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A Simple Four-Ingredient Breakfast, Perfect For the Holidays

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At this time of year, I often have guests staying over—and at my house, that means making sure that everyone is well fed. But with a full house, I usually shy away from cooking anything too complicated. (The pressure!)

This weekend I was inspired by a recipe that I stumbled across while thumbing through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking: baked eggs in ramekins. The ingredient list couldn’t be shorter: butter, eggs, cream. You just set some buttered ramekins in a water bath, add a little cream, an egg or two to each, a little more cream, and bake. The trick is not overcooking the eggs, but otherwise, it really couldn’t have been easier. And you can add other fun flavors to the ramekins, if you like (I put in some chopped sautéed mushrooms right before adding the eggs.) Served with toast on the side, the dish was simple, but really special.

So I think this is my new drop-dead easy yet elegant breakfast dish (Now what about lunch and dinner? Hmmmm.) It’ll be making its second appearance at Christmas. In the meantime, I’d love some more inspiration for super-fast yet impressive recipes, so please post your ideas.

P.S. Look for another great baked egg dish in our upcoming February/March issue!

Eggs Baked in Ramekins
(Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
For each serving:

1/2 tsp. butter
2 Tbs. whipping cream
1 or 2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-1/2- to 3-inch diameter ramekin (about 1-1/2 inches high), saving a dot of butter for later. Add 1 Tbs. of cream and set the ramekin in a pan containing 3/4 inch of simmering water over moderate heat. When the cream is hot, break into it one or two egs. Pour the remaining Tbs. cream over the egg and top with a dot of butter.

Place in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. The eggs are done when they are just set but still tremble slightly in the ramekins. They will set a little more when the ramekins are removed, so they should not be overcooked. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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  • cbreez | 12/17/2009

    This recipe was great. Next time I will use some of the tips and add a few more ingredients.

  • tiskathleenherself | 12/16/2009

    These are very good, but again, you have to be sure not to overbake them. My version starts out by sauteeing mushrooms in butter with fresh thyme. I've also added finely diced ham to the combination. Place this mixute on the bottom of the ramekin, then continue as the recipe states. Very savory and a very different presentation than just the usual eggs for brunch.

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