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It was a question that sent me back to my culinary past. Have I ever made deviled eggs? Yes, but ten years ago. A colleague was talking about a recipe for fried eggs on her morning radio show when a caller inquired about them. “Eggs crinkled – heck, it’s just baked eggs, topped with a little cream and cheese,” she said. That afternoon, I made fried eggs for lunch in my mother’s custard cups. They were so easy.
And I’m thrilled to put an egg casserole recipe back into my meal rotation.
Fried eggs have a somewhat storied past. They originated in France and their name refers to the flat-bottomed dish in which the eggs are cooked. They were all the rage in the Victorian era. Julia Child revived interest during her famous cooking shows. “An egg is your best friend,” she said. No arguments there!
The small dish or ramekin is called a casserole. Many years ago, when we were in France, we enjoyed eggs en cocotte: eggs cooked in the oven with cream and cheese. What could be simpler than that?
For those of us lucky enough to have fresh eggs every day, trying new egg dishes like fried eggs is fun and provides variety in meal planning.
Fried eggs are easy enough for a quick breakfast, sophisticated enough for casual entertaining, and hearty enough for a hearty dinner.
Here’s some basic info and a master recipe for puckered eggs you can take any direction!
Fried Egg Ingredients
Butter, eggs, cream, cheese and seasonings. (Vary them to your liking. See my substitutions in the main recipe.)
Greens, grated potatoes, mushrooms and shallots can be sautéed ahead of time then placed in the bottom of the baking dish before adding the eggs.
You can sprinkle them just before serving:
- fried bacon
- Diced ham
- Seasonal vegetables
- Hot sauce
Cook for one or more
That’s the beauty of puckered eggs. You can cook individual puckered eggs or eggs for a crowd. Count on two eggs, two tablespoons of cream and about a tablespoon of cheese per person.
Suitable containers for puckered eggs
Just about anything oven-proof (and sometimes broil-proof) will work.
Ramekins, casserole dishes, shallow casseroles, custard cups and ovenproof mugs work well. Adjust the number of eggs and the amount of cream and cheese depending on the baking dish.
Muffin pans are great for deviled eggs for a crowd. Line molds with foil muffin pans for easy release.
Now, are you ready to make fried eggs? Let’s go!
Fried Egg Masters Recipe
Classic puckered eggs include cream and cheese. See my substitutes at the end of this recipe. This recipe serves 4.
- Softened butter
- 8 eggs
- 8 tablespoons heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup finely grated favorite cheese
- 4 ramekins or ovenproof ramekins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the bottom and sides of the ramekins with softened butter.
- Carefully crack two eggs into each ramekin to prevent the yolks from breaking. (If they do, though, no worries. The finished dish will still be delicious).
- Gently pour two tablespoons of cream over the eggs.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake 3/4 in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins and whether the eggs and cream are cold or at room temperature. Your goal is to have lightly cooked whites and lightly cooked yolks that are still a little runny. If you like more cooked yolks, cook a few more minutes, but remember that the eggs will continue to cook a bit after you take them out of the oven.
- Sprinkle two tablespoons of cheese over the eggs a minute or two before the eggs are set. This is enough to sufficiently melt the cheese.
Half and half, evaporated milk or a dairy-free equivalent works well. A seasoned tomato sauce can also be added for dairy products.
Try soy cheese instead of regular cheese.
A shallow pan makes an inviting puckered egg dish for two or four or more. You can put as many eggs in a single layer as the dish can hold. Then adjust the amount of cream, cheese and add-ins.
Fried eggs with soldiers
I love this description! Toast thick bread, spread with butter, cut off crusts and cut into four rectangles. Serve with eggs.
Deviled eggs with quick breadsticks
“Speed scratch” is my term for using a store-bought ingredient to make something delicious and, just as important, easy. These are firm enough to dip in the Fried Eggs.
- 1 box of refrigerated pizza dough
- Melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray a cookie sheet.
- Unroll the dough and cut it into 12-16 strips.
- Twist each strip and pinch the edges.
- Brush with butter.
- Bake until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Herbs to Add to Any Fried Egg Recipe
In addition to seasonal vegetables, many herbs have an affinity for deviled eggs.
I like to sprinkle finely chopped herbs on the eggs after cooking to keep their color.
- Parsley, curly or Italian
- wild onions
- Garlic Onion and Chives
- salad burnet
- Nasturtiums, flowers and leaves
- Lovage (a celery substitute)
Your favorite — get creative!
Originally published in the April/May 2021 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly checked for accuracy.