Ienjoyed many versions of Egg en Cocotte, or Oeufs En Cocotte, during a summer in France. It was often served for lunch or as an appetizer. I enjoy it anytime — it’s easy to prepare, cooks quickly and transforms leftovers into French bistro fare.
I’ve used a filling of spinach and mushrooms but there are plenty more suggestions below. Consider this but a template for making your own version of Eggs en Cocotte.
Originally published in EAT Magazine Jan/Feb 2012 issue.
■ 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
■ 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
■ 6 large organic eggs
■ salt and pepper, to taste
■ 6 tablespoons 35% whipping cream
■ 6 ramekins or shallow oven-proof containers, approximately 6 ounces each
■ shallow, straight-sided saucepan or baking dish wide enough to hold the ramekins
■ kettle for boiling water
No matter what filling you use — it must be well-seasoned. Taste the filling and adjust with additional salt, if necessary, before adding it to the egg. You will need about 3/4 – 1 cup of filling to fill six ramekins. Here are a but a few suggestions — a peek into your refrigerator will come up with many more.
■ roasted tomatoes
■ sautéed mushrooms and shallots
■ creamed spinach
■ cooked ham with gruyère cheese
■ roasted tomatoes
■ blue cheese and sautéed leeks
■ asparagus or ratatouille stew
■ sautéed fennel and celery root
*Omnivores can add chicken livers, spicy sausage, shrimp and crabmeat or smoked chicken
Preheat oven to 375°F
Brush each ramekin with the melted butter. Place a generous spoonful of one or two of the suggested fillings into each ramekin. Top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Make a slight indentation in the filling with the back of a spoon to make room for the egg. Break an egg on top of each mixture and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the egg with a bit of cream.
Place the ramekins in the saucepan (or baking dish) and pour the boiling water into the pan, being careful not to pour water into the ramekins. The water should come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and carefully transfer the pan to the oven.
Bake just long enough to set the egg white, about 12 minutes (the yolk should be runny or very soft). If the egg white is not quite firm, remove the lid and place under the broiler for about two minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the pan and drain off any excess butter, if you wish. Serve immediately with hot buttered toast.