Looking forward to a long, lazy weekend, a simmering one at that. I’m feeling … breakfast, slow, leisurely, and satiating. What comes to mind? Les oeufs en cocotte. Simple and easy. Very much a French dish, coddled eggs baked in ramekins.
Eggs en cocotte and toast
Time: 30 minutes. Serves: 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons heavy cream
Gruyère cheese, shredded
Herbs – your choice of freshly minced rosemary, dill, sage, thyme, or parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Crack an egg into each buttered ramekin, careful not to break the yolk.
Sprinkle evenly with gruyère, and mixed herbs.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle cream on top of egg.
Repeat with the rest of the ramekins.
Arrange the ramekins in a deep baking pan and pour boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins as in a bain-marie.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake until the egg whites are set.
12 minutes for runny yolks, 15 minutes for soft-cooked yolks.
This calls for crusty bread, freshly brewed coffee, and today’s papers.
Half hour later, energized and ready to face you, World!
1. We can add any combination of the following – caramelized onions, minced herbs, shredded cheese, chopped mushrooms – at the bottom, after buttering, the ramekins.
2. Go a little fancy and add a few drops of truffle oil before baking; or go all the way fancy, add a sliver or two of truffles.
I choose to go simple and elegant, and savour the sunny runny yolk. And that crusty buttered bread. I choose to go back to my childhood, Saturdays with my Papa, preparing his version of what I now know as les oeufs en cocotte. Misty-eyed.