Friday, 13 January 2012

Eggs en Cocotte with Spinach & Garlic Toast

The classic French name for this is oeufs en cocotte, basically describing eggs cooked and served in a small singular dish, in other words a ramekin. Simply put, a baked egg.

One of the great things about it (apart from being simple to make, and delicious of course) is it’s versatility. Not only can it be served as an easy breakfast or brunch, but also as a light, but quite decadent supper. And the possibilities are endless. The recipe below is quite simple, but you can easily use other ingredients such as chopped and butter sauteéd leeks, smoked haddock or salmon, wild mushrooms or truffles. I’ve even seen a version with foie gras.

A bain--marie is basically a water bath: all you need to do is place the ramekin, once you’ve filled it, in a roasting or baking tin, then pour enough boiling water into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes before popping it, carefully, into the oven.

I made this as a snack while I was simmering the preceeding soup. I’m nothing if not greedy.

Eggs en cocotte with spinach and garlic toast
Serves 1

small handful of baby spinach leaves
small knob of butter
drop of garlic olive oil
fresh nutmeg
salt & pepper
large egg
4 tsp double cream
1 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated
thick slice of sourdough bread
small clove of garlic, sliced in half

Preheat the oven to 180C and butter an ovenproof ramekin.

Sauté the spinach in a small pan with a little butter, a drop of garlic oil, seasoning and a grind of fresh nutmeg.

Arrange the cooked spinach in the bottom of the ramekin, top with the egg, season, and then spoon over the cream. Top with a little freshly grated parmesan.

Bake in the oven, in a bain marie, for about 10-15 minutes until the white is just set but the yolk is still runny.

Toast a slice of sourdough and then rub it with the pieces of garlic, cut-side down. You can then butter the toast lightly if you like (I do).

Serve the egg with the toast immediately.

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