Herb and Egg Gratins . . . simply indulgent

Friday 15 August 2014

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Here we are at day four of my week of celebrations cooking fest!  I have a fondness for eggs, especially good eggs.   I always buy free range eggs for baking with, but if I am going to eat eggs as a meal/dinner, I often splurge and get some really good eggs.

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I really like these Burford Browns or the Costwald Legbars.  They have beautiful flavours and nice deep yellow yolks.   When you are having eggs for a meal you want an egg which has a flavour that will really shine through!  These are more expensive than regular free range eggs, but it's supper folks.  Just think about how much you would spend on a piece of meat and it puts things in perspective and they don't seem to be so expensive anymore.

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This is a really simple recipe, using simple ingredients such as good eggs, fresh herbs, butter and cream.   It goes together really quickly and realistically speaking you can have them on the table in less than half an hour, which includes the time to preheat the grill, mince the herbs and garlic, bake the eggs and butter the toasted brioche.

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You don't have to use brioche, but I am awfully fond of the brioche burger buns you can get at our local Aldi shop.   I just butter them and pop them under the grill for about 60 seconds and they are perfect . . .

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Soft on the outsides and buttery and crisp on the insides . . .  perfect for dipping into those soft and runny yolks . . . just look at that!

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These make the most perfect of indulgent suppers.  Not a lot of work or hassle . . .  the richness of cream and butter on the bottom of the gratin dishes . . .  the eggs almost poach in this mix.  That herby topping of fresh herbs and cheese  . . .  and those crisp edged soft rich and buttery brioche buns for dipping.   All you need add is a salad on the side to help you get in some of your five a day.  Simple.  Almost decadent.  Satisfying.   What more could a person want?

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*Herb and Egg Gratins*
Serves 4
Baked eggs in the French manner.  If you follow the recipe exactly, rotating the baking sheet once during the cooking time, you should have perfectly baked eggs, with set whites and runny yolks.  This makes a lovely simple supper when served along side a nice mixed salad of greens and vegetables.

8 Large free range eggs
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves
2 TBSminced  fresh curly parsley
2 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese
4 TBS cream
2 TBS butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
buttered and toasted brioche to serve

Preheat your grill on medium high.   Place the rack, at the very most six inches below the grill source.

Mix together the herbs, garlic and cheese in a small bowl.   Set aside.   Place four shallow individual gratin dishes onto a baking sheet.  Place 1 TBS of cream into each along with 1/2 TBS of butter.   Place them until the grill until the mixture is hot and bubbly.   Remove from the grill and carefully break two eggs into each dish.  Sprinkle one fourth of the herb mixture over each of them, sprinkling it evenly.  Season liberally with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

Pop them back under the grill.   Grill for 3 minutes.  Rotate the baking tray and then grill for another 2 to 3 minutes, at which time the whites of the eggs should almost be cooked.  Remove from the oven and keep warm while you butter and toast the brioche.  (The eggs will continue to cook while you do this and will be perfectly done when you go to eat them.)  

Serve the gratins hot with buttered and toasted brioche for dipping into the yolks.

Note - I use these shallow ramekins that I got at Hobby Craft.  I forget who makes them but they each hold about 1 cup of ingredients and they are the perfect size and shape for this dish!


  1. looks lovely in turquoise doesn't it?

    Do they have crown stamps on them?Too cute!
    Keep Calm and Eat a Burford Brown~

  2. They do Monique, and quite dark brown shells. The Cotswald Legbars have lay blue eggs! So pretty, well the shells are anyways. I would love to have chickens! Sigh . . .

  3. I just love eggs so much and for as many as I eat I've never had them baked! One for me to try soon x

  4. I hope you do Angela, they are very good. xx


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