The Genuine Kitchen: Are Two Yolks Better Than One? You Bet!

James Beard Award nominee Chef Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink brings his knowledge to your home cooking with a new column, The Genuine Kitchen. With each installment, he'll discuss an ingredient or theme and then deliver a recipe. Questions or comments? Email thegenuinekitchen@michaelsgenuine.com.

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Jackie Sayet
Roasted "Double Yolk" Egg with Tomato, Chives, and Asiago Cheese
Like most of my food, the Roasted "Double Yolk" Egg is both original and highly approachable. The dish has taken on a life of its own and gained almost a cult following. It makes a great start to a hearty meal like a steak and eggs brunch at home. A double yolk egg is cracked into a ramekin along with some roasted tomatoes and cheese.  As they cook in the oven, the egg whites begin to solidify ever so slightly while the cheese turns into a cap of melty goodness.

This is a simple recipe that can be prepared ahead and baked when needed. Play around with different ingredient combinations and have fun. It won't fail you... You'll be hooked!

I have a real fondness for double yolk eggs. The added fat from the extra yolk puts it over the top in terms of richness. In fact, I'm not really an egg white guy. In my opinion, egg whites are just a vessel to deliver you that rich goodness of the yolk. There's a farmer up north with huge eggs, 90 percent of which contain two yolks inside each one. It's not that uncommon apparently.  In case you can't get these beauties in your neck of the woods, you can easily recreate the double yolk by just using two yolks and the white of one egg. A much better ratio if you ask me!

You can tell the freshness of an egg by the way the white stands up when you crack it into a bowl. The color of the yolk is not dictated by freshness like you might think, but rather by the chickens' diet. The more fresh greens and grass they eat, the more orange the yolk. We actually used to keep chickens at our house. Yes, chickens on Miami Beach!  It was the best kept secret! We, as a family of five, not only found ourselves buying a whole lot of eggs, but noticed that the quality of the typical store-bought dozen was not very good. So we started raising hens. Needless to say we got those yolks so orange some people wondered why they were that color! (By the way, you can keep your own chickens without too much trouble, and it's well worth it. Just make sure you give you neighbors plenty of fresh eggs to keep them from calling code compliance!) If you're not ready for a backyard coop of your own, then just try to find the freshest egg available -- usually at your neighborhood farmers market.

Roasted "Double Yolk" Egg with Tomato, Chives, and Asiago Cheese

Serves 4

4 large slices crusty sourdough bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 tablespoons good-quality chunky tomato sauce
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 ounces asiago cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 small head frisée or handful of pea shoots, for serving

Preheat the oven to 500˚F.

Slice the bread into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices, lay them side-by-side on a baking pan, drizzle with oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Using a brush or your fingers, butter the bottom and sides of four six-ounce ramekins. Divide the tomato sauce among the ramekins, crack an egg and egg yolk into each.  Add a drizzle of cream and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chives and add a layer of cheese to cover the top completely. Put the ramekin on a baking pan and transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Put the bread in the oven at the same time. Bake the bread until crisp for five minutes. Bake the eggs until the cheese is melted and the ramekin should have a little jiggle when you shake it, about eight minutes.

For presentation, put the ramekin in center of small dessert plate, and lay a sourdough crostini on the side. Place a small mound of frisée (or pea shoots, as pictured) on top of the bread and serve.
 
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