One of my mother’s speedy, simple dinner dishes she always called shirred eggs, but are more formally known as ouefs en cocotte. Basically just eggs cracked in a dish, with a little cream poured over and maybe a sprinkling of cheese. I think she made this mostly for herself, but sometimes to feed us when the pantry was bare. I have happy memories of shirred eggs – though I wonder if she will dispute me on this – as a simple comfort food dish. When I moved out on my own and was pinching pennies and had an ill-equipped kitchen, shirred eggs were a standby meal for me too.
But shirred eggs can be so much more, and still be exceedingly simple. All the ingredients in this version are kitchen staples for me, so I can whip up an elegant meal in no time. Add a lightly dressed salad and some bread for dunking in the eggy mix and you are done. I like the simplicity of this, but you could certainly add some chopped fresh herbs or a hint of spice.