Well it turns out, according to Merriam-Webster, "Cocotte" is defined either as a shallow oven proof baking dish….. or an expensive prostitute. Whatever you think of when you think of the glorious egg, baked with herbs and cream, think of something amazingly smooth, delicious, and the perfect morning or brunch treat. No, it still isn’t the high priced hooker.
Oeufs en Cocotte is one of those forgotten, yet delicious, ways of preparing eggs for ANY meal really. Combined with rich cream, any cheese, any herbs, any veg, it is one of those “what do I have left in the fridge to make a delicious meal?” type dishes along the lines of quiche or…..meatloaf, I guess.
Stick to the idea of baking eggs with cream and herbs, then anything else that may be added is a plus… and makes delicious Eggs Cocotte.
Here is how I roll :
2 oven proof ramekins or crocks
4 Eggs, cracked and divided between two bowls
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2-3 ounces diced ham
4 ounces Gruyère Cheese, shredded
In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” or salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Thyme, Chive and Tarragon (or any fresh herbs you enjoy) minced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and find a pan deep enough to hold water and your two ramekins. The eggs Cocotte will cook "custard method” In a water bath. Get your mise en place (yeah, throwing more French at you) together. Mince the herbs and combine together, dice your ham, shred the Gruyere, and crack two eggs into two separate small bowls. This help transfer the eggs into your hot ramekins (vessels) that we will get to in the next step, and start boiling some water.
- Butter the insides of your vessels liberally. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream to each vessel and place into your deep sided pan without the water, then into the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes and remove.
- Carefully but quickly divid the diced hame between the two ramekins, then pour in the two eggs keeping them unbroken and add a pinch of Cook’s Line Seasoning or salt and pepper to taste. Divide the shredded cheese between the two and sprinkle around the eggs; sprinkle in a bit of the minced herbs. Pour in more heavy creamand fill the ramekin about 1/4 inch from the rim. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on top.
- Pour the boiling water into the high sided pan, enough to fill halfway up the side of the ramekins. Carefully place into the oven and cook 8-10 minutes. It depends on the size and fill of your ramekins, but your want just a slight jiggle from the eggs… just enough to be “set”.
- Remove from the oven and let rest around five minutes. While thats going on toast some good crusty artisan bread that you can dunk into this glorious dish while eating.