Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Month-of-Eggs: Nid d'oeuf

Baked Egg Nest

For the next three posts, I’m going to give you a series of eggs cooked “in something”. All three are vegetarian dinner alternatives for when you are limiting your meat. Obviously, they are equally great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

These kinds of dishes are also great when you are trying to serve a crowd a nutritious breakfast. They are all prepared in the oven, so you can do a lot of the prep in advance and then just let them bake and serve right from the oven.

And, no. Not one of them is an egg casserole. (I’ll have a couple of non-traditional ones later this month!)

Another meringue recipe! And you can use this with that yummy Hollandaise sauce 
I shared with you. Or not. Just top with some sharp cheese like Asiago!

This recipe is seriously fun. Kids will love eating their eggs this way, especially if they can help make it. In fact, it appeared in a children’s French cookbook I own. You can find recipes on the Internet for this and other like recipes.

Today, Egg Nests are up. I suppose you might call them Cloud Eggs and serve them with cinnamon cloud bread. That could be yummy!


Here’s the adapted recipe, “Nid d’oeuf”, from the book, La Cusine est un jeu d’enfants by Michel Oliver. This is a fun book with primitive illustrations such as a child might draw and very large print. It would be fun to cook from with kids!

Nid d’oeuf (Egg Nests) (serves 2-4)

4 eggs, separated, room temperature
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar.
¼ cup Asiago cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1 cup Hollandaise sauce (or more cheese for topping)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put parchment paper (or a Silpat sheet) on a cookie sheet.

Separate the eggs, keeping yolks in different dishes to keep from breaking.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy with your mixer on low speed. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium speed. Once stiff peaks form, fold in cheese very, very gently.

Make four equal meringue piles on the cookie sheet. Make an indentation in each (a nest) so you can add the egg yolk later. Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven for 3 minutes.

With the cookie sheet still on the rack, pull out oven rack and put an egg yolk in the center of each next.

Egg in Nest before baking
Push rack back into the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes more (depending on how done you like your eggs—we like them runny). Serve immediately.

Serve with ¼ cup hot Hollandaise sauce on each nest (or more cheese or none).

This makes a filling main dish if accompanied by fruit salad and a muffin.

NOTE: If you are a "meringue virgin", I have made some notes on previous recipes that might help. The main thing is to use room temperature egg whites for whipping and use a bowl and utensils with NO oily residue. Add the cream of tartar after the eggs are foamy not at the beginning.

Lots of recipes have you adding extracts or other ingredients like cheese here. And remember that “fold” is not a synonym for “stir”!  To fold in something, is to lift the bowl ingredients and incorporate from below. Stop when it looks just done. Better to under mix than to flatten the meringue with too much handling.

DH’s Rating: 5+ Tongues Up   He liked the presentation and agreed this could be a good company dish. He loved the cheese flavor in the meringue, too. But, he thought it would be even better with bacon or ham, and I had a hard time convincing him this was a complete protein as is.

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