I know it should be the opposite, but I realized that I tend to go to brunches more in the winter than summer. Perhaps it’s because in the summer, I’ve got the bright sun giving me energy, encouraging me to start the day. But when I’m under my covers on a rather dreary and wet Sunday, only brunch with my closest friends can motivate me enough to get me out of bed.
If I don’t feel courageous enough to face the rush of h-angry crowds at prime brunch time, I prefer to cook. One of my ultimate go-to brunch recipes is the wonderfully chummy Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten’s Herbed Baked Eggs recipe.
It has everything that I love. Cream, fresh herbs, garlic and the one and only, the irresistible parmesan cheese. I prepare the minced garlic and herbs as well as the grated Parmesan cheese the night before. Combine them as instructed, lock them tight in a container and keep it in the fridge overnight. This way, the most time-consuming part of the recipe is taken care of and you can use that time instead to buy fresh flowers and brioche.
The most tricky part is the timing. So while your friends are helping themselves to coffee and mimosas, keep your eye on the eggs. The whites need to cook through without over-cooking the yolk. There has been many times where instead of a gorgeous runny yolk, I was faced with the hard fact that I had hardened them.
But once you pull it off, man is it yummy! Decadent, delicious and always a hit.
INA GARTEN’S HERBED BAKED EGGS
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 extra-large eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving
- Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.
- Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan cheese and set aside.
- Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 4 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 four individual gratin dishes 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 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- 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.) 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.