Old-Fashioned Eggs with Spinach and Cheese

Eggs, cheese and spinach in ramekin with toast on plate

Preparing eggs in the basic ways can get boring, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Eggs with Spinach and Cheese. Each egg is served in an individual ramekin which makes an easy to serve, lovely presentation that can turn any breakfast into a special meal. The eggs are embedded between layers of creamed spinach and cheese.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for eggs with spinach and cheese
Source: Balanced Daily Diet by Janet McKenzie Hill (1920)

I’m not sure what a “very moderate” oven meant in 1920, but I interpreted it to mean 350° F. Maybe it actually was higher. The 5-8 minutes baking time called for in the original recipe was not nearly long enough to set the eggs. It took about 15 minutes for them to set.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Eggs with Spinach and Cheese

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

5 ounces (5 cups) of fresh baby spinach (approximately 1/2 cup cooked spinach)

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar.)

3 eggs

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash spinach and put in a sauce pan. There should be some water clinging to the spinach. Using medium heat, cook until the spinach has wilted down (about 2 minutes) while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gradually, add milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and add the cooked spinach. Stir to combine.

Put 1/6 of the spinach and white sauce mixture in each of 3 small ramekins; then sprinkle with 1/6 of the shredded cheese. Then break an egg into each of the ramekins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put 1/6 of the spinach and cream sauce mixture on top of each egg; then sprinkle with 1/6 of the shredded cheese on top of it.

Put in oven and cook for 15 – 18 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

61 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Eggs with Spinach and Cheese

  1. Spinach, eggs, and cheese is a good combination no matter how they’re put together. This would be nice if there’s company to be served, although I wouldn’t do it for myself.

    1. The use of individual ramekins makes a nice presentation, but there probably are easier to ways (such as scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese) to use this same basic combination of ingredients.

    1. I think they’ll like the recipe. It’s interesting how our children’s food preferences change (and expand) as they go from childhood to adulthood.

    1. Until I read your comment, I hadn’t thought about this, but you are absolutely right. It can be challenging to get the egg whites set in a timely manner when baking eggs.

    1. Yes, most people still would have had wood or coal stoves a hundred years ago. I’m sure that it was much more challenging to regulate temperatures, and old recipes never list an exact over temperature. Instead the recipes say things like, a “slow oven”, a “moderate oven,” or a “hot” oven.

    1. The cookbook that I got this recipe out of was on old promotional cookbook for Crisco that was published by Proctor and Gamble. I guess they were so excited about their product that they decided that Crisco could be used as a verb. 🙂

            1. I can’t think of any reason it won’t work. The kale might take a little longer to completely wilt when cooking, but otherwise it seems like it would work similarly to spinach.

    1. That’s good to know. If confirms what I thought about 350° F being a moderate oven temperature. That said, the author of the old cookbook must have considered “very moderate” to be a temperature substantively higher than 350°. The eggs whites weren’t even close to setting after the 5-8 minutes called for in the original recipe when I set the oven to 350°.

  2. Eggs and spinach a great combo…I saw Crisco in a recipe the other day. It keeps popping up lately not something I am familiar with…I do agree with standing the ramekins in water it does help the cooking. 🙂

    1. Crisco is a vegetable shortening that’s been around for a long time in the U.S. I think that the eggs would cook more evenly if the ramekins were put in water, though it probably would increase the cooking time.

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