I initially shied away from making eggs en cocotte because I was convinced that the only way I wanted to eat eggs was very softly scrambled with lots of butter. I am happy to report that I was undeniably wrong; and I can’t believe it took me this long to make what I now call mini pots of breakfast heaven. Next time you want eggs for breakfast (or for any other meal), let me tempt you with this: a foundation of buttery shallots and mushrooms covered in eggs and cream inside a cute little ramekin. Throw in some bacon if you want (duh!), and top with chives and Parmesan.
If you’re like me, this will firmly replace the role of an omelette (why are they usually dry and boring?) and will contend for your new favorite way to eat eggs. Also, if you build up your collection of ramekins this makes for an elegant yet easy dish to make for guests. Serve with toast soldiers and you will feel extra fancy. *P.S. for those that are gluten-free this is the perfect quiche alternative
SHALLOT AND MUSHROOM EGGS EN COCOTTE
Makes two, 2-egg cocottes
Equipment needed: two oven-proof containers (aka cocottes) that can hold approximately 8 ounces, and a baking dish that two cocottes can fit inside
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the cocottes
1 medium shallot, diced
3 to 3.5 ounces mushrooms (about 3 large crimini mushrooms), diced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 cooked pieces bacon, chopped (optional)
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
2 teaspoons chives, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
2 pieces buttered toast (optional, and I used brioche)*
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare your two cocottes by buttering the insides.
In your smallest fry pan, sauté 2 tablespoons butter with the shallot and mushrooms on medium high heat for 8 minutes. Lightly dust with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and divide evenly into your two cocottes. Divide the chopped bacon between the cocottes, if using.
Crack two eggs into each ramekin over the top of the onion, mushrooms, and bacon (watch for stray shell fragments). Pour 1 tablespoon cream into each ramekin. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top. Set the two ramekins in a baking dish and fill the baking dish with the hottest water from your faucet, until the water comes halfway up sides of the ramekins.
For a runny yolk, bake 18-20 minutes**
For a medium-set yolk, bake 20-22 minutes**
For a firm yolk, bake 23-25 minutes**
When the eggs are baked to your liking, immediately remove the cocottes from the hot water bath (and don’t forget to use oven mitts). Sprinkle chives and grated Parmesan on top. Eat with toasted, buttery bread.
*Feel free to get a bit fancy and cut your toast into soldiers
**Keep an eye on your eggs as they bake- depending on the thickness of your particular cocottes baking times may vary slightly