Herb Baked Eggs: Farm Fresh. Locally Sustained. Holyshit Goodness.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

 A huge perk of living out in the boonies (really, we're not that far out) is access to amazing, locally produced fresh produce and products. Case in point: our neighbors across the street who have horses (Country Living Perk #12: Kids can ride a pony!) and now are raising chickens (Country Living Perk #6: Farm Fresh Motherfucking Eggs, Ya'll!).

To say I was eggstatic (sorry, I had to) when they offered us a half a dozen a couple of weeks ago does not even begin to describe it. I've had the pleasure of farm fresh via the farmers market, so I knew the treat I was in for. I seriously sat there with the eggs in my fridge for 3 days, pondering and agonizing on what perfect dish to make with these perfect delicious wonderful beautiful eggs. Nothing overly complicated, nothing too froo froo to overpower the delicate flavor of a perfect egg. So, I settled on Ina Garten's recipe for herbed baked eggs.

notice the gorgeous keep yellow almost orange color of the yolks!

A French technique for cooking (of course -- God they are a brilliant people when it comes to food!), eggs are delicatetly but quickly cooked under the broiler with only a splash of cream, some very finely chopped fresh herbs (from my garden! Ha! I can do this farm shit too!!), and a good pinch of excellent salt and freshly ground black pepper. The result was oustanding -- perfectly cooked, gooey bright orange yolk and tender whites with salty bites from the parmesan cheese and course french sea salt I used, the freshness of the herbs added color and flavor, and to bring it all home I added some simple blanched asparagus and english peas for a side. I'm in love with this dinner and can't wait to make it again and again and again.

Introducing Chuck Norris, one of the chickens

This recipe makes for 2 people -- for a larger crowd (hello brunch or elegant breakfast!) use a larger pan and about 2-3 eggs per person. Her recipe also calls to use individual gratin dishes (which I don't have). I made all the eggs in a frying pan under the broiler and it turned out just fine. Not as a pretty presentation, but it got the job done.

Herb Baked Eggs
6 farm fresh eggs
1 Tbsp mixed finely chopped: rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme, etc.
1 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
course French sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
splash of cream of half n half
small drizzle of olive oil or butter

Preheat broiler to low. Position the rack about 6 inches below the broiler.

Crack all the eggs into a bowl -- you'll need to add the eggs to the hot pan very quickly, so cracking them all in a bowl before enables you to work with the requisite speed. Set aside.

Combine the herbs and parmesan cheese in another small bowl.

Take an oven-proof frying pan large enough to fit the eggs snugly but not overcrowd. Add the oil and cream and place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until you see the cream start to bubble. Carefully remove it from the oven and add the eggs all at once into the hot pan. Top with the herbed cheese mixture and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Return the pan under the broil and cook another 5-7 minutes, or until the whites are set. Remove and serve with toasted bread.

I served my dinner with asparagus and english peas I blanched before hand.

And a huge thank you to our neighbors Angie and Troy and Lily, Emma for taking the pics of the chickens, and of course Chuck Norris and his counterpart Henrietta (not pictured) for their delightful eggs! Some more pictures of the egg provider...

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