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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Eggs en cocotte

French cooking may be as simple as 1-2-3, like this dish, eggs en cocotte - a quick and tasty breakfast or a starter for a meal. "Cocotte" is the french term referring to a round or oval casserole, so actually 'eggs en cocotte' is a more 'sophisticated sounding' term for eggs cooked in a ramekin! Picked up the recipe from the New Concise Larousse Gastronomique, an 'encyclopedia' for cooks, 'a real must for an serious chef' (at least according to Jamie Oliver!).

The basic procedure eggs in cocotte is to break the egg into a buttered ramekin, place the ramekins in a pot filled with boiling water that reaches up to half the height of the ramekin (yes, a bain marie), and bake till the egg white is set to your liking, and with the yolk usually still soft. According to Larousse the oven setting would be 200C (pre-heated as usual), for 6-8 minutes, but the whites weren't set enough (well at least, as a personal choice), so these were in the oven for around 10-13 minutes.

Variation to the recipe would be very simple additions of very tasty stuff - 1 tablespoon of heated double cream on the bottom of the ramekin, break egg on top, add a knob of butter over the yolk, and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese before putting in the oven.. and then some salt and cracked pepper on top just before serving. Others would use tarragon, or some other herbs and spices to flavor the eggs.


before and after

Simple breakfast, serve with some toast and coffee, and surely things can't go wrong!


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