I was taking a break from researching some cooking techniques for eggs to expand on my egg articles. So I put down one of my favorite cookbooks: The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt. Instead, I grabbed Billie Straight by Jonathan Kellerman, left my desk, and flopped into the hammock.
I was just getting immersed in the story when I read the sentence: “She walked into the dining room and sat down to eat her shirred eggs.” Stop. Wait a minute. Read that again. Shirred eggs.
Shirred eggs? Intriguing to say the least. Google: Shirred eggs. Answer: Eggs baked in a flat-bottomed dish. Named after the dish (shirrer) that it was traditionally baked in.
No worries. We don’t have to start scouring antique stores, trying to find a shirrer to start making these delicious mini meals from now on. We’ll use ramekins. It turns out that shirrer is just another term for porcelain ramekin.
So get out your ramekin, butter it, add a little bit of heavy cream, crack an egg in it, top with some grated cheese (I used Pecorino Romano) and chopped chives, and add salt and pepper. Bake in your toaster oven at 350°F until the white just barely sets (about 15 minutes), remove from oven (warning: ramekins will be hot), and serve. Eat with a spoon or dip some toast cut into strips.
That’s the first one I made after looking it up, and it was absolutely delicious. Viana even said out loud: “Wow, I think that’s the best egg I’ve ever had!” I was happy and at the same time surprised. I thought I’ve been cooking up some really good eggs for a while now 🙂
But she was right, it was an eye-opener. And brain opener. A taste-bud opener. I couldn’t wait to start playing around with this basic but perfect recipe.
Next morning: Buttered ramekins, heavy cream, egg, cheese, chanterelles, bake, salt & pepper, garnish with a few jalapeño slices. Wow!
The morning after that: Buttered ramekins, heavy cream, egg, cheese, bake, salt & pepper, sliced avocado, and (instead of salt & pepper, add a splash of soy sauce). Wow again!
Me: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Imagine adding some smoked salmon, or some leftover hanger steak with a couple drops of hot sauce, or some chopped tomatoes and basil, or….
Please let me know what you came up with. This recipe has legs. Let’s see how far we can let it run…
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Shirred Eggs - My Favorite Breakfast Mini-Meal with Maximum Flavor and Minimal Effort
Ingredients for The Basic
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
- 1 Tbsp chives, chopped
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat toaster oven to 350℉.
- Butter the dish and add the heavy cream. Crack an egg into it and make sure the yolk doesn’t touch the sides. Sprinkle cheese and chives on top, add salt and pepper and put into toaster oven.
- When the white just barely sets, about 15 minutes, remove from oven (warning: ramekins will be hot).
- Serve & enjoy!
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