This recipe is extremely delicious, easy to prepare for a crowd, uses four main ingredients, and takes twenty minutes from start to finish – Viola! To go straight to the recipe scroll down to the bottom and click on "continue reading Easy French Breakfasts..."
I first had this dish years ago in Paris before I was living there and couldn't get enough. It used to be on the bistro menus everywhere and now I rarely see it which is unfortunate because they are seriously addicting.
It tastes fancy and I guarantee that you will hear lots of mmmmm's at the breakfast table. Serve along side an arugula salad and warm baguette with butter & raspberry jam or just a simple bowl of fruit salad.
The eggs are baked on a bed of softened julienned leeks and covered with a teensy bit of cream and freshly grated parmesan. While cooking the egg white and cream combine to form a delicately set white and the yolk stays soft. The cheese forms a crust on the top which adds texture and a little color as it bubbles and browns.
Cook covered in a roasting pan (bain marie) filled 1/2" with boiling water for 10 minutes and then take the cover off for two more minutes to let the cheese brown.
2 Medium size leeks, cleaned & julienned
1 Small carton cream
4 Eggs (you can add 2 eggs per ramekin for hungry eaters)
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 Tablespoons water
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F / 165˚C
2. Trim off top green part of leeks (about 1/3 of leek) and wash carefully in cold water. Leeks are grown in dirt all the way up to their tops. Cut leek vertically in half and take out the inner core – this part is extremely tough. Spread leaves flat and julienne into thin strips about 3 inches long.
3. In a skillet melt butter and oil on medium heat. Add leeks and sauté. Once coated in butter add water and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. The water is to keep the leeks from browning while cooking and help the leeks soften.
4. Once leeks are soft and most of the water is evaporated add cream and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another two minutes until cream thickens. Remove off heat and let cool slightly.
5. Fill ramekins evenly with leeks and make a nest for the eggs. Place in a bain marie. I always put a paper towel on the bottom. Once covered with water the paper towel helps to keep the ramekins in place.
6. Crack eggs into separate bowls and pour into ramekins. Cover with about one tablespoon of cream or until cream makes a thin coat over egg and top with an even sprinkle of parmesan.
7. Pour boiling water into bain marie about 1/2" and cover with tin foil. Bake 10 minutes in the oven. If using two eggs per ramekin bake for 12 minutes. White should be set and yolk still soft. You can press gently to make sure if you loose track of cooking time.
8. Remove tin foil and bake for two more minutes to brown eggs.
9. Carefully remove ramekins and serve!