You Say "Shirred" I Say "Sheared"

Going to the S&S deli for brunch was one of my favorite pre Rose and Iris, fall/winter, Sunday morning activities. I ALWAYS order their Eggs Benedict, hot coffee, fresh orange juice and a newspaper…aaaahhhh those were the days! We haven’t tried taking the girls to the S&S for brunch. Something about the thought of having to gulp down my Benedict in between wrestling Iris into her seat and picking up sugar packets, isn’t appealing to me. I miss brunch so this week, with the slight feel of fall in the air (why, WHY,WHY???) I had no desire to rush off to the beach. Instead, I thought it would be nice to have a Labor Day family breakfast at home. The girls got homemade Mickey Mouse waffles.
And Big Daddy and I had Shirred Eggs with spinach and cream!
Shirred eggs are my new favorite meal. Just break an egg into a shallow custard dish with some melted butter and set under the broiler for mere seconds. DONE! They are so easy and fast to make, but look so fancy and taste…well just make ‘em and you’ll see!!!!
My first introduction to shirred eggs was many many years ago. I was in NYC having my hair done at Kenneth’s Salon at the Waldorf Astoria. I bet you are wondering what shirred eggs have to do with getting my hair cut…well keep reading…I had read about Kenneth in Jaclyn Smith’s beauty book when I was 8. Kenneth had worked on the heads of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy and I needed him! I was always very unhappy with my thick, curly, Roseanne Roseanne Adana hair. I begged my mother to make an appointment with Kenneth in hopes of turning my hair into Jaclyn Smith’s! I never stopped going! When I got to college my mother stopped paying for my trips so I was forced to come up with the money on my own. I would take “junkets” to Bally’s in Atlantic City, with a friend, and play blackjack or craps. I would save the money that I had won and spend it driving to NYC for the day to visit Kenneth (ok I am really off track now!). BACK TO SHIRRED EGGS… One trip I was having breakfast at Balthazar killing time before my appointment with Kenneth and ordered Shirred Eggs with Soldiers of fresh hot Brioche. I will never forget how amazing they tasted!


     Please don’t focus in on my soldiers of toast-they should be standing at attention and not
                                                                           flopping!

Literally 60 seconds under the broiler and they were absolutely perfect! The yoke was running and the whites were tender and delicious. I sopped up every morsel with my toast.
I was so excited about my breakfast that, OF COURSE, I had to call my mother! I told her about these eggs I made and that they were called “sheared eggs”. My mother said “Aren’t they called ‘shirred” Gen? They have been around forever.” Well who knew! Not me! You are talking to the daughter of a hill billy, who when asked to cut up an avocado for a salad, at a friend’s house, one evening when I was 10 left the peel on!!!! I was mortified! I didn’t know what those green bumpy things were let alone how to serve them!         I have gone on waaaaaaay too long…sorry… Here is the recipe.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan. When hot add ½ cup sliced onions or leeks and sauté until golden. Add two cups fresh baby spinach and stir until wilted. Turn off heat and set aside. (you can add any seasonings you would like-I fried bacon to go with the eggs and used a light coating of bacon drippings to sauté my onions and spinach-YES that is correct-BACON FAT!!! So I didn’t want to add any other flavors such as fresh herbs)

For every egg you will need an individual shallow, fireproof custard dish. Preheat the broiler. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter over a very low flame, when it is hot and starting to bubble, carefully crack an egg into each dish. Pour 2 Tbsps of heavy cream over the egg (If you would like to have a plain old Oeufs sur le Plat-shirred egg do not add the cream and put the dishes directly under the broiler at this point)

Place the individual dishes onto a sheet pan and place under the hot broiler. Now you have a choice. You can put your sautéed spinach on before or after the broiler. I put my spinach on top BEFORE I put them under the broiler. I bet some cheese on top of the spinach would have been delicious too. Gratinés style! Oh well next time. Set a timer for one minute but check after 45 seconds. That’s how fast they cook. You don’t want to over cook the egg. Keep in my that it will continue to cook slightly after you take it out of the oven. If you did not add the cream or spinach than you want to take the dish out after 30 seconds and baste with the butter. Then put it back in for another 30 seconds. You don’t have to do that when you add the cream.
Yummy! Enjoy!

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