Sunday, 27 March 2011

oeufs en cocotte

'ouefs en cocotte' is a classic french dish and is named after the dish in which it is cooked. ouefs en cocotte are perfect for individual eats as an egg is cooked in a ramekin. you can customise the egg by adding veggies and some kind of creamy or rich element like butter, a full fat soft cheese like boursin or cream. i wanted something light with a colour profile that says spring - soft yellow yolks paired with something green, so i choose to include some grated courgettes sweated in a little bit of olive oil. for seasoning i added a bit of paprika although i imagine a bit of the iranian spice sumac would add a nice tartness and some flaky salt. 

{oeufs en cocotte for two}
one medium sized courgette grated
one teaspoon olive oil
two eggs 
a pinch of paprika
a pinch of salt
a knob of butter
two small ramekins
a baking dish deep enough to act as water-bath for the ramekins

1. sweat the grated courgette in the olive oil on medium till it is tender (around four minutes). don't let it colour. put it aside to cool a little before dividing it into half and placing it in the ramekins.

2. pre-heat the oven to a hundred and eighty degrees celsius.

3. crack an egg into each ramekin dish. sprinkle on the paprika and some salt. put a knob of butter on the yolk. place the prepared ramekins in the water-bath. pour in the boiling water from the kettle into the water-bath to come up halfway up to the sides.

4. o and i like our eggs slightly runny so i baked them for around fifteen minutes but if you prefer yours more set then bake for a further three minutes. 

5. i cut my toast into fingers so that i can use it to scoop up the runny yolks, a bit like how you'd eat boiled eggs and soldiers.

this is wonderful alternative to scrambled eggs or omelettes. it would be great for a mid-week supper too as it is very substantial. i am thinking it would be good with some smoked haddock flakes or smoked salmon with some creme fraiche and dill. to me ouefs en cocotte = endless possibilities. delia smith has a simple and foolproof set of instructions for ouef en cocotte. la tartine gourmande has a beautiful post with lovely pictures and clotilde from chocolate and zucchini had me smiling about her anecdotes of microwave cooking. incidentally the french word cocotte is used both for individual baking dishes and a prostitute  or promiscuous woman. 

just out of the oven
runny yolks with toast fingers
grated courgettes

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