Eggs en Cocotte, or simply, baked eggs, are a staple in our home. When I don’t know what to make for breakfast but want something nicer than a bowl of cereal (who are we kidding…I don’t eat cereal) or oatmeal, I pull out the eggs and ramekins.
Baked eggs are a perfect ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ fancy shmancy yet incredibly simple breakfast dish (or dinner, if you prefer!). I simply look through my refrigerator drawers to find a nice combination of toppings and go to it. Though I often put bacon in my baked eggs, this version is a nice vegetarian option. You only need a little bit of each ingredient, so you don’t have to plan too much to be able to make these.
Here, I’ve combined sauteed onion and wilted spinach with roasted red peppers and goats cheese crumbles. You don’t have to roast the bell peppers yourself, the bottled variety will do just fine. If you don’t have access to, or like goats cheese, gorgonzola would be really nice in it’s place. If you have them on hand, sprinkle some freshly chopped herbs on top of the eggs before baking, like thyme or parsley!
Notes on Baked Eggs –
Watch your baked eggs closely. They can go from silky and creamy to lumpy and curdled in a matter of moments. Since they are baked in a hot water bath, which is a more gently cooking process, they will cook a little slower. Once you hit the 10 minutes point, check the eggs by pressing lightly on the yolk. It should still give easily. You want the egg white to be firmly set but the yolks to be runny and soft. You’ll know you’ve cooked the eggs for too long with the yolk is firm and unyielding, but this can be difficult to gauge just by looking at the eggs. You’ll need to touch the tops to know exactly how firm they are.
Baked eggs are meant to be played with! Add whatever topping you happen to have on hand. Sauteed vegetables are always good, along with all kind of cheeses. You can add tomato sauce to the base, pesto on top, flavored oils, seasoned salts, meats such as bacon, sausage, pancetta, prosuitto, you name it. The options are endless with baked eggs, so make them a part of your weekly menu. I promise you’ll have no problem coming up with delicious combinations!
More breakfast recipes? Sure thing:
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- ¼ cup Roasted Red Peppers, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Goats Cheese, crumbled
- 4 tablespoons Heavy Cream
- 4 Eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan to medium high. Add the red onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until it softens. Add the spinach and red peppers and saute with the onion just until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
- Divide the heavy cream between four ramekins (1 tablespoon per dish). Divide ½ of the sauteed vegetables between the ramekins, spreading evenly across the bottom of each. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the goats cheese crumbles over the vegetables in each ramekin.
- Crack one egg into each ramekin. Top each egg with the remaining sauteed vegetables and goats cheese crumbles (divide evenly among dishes - another ½ tablespoon of goats cheese crumbles per dish).
- Season the top of each dish generously with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the ramekins in an 8x8 baking dish and fill halfway full with hot water.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the egg white is set but the yolks are still runny.