Sasha Gora makes a simple yet elegant breakfast, oeufs en cocotte with tarragon.
By Sasha Gora
Oeufs en Cocotte is a very simple way to cook eggs, yet despite its simplicity it still retains some elegance. Creme fraiche adds some creamy luxury and together with the eggs it is the perfect background, neutral yet rich, for fresh tarragon and lots of it. Oeufs en Cocotte – translated directly as Chick Eggs, but better translated as eggs in pots – are similar to baked eggs (also known as shirred eggs). The difference is that baked eggs are just baked directly in the oven and oeufs en cocotte are baked in a water bath.
This recipe serves 2, but it is easy to half it to serve 1 or to double it to serve 4 (or even more if you want to serve it to a crowd). Because I am always on the lookout for new breakfasts, I like to eat oeufs en cocotte for the first meal of the day. However, they also make a nice lunch served with a green salad or even an appetizer before dinner.
You can also add vegetables such as tomatoes or spinach, some butter or olive oil, some ham or bacon, or a bit of cheese, but for me sometimes all a dish truly needs is some creme fraiche and tarragon. Extras are always nice, but never necessary.
- 2 eggs
- freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- a pinch of salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 2-4 tbsp creme fraiche
- a handful of fresh tarragon
- Preheat oven to 350F / 180C / gas mark 4.
- Mix together the creme fraiche, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Dollop half or a full tablespoon (depending on how much your prefer) into the bottom of each ramekin or an ovenproof teapot and then add some tarragon.
- Break an egg into each ramekin and then top with a second tablespoon (or as much as your prefer) of creme fraiche. Season with a tad more salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Place the ramekins into a baking dish and then into the oven. Pour hot water into the dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until the eggs are set, about 15-18 minutes (the former if you prefer runnier eggs and the latter if you want them a bit firmer).
- Remove from the oven and top with a generous amount of fresh tarragon. Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping.