the appetizer:

Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, includes recipes and articles like Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups; Jerk-Style Country Ham and Pineapple Tamales; Europe On A Plate (European Dry-Cured Hams); and A European Ham Party.

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Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups


Shirred Eggs in
Prosciutto Crudo Cups

Makes 6 servings


Shirred (shuhrd) eggs are baked in little cups until the whites are set. Problem is, the oven's heat can toughen egg whites dramatically. The solution? A little fat protects the delicate protein chains. With a salad and a glass of red wine, this easy entrée makes an elegant meal.

1. Warm the cream, minced chives, and the rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat just until little bubbles ring the inside of the pan, 3 or 4 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat for 30 minutes to steep.

2. Meanwhile, set the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven up to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 6 indentations in a standard muffin tin, or six 1/2-cup oven-safe ramekins.

3. Line each indentation or ramekin with 2 prosciutto crudo slices, crimping and overlapping them to create the outline of the indentation as well as a little lip on each. If necessary, tear the strips so they fill the indentations without any gaps or holes.

4. Set the tin in the oven or the ramekins on a baking sheet and then in the oven. In either case, bake until the prosciutto begins to get crisp at its edges, about 15 minutes.

5. Transfer the very hot muffin tin or the tray with the ramekins to a wire rack and divide the cream mixture among the indentations, a scant tablespoon in each cup.

6. Crack an egg into each indentation, then top each egg with pepper. Set the tin or tray with its ramekins back into the oven and bake just until the eggs are set, about 8 minutes for a softer yolk and 12 minutes for a more set yolk.

Testers' Notes

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "standard" muffin tin. The tin used here should have indentations that hold between 1/2 and 2/3 cup liquid. The prosciutto may puff up a bit as it bakes in step 4. Just press it back into place with a spoon before adding the cream and eggs.


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Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter

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This page created April 2010