Oeuf cocotte

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.
~ Hannah Senesh

Once upon a time, I thought that making oeuf cocotte was fussy and “much work for little return”. Now, I make them occasionally and each time I am always surprised by how simple they are to prepare, how (deceptively) fancy they look and how comforting they are to eat.

Just chop up some of your favourite veges, herbs, bits of ham or anything you like to eat with eggs (and that will like being in the oven)… sometimes I like to first sear some tomatoes with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a bit of muscovado sugar.

Then dot the bottom of a few ramekins with butter, throw in your veges/ham/whatever, crack an egg on top and crown the lot with some cheese. Place the ramekins in a deep baking dish, and fill the baking dish with hot water till it comes halfway up the side of the ramekins.

Bake them for a few minutes, then serve as breakfast/lunch/a light start to dinner. Easy, huh? I think so too.

The recipe I include below documents the way I made it recently, but you can make delicious variations with ham, bacon, mushrooms… some recipes I have come across also use cream. This is a versatile dish that lends itself well to some experimentation!

    Oeuf cocotte
    Ingredients:
    1/4 onion, diced
    1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped
    3 tomatoes, cut into 4-8 small wedges
    Handful of cooking spinach, roughly chopped
    1 large pepper or capsicum
    3 eggs
    1 heaped tbsp feta cheese, diced
    1 tbsp parmesan shreds
    1 tbsp butter
    Olive oil
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 level tsp brown sugar
    Salt
    Pepper
    Method:
    Preheat oven to 200°C. Boil some water.
    Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet set over a medium-high flame. Once the oil is warm, add in the onion – sauté till golden brown and fragrant, then throw in the garlic, capsicum and tomatoes, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Stir for a minute or two, till you can see the skins on the tomatoes begin to collapse gently.
    Place a pat of butter at the bottom of each ramekin, and add in the spinach, cooked vegetables and feta cubes. Roughly level the surface of the vegetables, then crack an egg into each ramekin. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
    Put the ramekins into a deep baking tray and fill the baking tray with hot water till the water level reaches halfway up the side of the ramekins.
    Place the tray into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
    Yields 3 servings.

Other yummies of late: (1) a particularly delicious chocolate fondue involving, I found out later, mascarpone added to the warm chocolate mix. Mmm! (2) a generous and very tasty chicken sandwich at Willow Glen in Gordonton. (3) my sweet brother’s “brownie cake” (midway between brownie and cake). Cute imagining him in the kitchen, probably looking very serious the whole time. (4) farmers’ market salad leaves. Crunch crunch crunch.

P.S. Happy Waitangi Day!

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13 responses to “Oeuf cocotte

  1. Well, i don’t know why i have never made those , they are so easy and look perfect, do you cook the egg all the way through or is it meant to be runny? It is Waitangi Day.. how did i miss that! c

  2. I haven’t made them for a while, I used to make them often when the kids were little, the cocottes being the perfect size for a little meal, but thank you for the reminder, I’ll make them again soon :-).

    Ciao
    Alessandra

  3. I LOVE stuff like this! I am totally trying this this weekend.

  4. I never put many ingredients in my oeuf cocotte. I guess I like it a little plainer. Just cheese and herbs usually. Yours looks very pretty though.

  5. I often make omelettes when it’s just me or when I’m feeling particularly lazy to make a ‘proper’ meal. Loving eggs is another reason. This dish is so easy and yet so genius! It’s a wonder how come I’ve not come across it on the internet until now. I’m gonna have to buy me some cheap ramekins from the red house to make these…since my chinese bowls are likely to crack in the oven! :-)

    • I love omelettes when it’s just me and I enjoy my eggs too!

      Heheh, yes bowls cracking in the oven would be a bad thing….! Hope you make these soon and that you enjoy them.

  6. Reading your blog in bed first thing in the morning is making my stomach growl! I’m inspired enough by this post to actually get out of bed and make something… Definitely going to see if I’ve got an egg, this would be perfect right now :)

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