Cancel your brunch plans—the ones where you and your friends meet in front of the restaurant, wait an hour for a table, and pay $16 dollars for a rapidly cooling plate of eggs, which were supposed to be over easy, but are really more over hard.
The new plan is brunch at your place, which comes together without touching a spatula. This brunch is ready even if you wake up 20 minutes before your guests arrive. This brunch rests on the shoulders of one tricksy, clever tool from our Shop. The egg coddler.
The egg coddler requires little more than cracking an egg, adorning it with toppings, splashing on cream, clasping the lid of this glass pot shut, and simmering it all in a pan of water. The result: creamy eggs you can spoon through. Grab snips of herbs, crumbles of sausage, puffs of potato as you go.
Less messy than an omelette, less opportunity for rubbery and watery eggs than a scramble, less chance of overcooking yolks (and heating up the room) than baked eggs, less time-intensive and exacting as eggs cooked-to-order. And with a parade of bowls set out, with toppings upon toppings, your guests can customize their eggs with glee.
It's a cinch to use. 1. Butter the coddler. 2. Drop in heavier toppings (more on that below). 3. Crack the eggs in. 4. Salt and pepper. 5. Sprinkle on any cheeses. 6. Splash the cream on top. 7. Clasp the lid shut. 8. Lower in simmering water. 9. Wait about 7–9 minutes. 10. Eat!
This video will help:
For a 4-person brunch you'll need:
- (4) 8.4 ounce egg coddlers—they each fit about 2 eggs, a good serving size for one person
- (1) half pint of cream (heavy or half and half)
- A bevy of bowls filled with toppings galore
- (3) friends, plus you
Now let's set up the toppings. (Well, they don't all go on top. So some are.... under-ings?) These are just a jumping off point, so pick, choose, and add at will. They should generally be added in this order:
- Heavy toppings, like meats, vegetables, and sauces
- The eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Cheeses, herbs, spices
- Splashes of cream
All your meats should be already cooked, and should go at the bottom of the coddler.
- Crumbled chorizo
- Finely diced chicken sausage
- Proscuitto ripped into small pieces
- Chopped smoked salmon
- Chunked white fish or salt cod
Make sure they're already cooked!
- Sauteéd spinach
Sauces go at the bottom of the coddler, too.
- Tomato sauce
- Cheesy grits
- Hot sauce
Spices can go on over the meat and sauce, so it dribbles down and seasons them.
- Curry powder
- Smoked paprika
- Red pepper flakes
Here's where you add the eggs!
The cheese can go on top of the egg, but before the cream.
- Cream cheese
- Monterey jack
Here's when you add the splash of cream!
For sprinkling after the eggs come out of the water.
- Bread crumbs (or crazier-than-breadcrumbs)
- Crispy shredded hash browns
- Lemon zest (for the freshest flavor, set out a bowl of lemons with a microplane nearby)
Your call whether you like the herbs cooked with the eggs, or sprinkled on top after. Experiment!
Coddled eggs are more fun sans forks.
For the cooking-shy guests, here are some starter combos to hold their hands as they coddle for the first time:
For the spread:
Bowls, bowls, and more bowls. Bonus: you don't need to dirty too many plates because your guests can eat right out of the cheery glass pots.
Favorite egg topping combos: go!