4 as a starter
Oeufs en cocotte
Two main ingredients—eggs and crème fraîche—are all you need for this super-simple yet very tasty dish. You can glam it up with a drizzle of truffle oil at the end if you like, or with a few thin shavings of real truffle.
I usually take a look in my fridge and throw in whatever I find suitable (which is almost anything savory). Serve with plenty of crusty bread or, for a gluten-free alternative, try steamed asparagus, raw carrot, bell pepper, or cucumber sticks.
Traditionally ramekins are used for baking oeufs en cocotte, but I make mine in teacups to add a little British touch to this classic French dish.
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche*
- salt and pepper
- a handful of chopped dill**
- 4 eggs
- red lumpfish roe
- small sprigs of dill
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Season the crème fraîche with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Place a heaped tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by a little dill.
- Crack an egg on top, add a second tbsp of crème fraîche, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Repeat with three more ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.
If you like, finish each serving with a teaspoon of red lumpfish roe and a sprig or two of dill.
Some alternative ideas:
* The crème fraîche can be replaced with Sauce Béchamel or Sauce Mornay (page 269). If you like, you can add chopped mushrooms, ham, smoked salmon, or cherry tomatoes after the crème fraîche, or a spoonful of piperade (see page 30).
** Try swapping the dill for parsley, basil, or cilantro, or spice things up with a dash of Tabasco or chile sauce.