September 20, 2012

Chipotle Quinoa, Egg and Spinach in Ham Cups

I had lined up quite a few recipes that I planned to work on over the weekend. I was all pumped up with my grocery shopping all done and all set to embark on a cooking spree over the weekend. But then, early Saturday morning my phone rings; a very unusual time for me to get a call but my sweet sister does have the habit of disrupting my weekend beauty sleep. As I hesitatingly picked myself up from bed to grab the phone, I felt something really different, a feeling that something was just not right. I was right- It was my sister indeed but she had called to inform me about the sad demise of my paternal grandmother. 

A strong lady of substance, a phenomenal cook, an incredible writer and an informed human being, liked by all who knew her - that was how we would describe her at her prime. My past blogs may have had numerous mentions about her culinary magic and the lessons I have picked up from her.  She was very inspirational to me, always welcome with her pragmatic encouragement in whatever endeavor I was involved in, be it studies, life or even cooking (though the only help I was to her during those days was with chopping vegetables).

Many of her old time favorite recipes have left an indelible mark on me and I crave for those culinary delights even today, for instance her  rich Plum cake, Christmas pudding, Sweet mango chutney which she used to serve with the yummlicious Biryani,Vanilla Custard Ice cream, Fish crumb fry, Meat Cutlet, Meatball Curry etc. make me drool each time I think of it and I honestly think the dishes that used to come out of her kitchen just can’t be beat. 

Today, I just want to say “I Miss you Ammachy!!” May you rest in peace, in the arms of our almighty Lord! You have left us with so many warm memories that we will cherish forever. We will always love you!.

The versatile recipe that I tried today can be served as an appetizer, breakfast or as a snack. We actually had it for dinner tonight, with some fresh tomato salsa, vegetable salad and warm bread. 

Makes 12

24- Thin Ham slices
6 – Eggs
½ Cup – Quinoa
8oz – Fresh Spinach, chopped
¼ Cup – Onions, chopped
½ Cup – Red pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp – Garlic, grated
¾ - 1 Tsp – Chipotle in Adobo sauce (Refer notes)
1 Tbsp – Ketchup
1 Tbsp – Cilantro, chopped
¾ Cup – Grated cheese, divided (I used Havarti, cheddar and Pamesan)
Cooking spray
Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F 
  • In a non-stick sauce pan, heat 1 ¼ cup of water to a boil and add the Quinoa. Cook for 12 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. 
  • Take saucepan off the stove and cover with a lid; let the Quinoa puff up in the steam. 
  • While the Quinoa cooks, heat some oil in a sauté pan, add onions, garlic and sauté until golden. 
  • Add chopped spinach 
  • Season with salt, ketchup, pepper and Chipotle peppers
  • Cook until all the water evaporates and take saucepan off the heat. 
  • Beat the egg in a bowl and incorporate the cooked spinach mixture, Quinoa, cheese, red peppers, Cilantro, pepper and salt 
  • Use the cooking spray to grease the muffin tray 
  • Take 2 slices of ham and place it in the muffin tray, covering most of the area at the bottom. Ham is going to act like the muffin liner here ..yummy!!
  • Spoon in the egg and spinach mixture into the ham 'liners'. 
  • Top it with grated cheese 
  • Bake for 18-20 minute or until the toothpick test comes out clean when inserted into the muffin 

Notes and Tips 

  • Chipotle Chilies in Adobo sauce is available in most grocery stores, usually in the canned food section. The Chili is spicy so adjust according to your palate. You can discard the seeds to reduce the heat level. 
  • The ham is usually salty so adjust salt in the filling accordingly 
  • If the edges of ham start to burn in the oven just cover the muffin tray with some aluminum foil and continue baking for the recommended time period.
On a final note, today is  the last day for submission of entries for the DMBLGiT Sep 2012 event. I am so glad it was a success as we received so many beautiful photographs from all over the world which can be viewed at the gallery. I thank you all food bloggers and enthusiast who took part and also who spread the word. The winner will be announced on my blog on September 30th, 2012.  I am also planning a Giveaway on my blog shortly so stay tuned :)

 Sending this recipe for Monthly Mingle hosted at Jenn Cuisine


  1. So sorry to hear about that Shema. Hugs to you.
    I completely panic when i get really late night or early morning calls...there's this chill that goes through my body.
    The first pic looks like its out a magazine or something, so pretty and rustic. Love the wooden board and that mug. Ham cups is such a brilliant idea, i have tried tortilla cups, but ham just takes it all to another level. Bookmarked :)

  2. This looks just wonderful Shema! I love the combo and the presentation. It's perfect for those fall family brunches that always seem to happen around the holidays. As for the blend of ham, cheese, eggs and chipolte..yum!!

  3. So sorry for your loss Shema. It's nice to see you passing on a part of her through the recipes she cooked and the lessons you learnt from her. May she rest in peace.

  4. These sound awesome, and a super easy breakfast idea - thanks so much for participating in Monthly Mingle this month!

  5. What sad news for you, and what a lovely choice for the monthly mingle!

  6. Food traditions seem to tie families together more strongly than anything. Thank you for sharing. Your recipe looks like the right kind of comfort food for a tough time...and looks extremely delicious and pretty, too!


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