Jonathan Gayman

Shirred eggs are easy… once you get the hang of it, that is. Practice a few times with your oven to nail exactly the timing you’ll need to keep your yolks runny and your whites set. Always begin with room-temperature eggs and vegetables to keep things cooking evenly.

Serves | 8 |

  • unsalted butter (for greasing dishes)
  • 1 bunch pencil-thin asparagus, thicker stems removed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • ½ cup finely grated English Cheddar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 Tbsp heavy cream
  • sweet paprika, to taste
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (to serve)

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350°F and set rack in middle. Generously butter bottom and sides of 8 4-ounce ramekins.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a full boil; as water is heating, fill sink with ice water. When water boils, add asparagus and blanch for 1 minute; remove with a mesh strainer and transfer to ice bath to stop cooking. When cool, transfer to plate and pat dry.

Add asparagus to each ramekin, just enough to form a single layer on bottom. Sprinkle a tablespoon of Cheddar over asparagus and season with a little salt and pepper. Carefully crack an egg into each ramekin, centering yolk as much as you can and spreading the white out toward sides. Pour 1 tablespoon cream over top of each egg, spreading it out evenly. Dust with a little paprika and season again with salt and pepper; place individual ramekins directly on middle oven rack and cook until whites are just set and yolk is still runny, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

| To Serve | Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve individual ramekins on plates alongside toast and Herbed Anchovy Butter if desired.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.