Tandem Coffee opened a second location: a cafe in a renovated service station on Portland’s Congress Street. Briana Holt is creating excellent sweet and savory baked goods. But fair warning: gluten-free offerings are occasional and the open kitchen precludes a GF environment. However, something I had last week was worth adapting: Briana’s Birds’ Nest Breakfast Muffins. A whole egg baked in cheesy corn meal based batter, they’re perfect for breakfast or brunch during the holidays. Splurge on the freshest, most organic eggs you can get since these will be the easiest to peel after boiling.
Birds Nest Muffins – Makes 6 large muffins. You’ll need “jumbo” muffin tin.
6 medium organic eggs, boiled (see instructions below, #2)
5/8 cup (3.5 oz.) organic corn meal
5/8 cup (3.5 oz.) GF mix (yours, ours, or Trader Joe’s)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the muffin tin
1 large organic egg
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage meat – optional, but nice to include if you’re so inclined since it adds to the texture and flavor of the corn(bread).
1. Preheat the oven to 425F and prepare the muffin tin by wiping or spraying with olive oil.
2. Put 6 fresh eggs in a large heavy sauce pan filled with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Bring the water to a healthy boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 7-8 minutes. Drain the hot water, fill the pan with cold water and 1 cup of ice. Set aside.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
4. Combine the buttermilk, olive oil, and egg in a 2 cup glass measure. Whisk to blend.
5. Crack and peel the eggs – set aside.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir to blend. Fold in the cheese and sausage.
7. Put a dollop of batter in each of muffin spaces. Evenly distribute the eggs. Evenly cover the eggs with the rest of the batter. Bake at 425 for 18 – 20 minutes.
Note: Sprinkling a little extra grated cheese on top is nice. Also, if some of your group prefers, omit the boiled egg in one or two of the “nests”.