Spring is decidely in the air. The bantams have stopped protesting at their DEFRA-decreed confinement long enough to lay some eggs. And what could be more local than eggs from your own backyard flock?
One of the great things about bantam eggs is their massive rich yolks. And their smaller size make them perfect when cooking for one. (If you’re not, no worries. Just double up the numbers).
Working from home, I sometimes forget about lunch altogether, or make do with some varient of toast. (Usually copious amounts of cholesterol-busting Boursin.) No more. One of my New Year Resolutions was to eat better. So, over the past few weeks, I have been pouring over the cook books, a very small oven and trying to create the perfect baked eggs.
In theory, this task should be quite simple. Baked eggs should be a quick, easily adapted, lunch. However, neither the instructions of Jamie Oliver, nor Michael Roux, seem to translate particularly well to my kitchen, so there has been alot of trial and error. Many undercooked eggs later, and we are finally there. The method for perfectly baked eggs, the bedrock of a quick and satisfying working lunch.
You will need per person–
- Eggs, 1 hen’s egg, or two bantams’
- Grated cheese, according to taste, but about 30 grams or the size of a matchbox.
- half an onion, a rasher of bacon, or tomaoto, or spinach, or whatever you fancy
- A larger shallow roasting tin
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Boil a kettle of water.
- Soften a little butter and line the ramekin with it.
- Chop and fry the onion, cut the bacon into small pieces, and fry.
- Drain the onion/bacon mix and add to the ramekin. Add the grated cheese.
- Crack the eggs, and add to the ramekin, placing on top of the fried onion and bacon.
- Place the ramekin in the roasting dish, and pour the boiling water into the roasting dish so it is about half way up the sides of the ramekin.
- Mix a little milk with the cream, about a tablespoon full in total, and carefully drizzle around the sides of the egg, leaving the yolk exposed.
- Carefull put the roasting tin and ramekin(s) in the oven, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Check the consistency, the whites should have set and the yolk still be runny. If this is not the case, or if you like your egg more set, put back in the oven. In my experience, the perfect baked egg takes a little longer, 12-14 minutes, but who am I to argue with Michael Roux?
Serve with crusty bread and lashings of soft cheese, or something less calorific. Enjoy.
You can also substitute the bacon and onion for tomato, or spinach, for a vegetarian or lower fat option. And don’t be afraid to experiment. I’m currently working on a sweet version……