I’ve been making an attempt to unfold the gospel of coddled eggs to buddies, coworkers, acquaintances—actually, anybody who will hear. However I maintain getting an identical response alongside the strains of, “What on earth is that?”
I’ll provide the quick reply first: A coddled egg is solely an egg gently cooked in a ramekin-like container (outfitted with a screw-on lid) in a pot of simmering water. Safely nestled of their particular person vessels, the egg will get cooked by what is basically a heat bathtub.
The reality is that coddled eggs have a considerably cloudy historical past. In line with Royal Worcester, a centuries-old British porcelain producer famed for its egg coddlers, there’s no report of who precisely invented the approach. All we all know is that by the late 1800s, coddled eggs have been a preferred dish discovered throughout Europe.
All through the Nineteen Forties, my grandmother on my dad’s aspect ate coddled eggs in British-colonized Burma, now generally known as Myanmar. Throughout the globe and many years later, he usually made the identical dish for weekend breakfasts in our Los Angeles dwelling (served with meticulously lower toast “troopers” for dipping, in fact). After not too long ago receiving a set of coddlers very similar to those that I grew up consuming from, my love for this often-overlooked egg preparation was revived.
Based mostly on my description, you might be considering, “Hey, these sound lots like a poached egg.” And also you wouldn’t be completely fallacious. However right here’s the factor: As a result of every coddled egg is a self-contained, sealed unit, you’ll be able to prepare dinner stated egg with any variety of toppings and add-ins. I’m speaking chives, cheese, smoked salmon, mushrooms, crumbled bacon, leftovers from final evening’s dinner—the chances are countless.
To make coddled eggs, you’ll want, because the title suggests, an egg coddler. I’m often in opposition to kitchen gear that solely serves one super-niche goal (taking a look at you, garlic press), however I’ll make an exception on this case. Personally, I’d advocate scouring Ebay, Etsy, and different secondhand websites for classic ones made by Royal Worcester. Not solely are they sturdy and accessible for an inexpensive worth, every one options an lovely illustration (fruit, flowers, and birds are widespread motifs). They’re distinctly retro and trendy on the identical time, which, to me, is a part of the attraction.
It’s value noting that comparable outcomes will be achieved by sluggish cooking your eggs, whether or not of their shells in an immersion circulator (as defined in this beneficial piece from Severe Eats), in a ramekin or mason jar over simmering water, or in a devoted egg-poacher. These are all nice choices for yielding a young, buttery egg for those who don’t have—or can’t get your arms on—a coddler.
When you’ve acquired your cooking vessel, it’s time to make some eggs. Begin by generously buttering the within of the coddler, then add a cracked egg. Prime with some grated cheese—I usually use Gruyère or aged cheddar, however I guess a creamy cheese like Boursin would even be scrumptious—herbs, and anything you may have mendacity round. Screw on the lids and submerge your coddlers in a pot of barely-boiling water for about seven minutes (many sources say to not submerge the coddlers fully, however I discover this ends in inconsistently cooked eggs). Utilizing tongs or one other instrument to seize them, rigorously take away the coddlers from the water, wrap them in a clear dish towel, and use stated towel that will help you take away the lids.
It could take a couple of tries to get the timing proper, however the finish product shall be value it: a creamy, buttery yolk, fully-set whites, and toppings scattered like tiny treasures all through the cup. And, in fact, strips of buttered toast on the aspect. Can it get any extra coddled than that?
Have you ever tried making coddled eggs? Share your ideas beneath!