Oeufs en Cocotte

Oeufs en Cocotte
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oeufs en cocotte
Part of this nutritious breakfast!

Ooo! Are we getting all fancy on you for the New Year? Nah, for us, it’s just a fancy name for a way to use up just a bit of leftovers. You know, when there’s only a spoonful or two of soup (or other liquid-y dish) sitting in the pan at the end of the meal, and no one wants to finish it. You hate to just toss it, but it’s really too small for even a single serving. So, what to do? What to do?

Here’s where that fancy-sounding name will come in handy. Or, at least the dish it refers to, which is basically a small amount of leftovers (or none at all), placed in a buttered cocotte (or ramekin), and baked in a bain marie for about 7 to 12 minutes. Plus, if you haven’t cooked in a bain marie (a water bath), this is a nice recipe with which to start, as it goes quickly, and you can make just one or two eggs. Plus, you get to master a bit more French, making your breakfast or brunch sound oo, la, la, délicieux.

Makes 2 oeufs en cocotte

Oeufs en Cocotte

Oeufs en Cocotte


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 cup leftover tomato-based soup (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • Boiling water

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter two ramekins or cocottes.

Spoon soup into ramekins and carefully crack an egg on top.

Place ramekins into larger baking pan, and set on oven rack. Add boiling water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake 7 to 12 minutes, or until whites are just barely set; they should be quite soft.


Ingredient discussion:

For the eggs, buy and use ones you trust. These eggs are not completely cooked when you eat them, but, instead, will be like poached eggs. So, if you’re concerned about the possibility of contamination of your eggs, we suggest you skip this recipe. Leftover soup: It could be soup; we used a tomato vegetable, or it could be something else. Pesto would be nice. Or it could be nothing at all, resulting in plain eggs. It’s up to you.

Procedure in detail:

Not too much here, but let’s go through it anyway, as we’ll give an important tip when it come to filling a bain marie. You won’t want to miss it! So, keep reading.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

mise en place
All systems are go; the oven’s hot, our cocottes are buttered, the eggs are standing by, and boiling water is on the stove.

Butter cocottes. Cocottes are nothing but small bowls that hold about 6 ounces. Ramekins of a similar size will work, too. The only important thing is that they need to be heat-proof.

oeufs en cocotte
Whoops! We managed to poke our thumb into one of the yolks, breaking it.

Fill. Spoon in the soup or whatever you’re using to flavor the eggs, then crack an egg on top. Ideally, you don’t want to break the yolk, as we did. Instead, you want a whole egg just sitting right on top the soup. Finally, hit them up with just a pinch of salt.

making a bain marie
It is safer to pour the boiling water into the pan after you’ve placed it on the oven rack.

Place in bain marie. Here’s the tip: it can be difficult and dangerous to carry a pan full of boiling water. So, place the cocottes in a baking pan, place the pan on the oven rack, then fill it with boiling water. Slide the rack back into the oven, and done.

ouefs en cocotte
There! Our first French dish of the year!

Bake. You’ll need to watch these eggs, as the time they’ll take will depend on how thick your cocottes are, how much leftovers are included, etc. Ours took about 12 minutes, but they could be done in as little as 7 minutes. So watch them, and, when the whites are just set, take them out and serve. They will continue to cook a little bit from the heat of the cocotte.

These were okay, but not stunning. One of us had wanted to try these for a while because they sounded so much like poached eggs, but less trouble to make. Instead, we were a bit disappointed, as they had a slightly tough edge on the whites, and the center wasn’t quite done enough. The yolk, too, had a slightly tough layer on top, which made it difficult to dip toast. Overall, we will say three stars, as we’ll probably make eggs over easy next time we want eggs with yolks for dippin’.

Worth the trouble?

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