by Dana B. Bryant
Individual baked eggs are so quick and easy you can whip them up on a weekday morning without much fuss.
Yet they are so simple and elegant that you can serve the petit dish for a romantic breakfast or on Mother's Day. They're called "oeufs cocotte" in France (that just oozes fancy).
Eggs take on a pleasing flavor when baked, especially when combined with fresh herbs. You'll appreciate both the easy preparation and the subtle flavor combinations.
Are you cooking for one? Scale the recipe down. If you have a crowd, make 12 at a time in a muffin tin. Will you be adding this delicacy to your Mother's Day Brunch?
Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Yield: 4 servings
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon
• 1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
• 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
• 4 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 teaspoons half-and-half
• 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
• freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325°.
Mix the parsley, tarragon, chives, thyme and garlic into the butter. Divide the butter mixture between four 6-ounce custard cups. Place the custard cups in a shallow baking dish and place in the oven until the butter has melted.
Break an egg into each cup. Top with 1 tablespoon half-and-half and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Sprinkle liberally with freshly ground back pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
We've experimented a bit with the basic recipe. Each of us has a favorite twist that is shared below:
• Wrap a pre-cooked slice of bacon inside the custard cup, prepare and cook as directed.
• Cook it in a portabella mushroom cap for a tasty treat.
• Slim the dish down by using egg whites, reducing the butter and topping with a few spinach leaves instead of half-and-half.
• Top the eggs with diced green chili peppers, tomatoes and sharp cheddar.
How will you be serving the perfect addition to any breakfast?