Nominated for a 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award in the Single Subject category. For a list of all the finalists check out our James Beard Finalists' Guide.
Recipe from Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010)Shirred (shuhrd) eggs are baked in little cups until the whites are set. Problem is, the oven's heat can toughen egg whites dramatically. The solution? A little fat protects the delicate protein chains. With a salad and a glass of red wine, this easy entrée makes an elegant meal.
Makes 6 servings
- 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons minced chives or the green part of a scallion
2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
Unsalted butter for greasing the muffin tin
12 paper-thin prosciutto crudo slices
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black
Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "standard" muffin tin. The tin used here should have indentations that hold between 1/2 and 2/3 cup liquid. The prosciutto may puff up a bit as it bakes in step 4. Just press it back into place with a spoon before adding the cream and eggs.
1. Warm the cream, minced chives, and the rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat just until little bubbles ring the inside of the pan, 3 or 4 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat for 30 minutes to steep.
2. Meanwhile, set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven up to 350 F. Lightly butter 6 indentations in a standard muffin tin, or six 1/2-cup oven-safe ramekins.
3. Line each indentation or ramekin with 2 prosciutto crudo slices, crimping and overlapping them to create the outline of the indentation as well as a little lip on each. If necessary, tear the strips so they fill the indentations without any gaps or holes.
4. Set the tin in the oven or the ramekins on a baking sheet and then in the oven. In either case, bake until the prosciutto begins to get crisp at its edges, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the very hot muffin tin or the tray with the ramekins to a wire rack and divide the cream mixture among the indentations, a scant tablespoon in each cup.
6. Crack an egg into each indentation, then top each egg with pepper. Set the tin or tray with its ramekins back into the oven and bake just until the eggs are set, about 8 minutes for a softer yolk and 12 minutes for a more set yolk.