|Baked (shirred) eggs are an easy breakfast dish, and can be a good solution for when you want to feed more than just one or two people. Molly Katzen has found that it works best to bake the eggs in individual 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups – or in small gratin dishes (1-cup capacity, 5 inches in diameter) and to serve them directly from the oven - simply setting the baking dishes on plates for serving, maybe with a small napkin beneath the hot dish.This recipe calls for laying slices of cheddar cheese over the eggs part way through cooking. If you don’t want the cheese, simply omit that step, and bake the eggs for the last 5 to 10 minutes without the cheese. You will find two “variations” below the main recipe, one suggesting a bed of creamed spinach under the shirred eggs, the other for a bed of sautéed mushrooms - these are delicious and will also give you good guidance for inventing your own “beds” of other ingredients to prepare other variations on the dish|
|MAKES 4 TO 8 SERVINGS (8 BAKED EGGS)|
a little butter (optional)
8 large eggs
salt and pepper
1/4 pound, sharp cheddar – thinly slicedoptional toppings:
cayenne pepper or paprika or hot sauce
|Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 8 ramekins or custard cups or 4 gratin dishes with the nonstick spray. You may also place a small piece of butter (listed as “optional” in the ingredients list) in each cup and melt it in the microwave. Place the prepared containers on a baking tray.Break an egg into a saucer and slide it into a prepared container. Repeat with the remaining eggs, placing 1 egg in each custard cup or ramekin or 2 eggs in each gratin dish. Sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper, then place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.Pull the tray out of the oven, and carefully lay the cheddar slices on top of the eggs to completely cover the top surface. You may also sprinkle them with some (“optional”) bread crumbs and a touch of cayenne pepper or paprika or a sprinkle of your favorite hot sauce. Return the tray to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the eggs are just set.Carefully transfer each container to a plate, and serve right away. (Remind your guests that the dishes are hot.)|
Cook’s Note: for each variation, follow the main recipe with these adjustments. (Each of these serves 4.)SHIRRED EGGS FLORENTINE
Have ready and heated:
(Make a simple white sauce, and stir into it a 10-ounce package of chopped spinach – defrosted and squeezed to remove as much water as possible. Add a pinch of nutmeg, ans a pinch of dry mustard, if desired.)
Lightly spray 4 individual gratin dishes with nonstick spray, and divide the spinach mixture among them, spreading it into place. Proceed beginning with step 2 (adding the eggs) of the main recipe.
SHIRRED (or BAKED) EGGS ON A BED OF MUSHROOMS
Lightly spray 4 individual gratin dishes with nonstick spray, and divide the mushroom mixture among them, spreading it into place. Proceed with step 2 (adding the eggs) of the main recipe.
Recipe adapted from: Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café, by Mollie Katzen (Hyperion)