I am very lucky to have a husband who enjoys eating food as much as I enjoy making it. He is also decidedly not picky and happy with almost anything I make him. I make a mess and he does the dishes – it is the perfect arrangement. However, in all the years we’ve been together, I have not been able to change his mind about eggs. He just really isn’t a fan. Consequently, I rarely make eggs for breakfast and usually opt for something I know we will both enjoy like waffles or pancakes. A few weeks ago my wonderfully awesome aunt came to visit for the weekend and I was thrilled at the prospect of a breakfast guest would eat eggs and actually like them!
I know I say it all the time, but really, I can’t believe I waited this long to try these eggs. For one thing, they are incredibly low maintenance and quick to make – definitely something I appreciate in a weekend breakfast. And second, they taste phenomenal. Rarely (almost never) do I enjoy breakfast more than dinner or dessert, but when I made these eggs I was thinking about them for the rest of the day. And I’m still thinking about them. And now I will probably have to make them for breakfast tomorrow. The small amount of fresh herbs and garlic make such a huge difference and put these eggs far above all others (in my opinion). I don’t have the individual gratin dishes called for so I just used these little oven-safe crocks I have. Check the eggs frequently throughout the baking process to be sure they are done to your liking. I personally prefer my yolks a little runny and think I over-baked them a tad, but they were still delicious and I know Ben preferred them this way. And as for Ben, the former egg-hater – I don’t think I’ve won him over completely but I definitely think these were a step in the right direction. He even said he’d eat them again! This is easily adapted to make however many servings you need.
Herb Baked Eggs
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
½ tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
½ tsp. minced fresh chives
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream, divided
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat source. Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, chives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 4 small bowls or teacups without breaking the yolks. (These are not the dishes you will bake the eggs in.) It is very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking because you must move quickly.
Place four individual gratin dishes or oven-safe crocks on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and ½ tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly but carefully pour each serving of eggs into the individual gratin dishes and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are just cooked. (You may need to rotate the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even baking.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to rest for at least 60 seconds before serving hot, with toast if desired.
Source: slightly adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten