The husband and I wanted to do a low-key Valentine’s Day this year. Last year, I pressured him into the fancy dinner and cocktails, and we both ended up with food poisoning. Since the big day fell on a Friday this year, I decided to do a brunch (mainly because brunch means popping a bottle of champagne before you grind the coffee).
You’ll recall from my last post that I had been in Boston for a work trip. While there, I was able to see several cooking demos, including one for shirred eggs. It looked beautiful, and easy enough (though I suppose that, considering last year’s run-in with food-borne illness, it may have been safer to stick to something more familiar). Though I won’t reproduce the recipe here, what follows is my champagne-fueled journey.
This is where we start.
This recipe does not require much. I choose recipes based on how few ingredients and steps it has, and this one was a peach. What you see here are eggs (I used eight total), shredded swiss cheese, thinly sliced black forest ham, melted butter, heavy cream, and a delicious mimosa. Don’t put that in the eggs. Or do, if you have enough.
You start by brushing the ramekins with butter, and lining them with the ham, into kind of a ham cup. Best cup ever, right? Cup made of ham? Then you crack the eggs into the ramekins, on top of the ham. Drink mimosa. Here they are.
Then you throw them in the oven. The recipe I used says they should bake for up to 10 minutes, but my ramekins were deeper, and thus needed longer to set. Once that starts to happen, you pull them out, throw on the swiss cheese, and drizzle on the heavy cream. Drink mimosa.
Take them out once the cheese melts, and enjoy. If I’m making this sound a little blase, it’s because this recipe is ridiculously easy. I tend to bite off more than I can chew with recipes (I’m always hungry, okay?), but this one was just as simple as I’d hoped. Truly, I’m not a great cook. I am paralyzed without a good recipe, and improvisation is something that, for me, belongs only in comedy clubs. It’s just not my thing. But I could see playing with this recipe: adding hollandaise, using different spices, or ham.
Once you dig into it, the cream, cheese and egg meld together beautifully. I’m generally not a huge fan of swiss cheese, but it added just the right amount of bite. My husband gave it the thumbs up, and it was surprisingly filling. Though, why am I surprised? We both ate four eggs! Here we are sticking bread into our dishes, because bread improves everything.
I’ll try not to bore you with cooking posts all the time, but it is something I’m personally trying to do more of, so forgive me. Maybe it will inspire you to give something new a try, too. And if all else fails, at least you’ve got that bottle of bubbly!