Thursday, November 13, 2014

Breakfast: Oeufs en Cocotte

Breakfast is often my least healthy meal of the day. I always want another 5 (20) minutes in bed, so it tends to be a rush to get out of the door on time.  Then I end up in line for an egg mcmuffin, or worse, making breakfast out of whatever is in the office vending machine. Jalapeno potato chips are not wonderful at 8 am.

spinach and bacon
Eggs are an easy, obvious answer. But one can get bored with scrambled eggs every day, So I started searching the web and I stumbled on oeufs en cocotte. Which is a fancy way of saying baked eggs.

The basic framework is you take a ramekin:
  1. Put some savory things in the bottom, veggies, ham, what have you...
  2. On top of this you put a dollop of yogurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, heavy cream. . . I once made a heavenly version using an herbed cheese spread.
  3. Top it with an egg
Put this in a bain maire (a pan with water in it) in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes. You want it the egg to be softly set, and the yolk still runny. Essentially, you are creating a savory custard.

This makes a great breakfast, and a refined break from the ubiquitous scrambled eggs. A slice of toast is a nice addition, and useful for soaking up the last of the egg.

ready to go in the oven - cheese is not traditional, but what the heck?
Researching this on the web will give you many opinions. Some purists insists it should only be eggs and cream, others like loading it up. Some make it vegetarian, some use only meat, onions, no-onions, the variations are limited only to your imagination and the extent of your pantry.

I like it because it’s tasty, easy, and a great way to use up leftover vegetables (and there are always leftover vegetables). And since you can set up the ramekins ahead of time, you can prep an entire week’s worth of breakfasts in an under an hour.

The actual cooking is easy, because you don’t have to watch it, as you do with scrambled eggs and omelettes. You can do other things while it’s cooking.  For example, this was how I made breakfast this morning.

  • Wake up, turn on the oven (bain marie is already in the oven, where I put it last night).
  • Take a shower and dress.
  • Pull a ramekin out of the fridge, drop in the yogurt and an egg and put it in the bain marie.
  • Feed and water the cats, make the bed.
  • Take the finished oeufs cocotte out of the oven, pour myself a cup of tea, sit down and eat.
  • Put the dishes in the sink, find my shoes and head to work.
Fresh out of the oven. It tastes better than it looks. 
If you really want to make it fast, you can do it in the microwave, but there you have to be very careful with your timing, since microwaves will turn eggs into rubber very quickly. 

No comments:

Post a Comment