Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oeufs en Cocotte (or, eggs in ramekin)

When I was in Paris recently I enjoyed "oeufs en meurette"; basically a poached egg in red wine and mushroom sauce.  Dee-effing-licious.  So, it got me inspired to make some other fun eggy dish, except this time for brekkie vs. a dinner appetizer.  The brilliant thing about this dish is it is infinitely bespoke.  And, it takes so very little time.  All you need is a ramekin, an egg and a bit of an imagination (well, and hopefully some good stuff in your fridge).  This one was with leftover potato gratin, cauliflower, sambal oelek and Beemster XO.  I do love me a warm, comforting and savoury dish for breakfast but scrambled, poached, fried and fritatta can sometimes bore me.  Enter oeufs en cocotte!

Below is the recipe for what you see above, but remember you can put in just about anything you think would taste good in the morning with eggs.  This serves 2 but you can build as many as you need, just increase the ingredients as you see fit.
  • 2 eggs
  • leftover cooked potatoes (mine was a potato gratin)
  • 1 large floret of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek or other chili sauce
  • shaved Beemster XO
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • parsley or cilantro to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  In each ramekin, put enough potato to just fill the bottom of the dish (about 1/4 or so of the ramekin ... more if you want more potato!).  Shave cauliflower on top.  Add 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek to each ramekin (note: it is spicy so hold back a bit if you're spice-averse - you can always add more later).  Crack an egg into each ramekin.  Top with shaved Beemster and a pinch of salt & pepper.
  2. Place the ramekins in a dish large enough to hold the two ramekins, and deep enough that you can fill the dish with water at least 1/2 way up the ramekins; usually a pyrex dish will do.  Put hot water in the large dish (not the ramekins!) so it's at least 1/2 way up the ramekin, if not 3/4 of the way.  This little water bath will let everything cook gently without drying out.
  3. Put in the oven and cook until the egg whites are just set - about 8 minutes.  Remove and top with a bit of parsley or cilantro (or nothing) and enjoy!
Again, you don't have to use my fillings; you can do this with just about anything.  Proscuitto, chopped tomato, basil and egg ... potato, zucchini, egg and parmesan ... mushrooms, garlic, thyme, egg and fontina.  See?!  It's endless!  Bon appetit!

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