30 January, 2009
Eggs - how do you like them?
This is my favourite way to eat eggs. When they are being eggs, that is, as opposed to transforming sponge cakes or being meringues and so on which is all good. But as eggs, while I like them pretty much any way you care to serve them, I love baked eggs or oeufs en cocotte. My mother used to make them this way, and I think so did my grandmother. I've never had them anywhere else. Perhaps they are a relic of the French branch of my family tree which thankfully has had a big impact on the family's eating habits.
You can find all sorts of methods for baked eggs. Elizabeth David, I think, cooks them in their ramekins in water on the stove top. Darina Allen cooks them in their ramekins in the oven which is the technique I use, though I recall that she has a rather more complicated technique than I do.
So. Oeufs en cocotte.
For each egg, you need an individual ramekin dish, a smidgen of butter, a couple of tablespoons of double cream and some salt and pepper. Rub the ramekin with butter, add a tablespoon of double cream and then crack your egg into the dish. Add another spoonful of cream on top and season to taste. You can add herbs if you wish, or parmesan or not sure what else. I don't. Bake in a tray filled with water halfway up the dish, in a preheated oven at c. 180 degrees C, for c. 12-15 minutes. You decide how soft or hard you want the eggs, and how hot your oven needs to be, and enjoy as you experiment. And don't forget the soldiers to dunk.
The picture uses a Spanish tapas dish, which works but not as well as a ramekin. Try for something deeper. I've now bought ramekins having for rid of them in our move. Idiot.