One of my favourite weekend breakfasts to make myself is the eloquently named concoction that is ‘Oeuf en Cocotte’. A French take on baked eggs, it’s literal translation is ‘egg casserole’ (Less exciting I know, so let’s stick with it’s French moniker). It’s super easy to make, and is simple enough to mix up for a whole new taste each time.
- Natural yoghurt/crème fraîche
- Eggs: As many as you wish to consume-it’s one egg per ramekin
- Herb of choice: Fresh dill/tarragon/chives
- Salt and pepper
- *Optional: crusty fresh bread (warmed in the oven)
- *Optional: fresh red chilli/smoked salmon/leeks/chorizo/parmesan/spring onion
Traditionally this recipe is made with crème fraîche, but I prefer to switch this out for natural yoghurt which gives the whole thing a zingy sour kick, and it’s healthier to boot. A thick, plain Greek yoghurt is the perfect consistency (not that I am biased, ahem).
You’ll need a baking tray with high sides, and oven proof ramekins. I have actually recycled those glass pots that you get GÜ cheesecakes in (what? Don’t act like you don’t have them too…) which are the perfect serving size. I’d suggest at least 2 ramekins per person as a serving. Boil some water, and flip your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (depending on how you do these things), allowing it to pre-heat whilst you prep.
Season your yoghurt with a crack or two of black pepper, and a sprinkle of sea salt, and put a dollop of yoghurt in the bottom of each ramekin. Next add in your herbs.
TOP TIP! At this stage I usually like to add in some extra tasty treats.
I often go for a chopped fresh red chilli and smoked salmon (cut finely), or chopped leeks that have been pan-fried in a little butter beforehand. The choice is yours really. Go wild, go mad! Add in some chorizo; just ensure it’s chopped up REALLY well and used sparingly so that it will cook and fit in the ramekin (you can of course serve these additions on the side afterwards).
Next, crack your egg on top, then add another heaped spoon of seasoned yoghurt on top of this to cover it all, followed by a sprinkle of more of your chosen herbs.
Once done, put your ramekins in the baking tray and pour your boiled water into the tray until it comes to about half way up the ramekin pot sides, then place the tray carefully in the middle shelf of the oven, which allows them to cook in a water bath (or bain-marie, totes French!)
Bake for around 10-15 mins, but I’d say around 12-15 mins gives you a nice runny yolk.
Once cooked to your desired specifications, lift your tray carefully from the oven and take the ramekins out of the bath using oven gloves or a tea towel (seriously, I did it once without-mega ouchie!).
To serve, I’d suggest a hunk of crusty warm French baguette to dip in the runny yolks, and a pot of fresh French-pressed coffee (well, it would be rude not to!). You can always grate a little fresh parmesan or throw spring onions on top for a variation, or leave out the bread if you are carb or gluten conscious. No matter what you try though, I think you’ll agree this is a tasty and easy dish to make, which also looks great (totally Instagram-worthy),and is a quick, cheap, but impressive meal to serve up to any brunching guest you may have over!
voilà et magnifique!