (6 to 9-inch) cast iron skillets by drizzling 1 of the tablespoons of oil between them and turning to coat the insides.
I keep pre-seasoned mini cast iron skillets around for brunch dishes like this. If you don't have them, you can purchase them from my friends at Joyus or make everything in one large ovenproof frying pan.
Heat remaining oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter foaming subsides, add the leek and cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add spinach, handful by handful, season with salt, and cook, turning frequently, until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Divide spinach mixture among the prepared cast iron pans, leaving any excess liquid behind and divide flaked salmon among the pans. Make a deep indentation in center of spinach in each skillet and break an egg into each hollow, trying your best to keep the yolks whole. Pour about 1 tablespoons of the cream among each skillet then bake until egg whites are set, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Hot-smoked salmon is salmon that is smoked at a higher temperature than normal and it is fully cooked fish with a firmer texture and more pronounced flavor. If you can't find it, just cook a 4 ounce piece of salmon then flake it and use it for this recipe.
Top each skillet with some herbs and serve with toasted bread.
Photography and food styling by Aida Mollenkamp