Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: Easy going, customizable eggs in 5 steps.
When it comes to eggs, everyone has a back-pocket technique. Hard boiled? Soft? The eight-page Julia Child omelette method? (Slow, impressed clap to you.) Whatever your go-to, if you're not baking eggs already, you may want to start.
Also known as eggs en cocotte, or coddled eggs, baked eggs are simple, rustic, and the perfect way to use up leftovers lingering in your fridge. And don't worry about whether the key to omelette-folding is all in the wrist -- baked eggs are hands-off, and require only that you serve crusty bread alongside. Now make yourself some coffee, and sit down at the table. Your eggs will be ready in 12 minutes.
How to Make Baked Eggs in 5 Steps
1. Baked eggs are wonderful not only for their ease but also for the amount and variety of vegetables you can tuck in to bake with them. Step one: ready those vegetables. Have leftovers? Use them here. If not, sauté whatever you like. We don't have to tell you to season here.
2. While everything gets all slouchy, butter your ramekins. Cast iron skillets work well for more eggs, as do casserole dishes.
3. Now fill them with your vegetables. Just pile everything in -- baked eggs are an exercise in layering. Add smoked salmon if you, like us, are feeling fancy. This is also where you'll add your optional dairy: cheese is a no-brainer, or try cream or yogurt.
4. Crack the eggs! The number to use will depend on the size of your vessel -- these little ramekins can handle two. Add more cheese on top if you're so inclined, and always salt and pepper.
5. And finally, bake. Slip the ramekins (or casserole or skillet) onto a baking sheet and into a 400-degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Now wasn't that easy?
Still want a recipe? Here are a few for inspiration:
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Photos by James Ransom