In Live and Let Die, James Bond orders a breakfast of pineapple juice (double), cornflakes and cream, shirred eggs with bacon, a double espresso, and toast and marmalade. As Bond wryly notes, it’s a hearty breakfast made for the condemned man. In the interest of research, I tried a bowl of cornflakes with single cream. I wouldn’t try it again. To echo Ian Fleming’s view of his own Vesper concoction, I found the combination unpalatable. Shirred eggs are eggs baked in the oven. They differ from oeufs en cocotte, which Bond eats in Orleans in Goldfinger, in the cooking. Oeufs en cocotte are cooked by means of a bain-marie; shirred eggs cooked are not.
Recipe (serves one)
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- A pinch of finely chopped herbs, such as parsley or tarragon
- Butter for greasing
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan-assisted, 390F). Grease two ramekins well with the butter. Crack an egg into each ramekin. Sprinkle the top of the eggs with the salt, pepper and herbs. (If desired, a spoonful of double cream and a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese can be added for an extra indulgent breakfast.) Put the ramekins on a baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the tray. The eggs can be served within the ramekins or turned out onto a plate.