Quite a while back I started a section called R.E.R. (ridiculously easy recipes). My idea was to write about recipes that a) are so easy you don't really even need a recipe, but that we make all the time at home and may be a new idea for you despite their simplicity or b) we think everybody knows how to make except us so we prefer looking it up on the Internet rather than asking someone and feeling stupid.
Looking back, I realized that three out of the four R.E.R.s I have posted so far involve cooking eggs and that is not a coincidence. Despite their versatility and how quick they are to make, a certain amount of technique is required when preparing them. After all, there is a reason why they say you can tell a real chef by how he/she cooks an egg.
This is a recipe from Nigella Express, a book full of quick and easy recipes for a rushed week night dinner that will still impress your guests. These eggs are a perfect idea for that brunch you are hosting this week end or for a comforting Sunday night meal, which is how Nigella grew up eating them. You can serve the eggs with toasted bread, fancy olive or parmesan bread sticks or asparagus Bismark style. You can flavor it with anything that appeals to you, from crunchy bits of bacon to chives, smoked ham, spicy tomato salsa or even cheese. But if you ask me, I think truffles and eggs are a match made in heaven and would be happy to eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I had to make these a few times before getting them right. It is not as easy as you would expect to get the egg whites firm without the yolk cooking through and viceversa. Nigella says her mum used to bake them in the oven for exactly 19 minutes at low heat, but she prefers to bake them for 15 minutes at 190°C/375°F. I had to reduce the cooking time considerably and went from overcooked to undercooked before getting them the way I liked them. My advice is to stand in front of that oven and watch those suckers closely after the first ten minutes. If you are not quite sure, open the oven and shake the pan a little. If the whites are solid it is already too late. They need to wobble a little, but not too much (because there is nothing I dislike more than runny, slimey whites).
4 fresh, free range eggs
1tsp truffle oil (4x 1/4tsp)
butter for greasing
Grease the ramekins with a little butter. If you intend to add ingredients, put them in the bottom of the oven-proof bowls now. Crack an egg into each ramekin, add a tablespoon of cream, a drizzle of truffle oil (a few drops will take you a long way) and a sprinkle of pepper and salt. Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F. Boil some water in a kettle and after placing the ramekins in a baking tray, pour it up to about the middle of the ramekins. Place in the oven and pull out after 10-15 minutes (the albumen should no longer be transluscent but it should still wobble slightly).