Coddled Eggs, with Toasty Cheese and Onion Fingers.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Ever since I read about Coddled eggs on Dorie Greenspans page, back in April of this past year, I have been wanting to experience and taste what looked like a rich and lucious concoction. She made it sound so easy and delicious.

The first thing I needed to do was to procure myself some egg coddlers. An egg coddler is a small porcelain or pottery cup with a lid, that is used to prepare and cook coddled eggs, which are very similar to poached eggs, from what I could see. It took several months and a lot of searching and I was finally able to procure some that fell within my affordability range. Sure, I think I could just have used plain ramekins, but I really wanted to experience that whole coddled egg experience, and to me . . . that meant with a real coddler.

I always use free range eggs. I have never actually tested the taste difference between free range and ordinary eggs myself, so I can't say with any truth that one tastes any better than the other, but I have a conscience, and having had hens myself in the past, I much prefer to pay a bit more and have an egg from a happy hen.

Dorie had suggested the inclusion of little tempting taste additions such as some cream and cheese. Once I had buttered the coddlers and added the eggs, it became clear that adding anything much in addition to the eggs was going to be very difficult indeed, and so I simply spooned a bit of cream on the tops, added some sea salt and cracked black pepper and popped on the lids.

Into the pot they went, all lidded and propped up on some paper kitchen toweling, just to make sure these lovely little coddlers wouldn't crack under the pressure and heat of the stove, and then I poured in some freshly boiled water, just to come about halfway up the sides of the cups. Dorie suggested a steaming time of 5 to 6 minutes.

Now is where the taste additions came in. I wanted to add cheese and spring onions, but lacking any space for this in the actual coddling cup I decided to add them by putting them on the toast fingers that I imagined Todd and myself romantically dipping into the golden silken egg yolk . . .

I'm afraid I took so much time putting those together that our eggs, were a bit more than softly done, and so dipping would not be possible today . . .

but all was not lost though . . . my . . . oh . . . my . . .

What a delightful breakfast we had this morning.

Two lovely free range eggs, accompanied with little buttery toasted fingers of bread, topped with some strong cheddar cheese, a bit of chopped spring onion and popped under the grill until meltingly golden and toasty.

I have not had such a tasty breakfast in a long, long time . . .

In my mind, we were Cathy and Heathcliff sitting at our kitchen table, looking out over the Yorkshire moores . . . he in his nightcap and gown . . . myself, glowing and dewy eyed, and wrapped in a gossamer gown, all soft and cottony and sprigged with delicate pink roses . . .

the reality may have been far, far more different . . .

but these eggs were delicious all the same.

There is no recipe. Just butter yourself some ramekins, drop in some eggs and cream, and any other tasty bits you care to indulge yourselves with . . . and then steam them for several minutes in a covered pot. Add some cheese toasted fingers . . . and voila . . . you have reached heaven!


  1. I only ever buy free range these days - I must admit to buying any old eggs AGES ago now - when our mortgage was over half of our wage packs each month! You can really taste the difference I think.
    Now as for your breakfast - this I will HAVE to make! Shame I didn't look at this post earlier. Yummy indeed.

  2. I only have one of those darling coddlers..I agree with you they make a feast of breakfast because of their cuteness:)

  3. Oh Marie where did you find those coddlers? My mother used to feed me coddled eggs growing up. I hated them and we now know I am allergic to egg yolk! But I would love to get her some of those for Christmas. She does not have them in her china collection. I'd have to plan early to get them to Australia. She loves an egg for breakast. Loved the post today. My mum is from Yorkshire!

  4. Soooo delicious! Oh, I'd love a coddled egg and soldiers right now!...mmm...I don't have any lovely coddlers like these though. My mom used to have some, but sadly they are long gone. Will have to hunt round for a pair or set. Hope you are feeling better. :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Loved the toast fingers, but Cathy and Heathcliff??? Maybe I should persevere with that detestable book, because I don't remember anything resembling a romantic breakfast in it!

    (Yes, I know, criticising WH is heresy, but I really did hate it, and couldn't force myself to finish it!)

  6. I have a set of coddlers, some were given to me by my mom, who probably got them from another relative. A few others I picked up at yard sales. I grew up eating them this way, they are really good :) I doubt anyone else was eating out of coddlers at the time, but since we had them, we used them.

  7. Marie this look so delicious and nice post, I enjoy, love your pictures!!

  8. I been popping in everday now over the last six months----I really enjoy your posts----and yes here in aussie we do this quite a bit with the eggs ( but as you say they are like poached eggs) but the novelty especially for children is delightful. You are quite a character with your chatter and you make some gorgeous things---Ill keep reading as its my kind of food---from Australia take care

  9. don't really want to be anonymous but i am really dumb! what is url??? anyway, i am jan from henderson, nv. i bought 2 small coddlers many years ago in canada. we used them fairly often and loved them and then forgot about them! this past weekend we visited a cousin in phoenix. she took us "estate saling" and i found 2 large coddlers! i got them for $4. each! what a buy!! we will soon be coddling again!

  10. I don't know how many novels I have read that mentioned Coddled Eggs. Now that I know what they are I MUST give them a try. Luckily, I am a potter and so I need only whip-up a few Coddlers and away I will go.

    Thanks for the recipe suggestion, the beautiful pics and the calming music.

    from Ohio, USA

  11. I've had two coddlers for year, but never used them much. Just this morning, though, I tried them with a little left over chicken, green onion, salt & pepper. Next time, I'll try cream or cheese and be sure to have some toast, too. And I'm looking for more recipe tips.

  12. Ebay is an excellent source for porcelain egg coddlers. I too envisioned myself as myrna loy sitting across the breakfast table with william powell, our dog Asta begging for crumbs. Thinking the thirties Thin Man series lol. Since I have had terrible luck with the perfect poached egg I have found this to be a suitable subsitute

  13. I'm from California, and never saw these egg coddlers or heard of coddled eggs until about 10 years ago, when I saw some in an antique store. I live in U.S. Georgia now, and here, for the most part, an "antique store" is usually more or less an upscale flea-market. I saw them, loved them, and didn't know what they were. They were labelled "egg cups", and all I could picture was people old movie movies with a boiled egg sticking out of a huge golf tee and tapping the top of the shell off like breakfast magicians. As you can see, not the same thing.

    I've never seen one go for more than 12 dollars here, so that's what I pay when I find them. Smaller ones with more screw-rings on the top are generally older and more "collectible". The larger ones are usually ascribed to dating from the 1980's. If that's true, I can only assume that their abundance here, where nobody actually EATS coddled egs or has heard of them is due to rabid Anglophilia shortly after the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

  14. Oh, and I love eggs, but love these little coddlers more, so I haven't used them for that. Since I've not room for a curio cabinet for display, they hang in the kithcen on hooks and hold my herbs and spices. And my squirreled away cash, but don't tell the husband. :)


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