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.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons grated gruyere or parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon white wine
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 4 two cup ramekins and place in a larger baking dish. Put a kettle on to boil water.
- Mix the sour cream, gruyere, white wine mustard, salt and pepper together and blend until combined. Crack two eggs into each of the prepared ramekins. Spoon ¼ cup of the sour cream mixture over each ramekin, making sure to cover the surface of the eggs. Gently spread it out with the back of the spoon if needed.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle the top of each ramekin. Place the ramekins in the baking dish and pour boiling water carefully into the dish, coming about ½ up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake the eggs for 15 minutes, until the tops jiggle just slightly. Serve the eggs immediately, with toast fingers of baguette slices for scooping.
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