To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, TT Plated: Celery, in our National edition.
Farm Egg Baked in Celery Cream
Recipe adapted from Stephen Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
Yield: Serves 4
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1 cup heavy cream
2 celery stalks with leaves, roughly chopped
1 shallot (unpeeled), halved lengthwise and sliced
½ small yellow onion (unpeeled), sliced
3 black peppercorns
1 small dried bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 thick slices country bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, warm the cream, celery, shallot, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Keep the mixture below a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and steep for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
2. While the cream steeps, toast the bread: Set the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and bake until the bread is toasted and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes (the bread can also be grilled in a grill pan until both sides are marked). Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. Divide the butter evenly among four heat-safe 6-ounce baking dishes or shallow ramekins, smearing the butter across the bottom and up the sides of the baking dishes. Crack an egg into each baking dish and spoon some of the strained cream mixture into each dish to completely submerge the egg white while leaving the yolk exposed.
4. Place the baking dishes in the oven and check after 5 minutes; the egg whites should be starting to set while the yolks are still soft. The eggs may need up to 1 minute more in the oven. Turn the broiler to high and prop open the oven door, broiling the eggs until they just begin to brown slightly, about 1 minute. Remove the baking dishes from the oven and let rest for 1 minute before serving with the warm bread.
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