Eggs en Cocotte

I had so much fun catering my friend, Tiffani Thiessen’s, baby shower.   We met when I catered Brady and Tiffani’s wedding, and we have been dear friends since.  It’s hard to believe ten years have flown by so quickly!  Here is a recipe I created specifically for her baby shower brunch.  Tiffani is an amazing cook, and we spent a lot of time brainstorming what kind of egg dish would work well for a crowd.  We went through many ideas, but neither of us wanted anything that would get cold, overcooked, or would be too complicated to make for a large group.  This was the perfect recipe because the eggs can be prepped and waiting in their ramekins.  Then, all you have to do is pop them in the oven just before service and the ramekins keep them piping hot!

photography Elizabeth Messina

Serves 6
This is a great recipe to make for a crowd; it can be as easily made for a hundred people as it can for one person. You can use any kind of cheese that you like. This is a very adaptable dish, so have fun experimenting with bacon, ham, Prosciutto, tomatoes, spinach, and arugula. I like this simple, classic version:

For the Eggs

Unsalted Butter (to grease ramekins)
6 eggs
Kosher Salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream
6 teaspoons of your favorite cheese
(Freshly grated Parmesan, Cheddar, Manchego, and Gouda work well.  We used Truffled Sharp Cheddar for the shower.)
For the Toast Soldiers
1 sliced and halved baguette, brushed well with butter on both sides

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Grease 2 or 3-ounce size ramekins with unsalted butter.
Crack one egg for each ramekin. Top each egg with a sprinkle of salt. Then pour in a tablespoon of heavy cream, and top with your favorite cheese. Sprinkle with the fresh minced herbs and a grind of pepper. Place all of the ramekins on a half-sheet pan to go in the oven.

Slice the baguette into ovals. Slice the oval in half lengthwise so you have the perfect piece of toast to dip into the eggs.  Butter both sides of the bread and place on the baking tray.  The toast will be finished in 5-8 minutes, so remove it before the eggs are finished.

For runny yolks, cook the eggs for 8 minutes. For what I consider “perfectly cooked” for my taste, cook for 10 minutes. For well done eggs, cook for 12 minutes. Keep in mind that they will keep cooking a bit after you take them out of the oven. When the cheese and cream are piping hot, the dish will be loose on the top, but it will firm up as the cheese cools.

Maili’s Notes: If you are making this for a crowd, then make the “Toast Soldiers” separately on a big pan.  If you are just making them for your family at home (say, about 6-12 ramekins), then you can make the toast soldiers on the same sheet tray as the eggs.

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