Oeufs en Cocotte are great as a hearty breakfast or brunch dish. While most people are fussing about what they’ll serve for dinner on Christmas Day, I tend to focus more on what I’ll serve for brunch. Oh how I love Christmas brunch! The possibilities are endless: beautiful breads, freshly-pressed juices, colourful winter fruit salads, quiches, and eggs in a million and one different ways. Wonderful!
Here is one of my favourite Christmas breakfast in France recipes. These little baked eggs are so versatile and can be thrown together faster than an elf can make toys for a whole neighbourhood of children!
I like to serve them with buttery pan-fried ciabatta slices, a citrus salad sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and a scattering of mint leaves, and of course — a nice bottle of Champagne.
2 tbsps lardons
4 slices ciabatta
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp single cream
pinch of dried tarragon
Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter two small ramekins and place them on a baking dish. In the meantime, fry your lardons in a dry frying pan. Remove them with a slotted spoon and divide over the ramekins.
Now add a generous knob of butter to your pan (don’t wipe it clean, you want all those salty, bacony juices!) and fry the ciabatta slices for 3-4 minutes a side.
To make the eggs: divide the spring onions over the ramekins, top with the Gruyère, 2 eggs each and 1 tbsp of cream each. Season with some pepper and the tarragon. You probably won’t need any salt.
Pour some boiling water into the baking dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins and pop the eggs into the oven for 13-15 minutes.
Serve with the fried bread – perfect for dipping into the runny yolks!
Paola, Queen of French Cuisine!
Paola Westbeek is a food, wine and travel writer with a good dose of joie de vivre. She is passionate about French cooking, old-fashioned chansons, Rembrandt and life. Paola is available for all kinds of recipe development, food and wine writing, and culinary advice. For more information visit: inmylife-paola.blogspot.com, Twitter @la_douce_vie