Very similar to its preparation on the plate, cocotte eggs are known worldwide by their French name, whose cuisine popularized them, turning them into a refined but simple recipe. The oeufs in cocotte They move in that diffuse line that mixes the classic and the old, but they deserve to regain their position as a versatile breakfast dish, brunches, lunches and dinners.
Well, if the basic egg recipes have something, it is their overwhelming versatility culinary, since freed from the absurd Anglo-Saxon custom of linking them only to breakfast, they are perfect for any time of the day. Like little nutritional jewels, eggs cooked in cocotte also acquire the category of an elegant and very complete dish, suitable even for the most novice in the kitchen.
What are the eggs in cocotte
Also known in Spain as molded eggsWe could say that it is at the same time a technique and a dish, almost like scrambled eggs, admitting many variations. Its fundamental basis is the cooking of the egg without the shell, without breaking the yolk or separating it from the white, in a small refractory container.
The name comes from the French term cocotte -not to be confused with this other meaning-, which today we quickly identify with the Dutch oven type of which Le Creuset and Staub are leading companies. Although these casseroles are more popular today made of cast iron, to prepare molded eggs they are usually used ceramic vessels called ramekins, sometimes made of resistant glass, or also made of clay.
Le Creuset Set of mini cocottes, 4 units, Round, 200 ml each, 10 x 5 cm, Stoneware ceramic, Volcanic
Lifver 200ml Ceramic Souffle Dish / Mini Casserole / Ramekins, Dip-4 Bowls, Cherry Red Orange, Round
Ibili 230010 – Set 4 Ramequin Mold 9 Cms.
They are usually for individual service, one egg per container, although sometimes two are added, or more if quail eggs are used, something less common. The egg set at a mild temperature to leave the white juicy and the yolk almost raw, also playing with the other added ingredients, usually dairy products that provide fat and mellowness (cream, milk, butter, cheese) and various other additives (vegetables, herbs, sausages …).
To control this temperature and the cooking, little aggressive techniques are preferred, such as the water bath, which can be applied to the fire or in the oven. The precision of these most current appliances makes it possible to dispense with that hot water bath if times and power are well controlled. Containers with a lid are preferable, to better protect the yolk.
Basic recipe of eggs in cocotte
Preheat the oven to 170ºC without air. Prepare a suitable source to put the ramekins or small saucepans in a water bath. Grease the casseroles with oil and put a little pepper on the bottom.
Fill with tomato sauce halfway (preferably thick and homemade). Make a little hollow in the center and deposit the eggs in each one, very carefully. It may be easier to break them into a separate bowl and pour them out, to avoid breakage.
Spread the crumbled cheese on top, add salt and pepper and place on the tray. Fill with hot water up to a little more than half and bake until the yolk is still very honeyed. Watch the times very well and put the lids if the containers have them.
Tricks to make them perfect
This is one of the simplest elaborations that we can make with eggs and with which to be luxurious at home. However, as in everything, it requires a little practice to master it to perfection, as it is one of those techniques that is learned by experience. The biggest difficulty is not breaking the eggs and finding the right cooking.
Use eggs from good quality and fresh, code 0 or 1, from free range chickens fed more than just industrial feed.
Choose containers refractory very resistant and that transmit heat correctly: cast iron (with or without enamelling), ceramic or quality clay, better if they are round and with a lid.
For the base of the container choose a sauce or ingredients with the minimum water or excess liquid. For example, if you sauté some mushrooms, let them release the water well and caramelize first in the pan.
Form a little hole in the center where to deposit each egg. The well-centered yolk will set better and there will be no risk of it cooking prematurely by touching the sides.
Add around the egg a fatty dairy It will help to maintain greater juiciness, preventing it from drying out or curdling too soon.
Is better fall short to go over, both in temperature and time. Do not use the turbo or air function of the oven, and monitor the doneness constantly until you find the point that you like the most. They are usually ready in 10-15 minutes.
With what to accompany and complete the eggs en cocotte
The accompaniment of some oeufs cocotte It will depend on when we are going to serve them, and how hungry we are. They are perfect for a relaxed breakfast or mid-morning brunch, with toasted or good crumb bread in which to dip the yolk. As complements to the dish we can add a salad, fresh fruit with yogurt, avocado, salmon or smoked cod, etc.
We can also serve them as a first course in any more complete menu, both for lunch and dinner. They would be a good accompaniment to a plate of legumes or even pasta, introducing high-quality proteins.
In addition to the tomato sauce suggested in the basic recipe, other ingredients that go very well in molded eggs are the mushrooms and mushrooms -always previously cooked-, mashed potatoes, diced french fries, ratatouille, a vegetable stir-fry or sautéed or cooked vegetables, ham or bacon, etc.
The final touch will be splash of liquid cream, crème fraîche or heavy cream, crumbled fresh cheese, a grated cured or some special variety for gratin, or a few slices of good butter.
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Photos | iStock – Frédérique Voisin-Demery – Dinner Series
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