Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata Ham Cups

Something about Spring and sunny lazy weekend days just begs for easy brunch dishes like this one. This is an idea that has been around for a while, but which I finally wanted to try myself. Most versions that I see of this call for adding the veggies or cheese and then topping with a freshly cracked egg and cooking until set, but I switched it up a bit because I hate runny yolks and I hate egg whites on their own. Ick.

So I decided to turn it into more of a mini-quiche or frittata inside of a ham cup. SO much better! Also quicker, easier, and can be eaten both hot or cold, making them much less fussy when entertaining since you can just make them in advance and serve them up cold on purpose. The ham cup makes them look super cute and impressive--very key when you're essentially just serving people eggs. It's all about the presentation!

Full disclosure--I make these for myself during the week, too, as they make for a perfect grab-and-go lunch during busy weekdays. I actually prefer these cold--I think the flavors come through better and my tongue doesn't get burned as I shove them into my face. You could also make a batch of these on Sunday to enjoy as a quick breakfast during the work-week.

Tip: Have vegetarian or non-pork-eating friends? Simple skip the ham in a few of the wells and pour the batter directly into the greased muffin tin--this way you serve all your friends without having to make different dishes for everyone!

A note on the ham: You can use any kind of ham you'd like (from regular deli ham to prosciutto), but my FAVE for this and all ham-uses is this fancy ham I get from Schaller & Webber, called "Bauernschinken." It's very similar to prosciutto, but smokier and a little thicker--less delicate. If you're in NYC, they sell it on Fresh Direct, so definitely check it out. I order about a pound of it every time I do groceries (much to Eugene's chagrin--he calls it "that expensive ham."). Whatev.

Spinach & Goat Cheese Frittata Ham Cups
Makes 12 ham cups (about 4-6 servings)

12-14 slices ham
8 cups fresh baby spinach (or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed)
4oz goat cheese (chevre)
9 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or brush a muffin tin with oil, then line each cup with a slice of ham being sure to seal it up as much as possible (sometimes it helps to cut the ham slightly). Don't worry if there is overlap on the sides.

Combine fresh spinach with a few tablespoons of water in a large covered pot over medium heat. Let steam a minute or two, or until the spinach is completely wilted (skip this step if using frozen spinach). While the spinach wilts, whisk together the 9 eggs in a large bowl. Drain spinach & squeeze off excess liquid, then add to the eggs.

Crumble the goat cheese into the spinach and egg mixture, then add the salt, pepper, and cream. Stir until combined, then divide the mixture into the 12 ham-lined cups, filling all the way to the top.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the eggs are puffed and slightly golden on top. Remove from oven and use a fork and knife to carefully remove each egg cup from the muffin tin. Serve immediately, or let chill and serve as a cold dish.

Leftover egg cups will keep well for 3-5 days when wrapped individually and refrigerated.

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