It takes less than five minutes of hands-on time; preheat the oven, spray some small oven-safe dishes with cooking spray, crack an egg, add crumbled bacon*, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and a drizzle of half and half. Bake for about twenty minutes in a bain marie ( just another French word for a pan of water). That’s it – the results, perfectly delicious eggs every time! Add a slice of whole grain toast or some crunchy Granola Rounds (tomorrow’s recipe) and you have a delicious breakfast, loaded with protein and great nutrients to fuel the new day.
If you’re getting tired of the everyday boring breakfast-fare and yet you’re trying to eat healthy and lean, this is the perfect recipe to liven up those morning meals! And it’s another one of the Café’s Little Black Dress Recipes – dress it up, down……………….. any which way!
How does this work? ………….. maybe you’re in the mood for just a good old-fashioned egg – skip the herbs and bacon. Have a little leftover ham or steak? Perfect, substitute either for the bacon………… or make it a Meat-Lover’s Eggs en Cocotte and add all three! Are you vegetarian? Skip the bacon and add diced bell pepper, onions, asparagus tips, spinach, arugula, artichokes…………any of your favorite veggies. Perhaps you’re crazy for cheese – throw in a tablespoon of your favorite variety. I used basil and rosemary but fresh thyme, oregano, parsley or chives would be equally delicious. If you don’t have fresh, a sprinkle of dry herbs will work just fine.
Do you see what I mean? Herbed Eggs en Cocotte has infinite variations! Have fun with it! Serve it for family, serve it for friends, serve it for everyday breakfasts, weekend brunches, even for lunch or a casual dinner, paired with a simple salad and some crusty bread – it’s fabulous! I have a feeling you’re going to love this recipe as much as we do! Bon Appetit!
P.S. See those fun round granola bars in the pictures above and below? Check back tomorrow for the recipe!
Herbed Eggs en Cocotte
cooking spray or butter
4 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons half and half
¼ cup cooked crumbled bacon*, or ham, leftover steak, Italian sausage, pancetta or prosciutto
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil – or substitute equal amounts of any fresh herbs for the rosemary and basil
1. Coat each of 4 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray or butter.
2. Break 1 egg into each prepared ramekin. Sprinkle eggs evenly with pepper and salt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon half and half over each egg.
3. Spoon 1 tablespoon bacon on one side of each yolk and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh herbs on the other side. Place ramekins in a baking pan and add hot water to pan to a depth 3/4 of the height of the ramekins.
And one other thing – Since I’m always looking for an easier way to do things,I’ve tried this recipe with and without the water bath. The eggs come out okay without the bath but the whites tend to get a bit overdone before the yokes are cooked. I like it much better with the bain marie – oh, and it makes me feel a bit like a French chef ………….and a little better about the name for The Café – since I’m about as one hundred-percent-kraut-German as one can get! 🙂
Adapted from Cooking Light