Eggs en cocotte with spinach and smoked salmon
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
Poaching eggs en cocotte is a simple and delicious alternative to the standard methods of preparing eggs. To do this you need ramekins (small ceramic dishes), a heavy baking dish that can be filled with water, commonly referred to as a bain marie or water bath, and foil to make a lid.
There are many variations to the classic eggs en cocotte, which uses warmed cream as the poaching liquor. The result is not like a quiche but more an egg, set within a runny seasoned sauce. I like to serve this more for brunch rather than breakfast and offer a tossed green salad as a side dish.
- Heat the oven to 160C.
- Preheat the ramekins with boiling water (this will help the eggs cook) and boil a pot of water to use in the bain marie.
- Heat the cream in a pot until just simmering. Season with salt. Fill the ramekins one third full (about 2 Tbsp) with the cream. Add the salmon and spinach and crack one egg into each ramekin. Add a knob of butter to each ramekin and cover each ramekin with foil to make a lid.
- Place the ramekins in a baking tray. Pour in the boiling water around them so that the water sits about 15mm from the top of each ramekin. Place in the oven to steam for 10-12 minutes.
- The eggs are done when the whites are glossy and almost set. The yolks should remain runny.
Make it different
We are well served with pesto in our supermarkets today and it makes a great condiment for many dishes. With the cocottes, you can alter the flavour by adding just half a teaspoon of your favourite pesto on the top.