Coddled Eggs with Fines Herbes
The easiest way to coddle eggs is to place them in egg coddlers, special containers with tight-fitting lids, but you can also use ramekins or custard cups covered tightly with foil. Fines herbes is a combination of chopped fresh herbs, most often those below, but sometimes including others such as marjoram or savory.
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, for garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chervil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 large whole eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat four egg coddlers with cooking spray, and set aside. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place bread cubes on baking sheet; sprinkle with pepper. Bake until golden and crisp on all sides, turning them once during cooking, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
Line bottom of a large saucepan with a kitchen towel, and fill with enough water to come just below rim of egg coddlers. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring water to a boil. Combine herbs in a small bowl, and mix well. Place 2 teaspoons mixed herbs in the bottom of each coddler; to each, add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon heavy cream. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to each, and season with pepper. Screw lids on tightly.
Using tongs, carefully place egg coddlers in the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 6 minutes. Turn off heat; cover pan, and let stand 4 to 5 minutes. Remove coddlers from pan, and remove lids. Serve eggs in the coddlers. Top each with a few croutons, and garnish with remaining mixed herbs.