A few weeks ago, we ran a recipe for a Monte Cristo sandwich with fried egg, and I shared a bit of my own personal enthusiasm for the versatility of the egg. This week’s recipe for baked eggs by Food52’s Amanda Hesser, takes eggs back to basics, presenting them in one of the simplest ways to eat the dish. Eggs prepared in simple ways, like these baked eggs, is one of my favorite breakfast items to enjoy when I eat out each time I am home in the United States. Amanda’s recipe is great because you can add to it whichever herbs you like most. -Kristina
About Amanda: Amanda has designed a 17th-century-style herb garden at a French chateau, created the Twitter app Plodt, and appeared in Julie & Julia, playing herself. She was also named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet. Before she and Merrill Stubbs started Food52, Amanda was a reporter at the New York Times, and the food editor at the Times Magazine. She wrote the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and edited the essay collection Eat, Memory. Her last book, a Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Amanda is a trustee of Awesome Food, and is an adviser to The Spence Group.
See Amanda’s recipe after the jump.
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Soft butter, for buttering dishes
- 8 eggs
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Piment d’espelette, smoked paprika, or other ground chile
- Country bread, for toast
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the rosemary and olive oil in a small saucepan. Place over low heat until you can smell the rosemary, then shut off the heat and let cool.
Butter 4 shallow baking dishes (6- or 8-ounce). Crack 2 eggs into each baking dish. Spoon 1 tablespoon cream into each dish. Season with salt, pepper, and ground chile (to you liking). Place the dishes on a baking sheet and slide into your hot oven. Bake until just set, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the dish you are using.
Meanwhile, toast your bread and brush it with rosemary oil.
(Images by James Ransom)
Why Amanda loves this recipe
Fried eggs and scrambled eggs have forever trumped baked eggs, and I’d like to march on Washington to change this. I have nothing against fried and scrambled eggs. I’m an equal-opportunity egg lover, but I do think it’s unfair that when you’re at a diner or even a good hotel, requests for a
baked egg are met with blank stares.
Baked eggs are the friendliest of all egg recipes. Unlike the fried family, which requires a perfectly seasoned pan or a PFOA-free non-stick pan, or the scramble, which invites lots of debate about cooking speed and finished texture (I dare you to find a table full of people who agree on the way you’re cooking scrambled eggs for them), all baked eggs ask for is a shallow baking dish.
You crack some eggs into the buttered baking dishes, pour in some cream, and season the eggs. You can add leeks or pancetta or mushrooms if you like, and you can top the eggs with cheese. Next the eggs go into the oven, allowing you to clean up a bit and leisurely check on their progress. It’s almost impossible to overcook baked eggs. And when they come out of the oven, each little dish is self-contained and handsomely framed by its dish– the eggs are browned at the edges and like custard in the you have a delicious meal that can be served for breakfast, dinner — or for breakfast, lunch, *and* dinner.