from British Columbia from Scratch
I enjoyed many versions of baked eggs, or oeufs en cocotte, during a summer in France where they often served for lunch or as an appetizer. I love them anytime – they’re easy to prepare, cook quickly and transform everyday leftovers into French bistro fare.
I’ve used a filling of sautéed kale and mushrooms, but any savoury filling will do. I often start with sautéed onion, then add whatever morsels my fridge has to offer.
Consider this a template for making your own.
Makes 6 baked eggs
1 Tbsp (15 mL) melted unsalted butter
1 – 1½ cups (250-375 mL) savoury filling (see below)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp (90 mL) whipping cream
6 ramekins or ovenproof containers
Baking dish as deep as the containers and roomy enough for at least a 1-inch (2-5 cm) space between each
Whatever filling you use, first warm it through, taste and season it well with salt (and pepper, if desired). Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice or vinegar, if it needs a little perking up. Fillings can be as firm or as creamy as you wish.
Here are but a few filling suggestions, or have a peek into your fridge to come up with your own:
Roasted tomato and garlic
Sautéed chicken livers and onions
Sautéed mushrooms and shallots
Creamed spinach or chicken
Diced baked ham with Gruyere cheese
Cooked crumbled spicy sausage with tomatoes
Poached shrimp or crabmeat
Diced cooked bacon and spinach
Blue cheese and sautéed leeks
Smoked chicken with cooked diced asparagus
Sautéed fennel and celery root
Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil.
Brush the inside of each ramekin with the melted butter. Place about ¼ cup (60 mL) seasoned filling into each ramekin and top with a spoonful of grated Parmesan cheese.
Make a slight indentation in the filling with the back of a spoon in which to nestle the egg. Break an egg on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cream.
Pour boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins; be mindful not to spill water into the ramekins. Cover the pan with foil and carefully transfer into the oven.
Bake just long enough to set the egg whites and firm the yolks to your liking, anywhere from 12 minutes for a runny egg to 18 minutes for a firm yolk. Timing varies depending on the size of the containers and number of servings being baked at once. Rotating the pan halfway during baking helps the eggs cook evenly.
If the eggs are slight undercooked, allow the ramekins to rest for a couple of minutes outside the oven before serving; the residual heat will firm up the eggs.
Nada’s Tips & Tricks: I love recipes like this…you have the basic idea and then go wild with different combinations producing a whole bunch of different flavour profiles. Great way to use up leftovers and end pieces of proteins, greens, cheeses, etc.
Content and images printed with permission from Whitecap Books Ltd. https://www.whitecap.ca/Detail/1770502343