About Canal House Cooking
Founded by Melissa Hamilton, a renowned food stylist, and Christopher Hirsheimer, an award-winning photographer, Canal House Cooking celebrates the everyday practice of simple cooking and the enjoyment of eating. Melissa Hamilton cofounded the restaurant Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville, New Jersey, where she served as executive chef. She worked at Martha Stewart Living, Cook’s Illustrated, and at Saveur as the food editor. Christopher Hirsheimer served as food and design editor for Metropolitan Home magazine, and was one of the founders of Saveur magazine, where she was executive editor.
The gentle cooking of the eggs in their ramekins in the hot water bath keeps them tender and prevents them from cooking too fast. Depending on the occasion, this recipe can be dressed up or down with a variety of ingredients.
- 4 Tablespoon butter, softened
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Cup poached chicken or lobster chunks, small peeled raw shrimp, cooked spinach, or a few slices of black truffle
- Salt and pepper
- 4 Eggs
- Ground nutmeg
- Small handful of chopped chives, tarragon, parsley or other tender herbs
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Butter four 4-ounce custard cups or deep ramekins with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a splash of the heavy cream to each cup and set aside.
Generously season the chicken or other ingredient of your choosing with salt and pepper, then nestle some of it into the bottom of each cup.
Crack an egg into each cup. Season each with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Divide the remaining cream between the cups, carefully pouring it over each egg, covering them. Season with a little more salt, pepper, and nutmeg, Top each with a knob of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Set the cups into a deep pan filled halfway with simmering water. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake the eggs until the cream is bubbling, the tops have browned, and the eggs are barely set (they should tremble when you jiggle the cups), about 10 minutes. The eggs will continue to cook once they’ve been removed from the water bath.
Remove the cups from the water bath and sprinkle the eggs with chopped herbs. Serve the eggs in their cups with slices of hot buttered toast.