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I recently stumbled upon a recipe for this dish for Baked Eggs en cocotte and I am so glad that I did. I don’t usually eat eggs but when I do I usually like them poached with toast and butter. This recipe now tops my list of favorites.
Quite literally this is the easiest, most elegant breakfast or brunch item you will ever make! Never having made them before, my family fell madly in love with them and we made them for breakfast both days this weekend. Here is all I did:
I sprayed our ramekins (or any oven-safe dish) with fat-free cooking spray (instead of butter) then sprinkled the bottom with cheese. To that, I added one egg, a tablespoonful of milk, some fresh chopped herbs, salt, and pepper.
I placed the 8-oz ramekins in a water bath made using a rectangular baking dish filled about 1/2 the height of the ramekin. Do this by placing the baking dish onto the center rack of your oven, add the ramekins and then carefully fill the baking pan with hot water (like from a tea kettle) until it reaches about halfway up the ramekins. Starting with hot water allows the ramekins to cook faster since the water doesn’t have to heat. This allows the ramekins to cook evenly.
PRO KITCHEN TIP: Note: To easily make a bain Marie, place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan already inside the oven. Boil some water on the stove either in a kettle or a sauce pan. Add the boiling water to the pan already in the oven. This will prevent any spilling accidents and accidental burns. Then once the eggs are done you will be able to remove them from the pan and finally the tray once it cools.
Also note: if you do not have ramekins, you may use any oven-proof baking dish. Here, I demonstarted the use of a pint size jelly jar, a clear glass bowl, a small ceramic bowl and a tiny metal mixing bowl. All the bowls took the same cooking time and temperature as the ramekin described in the recipe and were evenly cooked using the bain marie.
Then bake uncovered, until the whites were set but the yolks are still loose. This took about 25 minutes but you can add to the cooking time depending on how you like your yolks. I baked my husband’s for 30 minutes because they don’t like the runny yolks. We then ate our eggs en cocotte with buttered toast.
On the second day, we added a few more ingredients to the eggs prior to baking. Just like the day before, I sprayed the ramekins and then added a thin layer of hash brown potatoes to the bottom, then layered in some bacon strips before I added the cheese, egg and all the rest as I detailed above. While Gruyere is traditional, we used goat cheese in our ramekins while my son wanted cheddar cheese.
The possibilities are endless with this simple yet elegant dish. Once again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to food. It’s all a matter of taste! So mix it up any way you choose.
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Baked Eggs en Cocotte
- 1 tablespoon butter or cooking spray
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- Fresh herbs - , chopped fine (optional)
- Cheese - (optional)
- Canadian ham or bacon - (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Coat each of 6 (8-oz) ramekins or custard cups with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Break 1 egg into each prepared ramekin. Sprinkle eggs evenly with pepper and salt; spoon 1 teaspoon cream over each egg. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; add hot water to the pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until eggs are set.
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