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Eggs Baked in Red Wine
Makes 4 Servings
*4 slices homemade-style white bread, crusts removed
*2 garlic cloves, one halved and one minced
*6 strips bacon
*2 shallots, minced
*2 cups dry red wine
*1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade
*2 tbls. unsalted butter
*1 tbls. all-purpose flour
*Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*8 large eggs
*2 tbls. chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, tarragon, lemon thyme
1Cut each slice of bread into 2 triangles and toast lightly. Rub with the halved clove of garlic while warm.
2Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cooled and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the minced garlic and the shallots. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until softened , 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a boil.
3Use a fork to blend the butter and flour into a smooth paste in a small heatproof bowl. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the boiling liquid into the bowl and blend until smooth. Empty the bowl into the skillet and boil, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4Arrange 2 bread triangles in the bottom of 4 individual 1-cup casserole dishes or ramekins. Pour a quarter of the red wine sauce over the bread and carefully break 2 eggs on top. Arrange the dishes on a sheet pan and bake in the middle of the oven until the eggs are just set, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and the crumbled bacon. Serve hot.
  • You can set this dish up ahead of time by making the sauce a few hours - or a few days - in advance. Then, about 30 minutes before the meal, just heat the sauce, pour it into the ramekins, and proceed with the recipe. Everyone is always delighted with his or her own elegant little ramekin of bacon and eggs. (And if you invest in the ramekins, you can use them for other individual dishes, like fruit crisps or custards.)

Recipes adapted from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Copyright (C)2002 by Sara Moulton, published by Broadway Books