Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oeufs en Cocotte

Alex and I have one thing in common when it comes to brunch - we LOVE eggs with runny yolks, whether they are poached, fried, baked, coddled, whatever.  Otherwise he's more of a french toast person whereas I am all about eggs benedict, pancakes or a really nice frittata.  Oh and Belgian waffles.  I love me some Belgian waffles.  But we have been making versions of Oeufs en Cocotte (which are traditionally eggs baked in ramekins with some sort of cream) for years now.  Sometimes we do a spicy Latin combo of Mexican chorizo, scallions and cilantro, but sometimes we just throw in chives and some Parmigiano-Reggiano and call it a day.  Both versions are lovely, as are all of the others we have tried along the way.  I recommend serving these eggs with toasted baguette or other pieces of bread to soak up the egg yolk.  Sometimes I cut the bread into small cubes and add it to the egg mixture before cooking and they get all warm and juicy and happy baked inside the eggs, but sometimes I just serve them on the side for dunking.  Take your pick.

This would be a lovely (and easy) recipe to serve if you are having people over for brunch because you don't get stuck in the kitchen slaving over pancakes, waffles, or omelets.  You just have to throw everything in your little individual baking dishes before people get there and once you are ready to eat you can just throw them in the oven and call it a day!  In 10 minutes or less you will have piping hot eggy goodness for everyone and you can actually spend your time hanging out with your guests instead of flipping, baking, cooking, whatever!  Alternatively this makes a lovely light lunch or dinner when served with a simple side salad.

Recipe after the jump!

Oeufs en Cocotte

1 tbsp butter, divided
6 eggs
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 oz. goat cheese
3 tbsp crème fraîche or heavy cream, divided 
1 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (chives, flat leaf parsley and basil are delicious)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Warm au gratin dishes (I used au gratin dishes, but you could also use large ramekins and just do 1-2 eggs per ramekin instead of 3 eggs per au gratin dish) in oven for 5 minutes.  Remove au gratin dishes from oven and place in a baking dish.  Add 1/2 tbsp butter to each au gratin dish, using a knife or fork to move the butter around as it melts, ensuring that they are fully coated in butter.  Divide the green onions and goat cheese between the au gratin dishes, crack three eggs into each one and add about 1 1/2 tbsp of crème fraîche of heavy cream.  Season with s&p.  Pour enough hot water into the baking dish to cover the au gratin dishes half way.  Bake until the egg white is just set and the yolk is still runny, about 10 minutes.  The eggs should still be a little wiggly in the ramekins, but shouldn't slosh around too much.  The eggs will continue to cook a little after you remove them from the oven, so keep that in mind when judging if they are set are not.  Remove au gratins from oven and allow to cool at room temp for 1-2 minutes.

Garnish eggs with herbs and serve hot with toasted baguette slices.

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