Eggs Cocotte is a French classic. It is pretty simple, put an egg in a small ramekin or a mini cast iron casserole, add a bit of cream, herbs, cheese, ham, salt & pepper. Bake in an oven tray, bain-marie style and enjoy!
Of course it is a highly customisable recipe. Replace ham by speck or bacon pieces or even smoked fish. Play with fresh herbs and change your selection each time. Keep it breakfasty or make it a dinner treat by adding foie gras or asparagus. It is a very creative little casserole.
This is a quick and very easy recipe but the tricky part is… the baking. I use the bain marie technique by placing the ramekins on a tray filled with boiling water. The first time you make them, add a post-it note to the recipe and always to the same things, you will get it right every time.
These are the important factors to precisely note: if you have taken you eggs and cream from the fridge or if they were at room temperature. If you used glass or porcelain ramekins or cast iron casseroles. What program you selected on your oven, what temperature, how many minutes.
You will have to adjust all this by yourself according to your oven and the containers uses. If you are using porcelain or glass ramekins you need to regularly check the egg whites’ consistency if they start to stiffen a little bit, take all ramekins out quickly.
If using cast iron casseroles, it is very tricky. Cast iron keeps a high temperature for a long time unlike glass or porcelain. So you need to anticipate. It is better to take the casseroles out before the eggs have solidified. The problem is, you don’t want to take them out to soon either.
So the truth is, before you get the perfect consistency in your own oven, with your own ingredients’ temperature, and your own ramekins, you might have to eat a few overcooked eggs cocotte. It is not a big drama, they are absolutely delicious overcooked too. But the game is to get just set egg whites and runny yolk.
There is another method which I will be testing this week-end since I have no a Magimix Cook Expert with a steaming basket, is to steam them. The problem is that I have 5 mouths to feed and my steaming basket will fit maybe one or two cocottes…
It is now your turn to experiment and enjoy this really typical French “mini dish”.
- A slither of butter to grease the ramekin
- 2 eggs
- 2 small button mushrooms (or 1 medium)
- A few pieces of speck or ham or bacon
- Any cheese, cubed or grated (I use emmenthal, gruyère, cheddar, jarlsberg, gouda, even cumin gouda)
- Enough pouring cream to reach 1cm (0.4in) under the top of the ramekin.
- Salt & Pepper
- A bit of grated nutmeg
- 1 pinch of fresh chives, chopped
- 1 pinch of fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 pinch of fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven at 190°C.
- Grease 1 ramekin or mini cast iron casserole per person.
- Pour 2 cm (0.8in) of cream in every ramekin.
- Crack the 2 eggs in each.
- Add all the other ingredients and top up with cream up to 1 cm (0.4in) below the top of the ramekin.
- Place the ramekins on an oven tray, fill tray with boiling water.
- Cooking time depends entirely on the temperature of your ingredients and how you oven works. I usually put 12 mins with porcelain and 10 mins with cast iron. Do not hesitate to check with a small spoon if the egg whites are stiff. Cream and yolks should remain runny.
- For the first time check after 10 mins, every mins so you know the proper cooking time for every other time :)
- Eat with toasted and buttered bread or pain d'épices (French cake full of spices and honey).
Here are a few ideas of eggs cocotte. You keep the egg and cream part and add:
– foie-gras and pain d’épices
– asparagus and speck
– capsicum (red pepper), ham and tomato
– smoked salmon and dill
– ham and camembert
– fresh porcini mushrooms
– spinach and goat cheese