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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.