Although I've tried to be a quick and simple breakfast person (a cup of yogurt, a bowl of cereal, a slice of toast, a protein shake), a rushed breakfast is never a good one for me. I'm also not a fan of sweet foods first thing in the morning, which rules out most cereals, and I want my food hot and my coffee black. This is a dilemma when my work schedule has early starts, but I've found a way to quickly get a good, hot breakfast: make a large quantity of something ahead of time and reheat it. OK, this is not rocket science, but for some reason it just didn't connect in my head until recently, so my breakfast would be leftover dinner. Yes, I'll eat spicy Sichuan food, chard and chorizo soup, whatever necessary to keep me from becoming a low blood sugar monster by 10 AM.
Tarts have been my breakfast of choice since Pi Day, but I found myself one egg short of making a tart the other day. So, I opted to make a savory custard using ingredients I already had in the house. It turned out so good I had to share! A note on the cheddar: I used Trader Joe's English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions, and it made my custard sing. Amongst my friends, we reverently call it Magic Cheese because it has just the right blend of savory, salty, and a heavy dose of umami.
Savory Mushroom and Cheddar Custard
4 cups of sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T butter
1 cup grated cheddar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 °F. Grease a 10" tart pan with oil or butter (if you use butter, the paper that butter is wrapped in is great for spreading it around the pan).
Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saute pan. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt, if desired.
These are cremini, blue oyster, and king oyster mushrooms
As the mushrooms cook, they will start releasing their liquid. Add the chopped garlic after the liquid has evaporated. Continue to saute for a few more minutes. Set aside mushroom mixture to cool.
Beat the eggs and milk together. Add the cheddar, cooled mushroom mixture, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Pour the custard into a tart pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the custard is set in the middle and golden on the top.
This custard is great for any meal of the day, but I'm particularly fond of it for breakfast.