M: Baked eggs!
Me: Baked eggs?
Me: How do you bake an egg?
M: You know, in a pan on the stove...
Me: OH! A FRIED egg!
You see, the Dutch word for fried is gebakken. The Dutch word for baked is also gebakken. NOW the whole conversation was rather funny, but at the time the concept of a baked egg was quite baffling. Since then, the baked egg has been a bit of a joke between us. That's how I knew I HAD to choose Ina Garten's Herb Baked Eggs for this week's FNCCC! To round off the meal I also made the Endive, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad.
Herb Baked Eggs
Courtesy Ina Garten
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
- 6 extra-large eggs*
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I just used evaporated milk)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted French bread or brioche (Or just plain old toast), for serving
Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat (I couldn't really be that specific with where the rack was because my oven has one place for a rack and that's where it was).
Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)
Place 2 individual gratin dishes (a ramekin would work too) on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 (or two) eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (I think that Parmesan cheese is pretty salty so I didn't add any extra salt). Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly (My broiler has a hot spot so I moved them about three times so they wouldn't scorch). The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.
Endive, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad
Courtesy Ina Garten
- 4 to 6 heads of Belgian endive (This is witlof in Dutch)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons good olive oil
- 2 ripe Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and sliced
- 1/4 pound good Roquefort cheese (I used Danish Blue since it's a little milder and not nearly as expensive)
- 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
Trim off the core end of each head of endive and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the cores, separate the leaves, and place 1 1/2 to 2 heads of endive on each plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion (I swear this is magic. Make sure not to add the oil too fast or it will break and you'll be disappointed in the lack of magic). Toss the pears with some vinaigrette and place on the endive. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the endive leaves to moisten them. Crumble the blue cheese onto the endive. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve at room temperature.
THE VERDICT: I thought that the herbs in the eggs all worked really well together! Broiling the eggs like that made the whites firm but the yolks runny which is perfect for dipping your toast into. The pear salad was yummy too. I think that endive is a little bitter for my tastes, but the sweetness of the pears and the dressing really offset that. Make sure that you use really juicy ripe pears. Both recipes are very good and I'd recommend them!