Nest eggs

Eggs, bacon, mushrooms – what’s not to like, with some thyme, garlic and cream added to the mix? And look, hassle-free plating and only one cooking pan.

Oeufs 5

When Julian & Sara married in December 2012, we gave them a lovely Le Creuset casserole dish, aka Dutch oven. As part of the deal, another Le Creuset product was offered at a big discount – a set of ramekins known in France as ‘cocottes’. Believing our kitchen was already well-stocked with baking dishes, I resisted this temptation. Maggie dug her heels in and the rest, as they say, is her-story!

This is a regular match-play in our home. The next stanza kicks off with me saying “well, you’d better find a recipe then”, followed an hour or two later by a rejoinder of “tah dah!” So, several times each year, especially in the cooler months, we sit down to a lazy dinner of ‘oeufs en cocotte’.

We start by frying some batons of trimmed bacon in a little oil in a pan until they are just beginning to brown. We transfer the bacon to a bowl, add about 10g of butter to the pan and add some thickly-sliced mushroom. At this point, I put a lid on the pan, slightly ajar, to encourage the mushroom to release some of its water content – this saves having to add some more butter. Then I remove the lid, add some thin slices of garlic and cook until the mushroom is just beginning to brown. This mixture is added to the bacon, along with a generous grind of black pepper and leaves plucked off some thyme sprigs, then tossed to combine.

Oeufs 1   Oeufs 2

Maggie distributes the mixture between three or four cocottes – this is a method, not a recipe – and covers it with a tablespoon or so of (light) sour cream (creme fraiche). Then she cracks a fresh egg into each cocotte and drizzles each one with some cooking cream.

Oeufs 3   Oeufs 4

We place the cocottes onto a baking tray and put the tray into an oven pre-heated to about 170C. It takes up to 15 minutes to cook the eggs; you can easily monitor progress through the thin layer of cream. Maggie likes to serve some ‘soldiers’ of toasted sourdough alongside her cocotte; I prefer a whole slice of toast, onto to which I empty the contents of my cocotte. Either way, it is very tasty, with lovely textures.

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our mid-60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few weekends each year exploring south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 onwards are documented in this blog.
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