Call me old-fashioned, but I love cooking meals for my boyfriend and me. But, since both of us are junior lawyers, the weekends are the only consistent time that we enjoy home-cooked food. One of my favorite go-to recipes is this easy breakfast—eggs en cocotte, or baked eggs.
There’s much to love about this adorable little dish. The ingredients are so easy to throw together that it’s almost mindless and they work with whatever you have on hand, making them perfect for using up leftovers in the fridge. We love ours with goat cheese, bacon, and tomatoes, but you could easily use ham and spinach, or salmon, or any other protein and vegetable you prefer. And substitute any cheese of your choice, too—instead of gouda, feel free to opt for the more traditional gruyere or Comte, or just use your good old Kraft parmesan.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for basics (or your fridge needs replenishing), this recipe works just as well with simply eggs, a bit of cream, and salt and pepper. Any way you slice it, even with minimal effort, these little eggs remain beautifully presented and delicious. It’s a perfect breakfast for two people enjoying a peaceful Sunday brunch.
olive oil for greasing the ramekins
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles
1 slice of cooked bacon, crumbled (about 2 tablespoons)
2-3 tablespoons tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup grated smoked gouda (or cheese of your choice—for a more traditional cocotte, use gruyere or Comte; parmesan also works)
1/4 cup shredded parsley (optional garnish)
Note: If you’re looking to make a heartier brunch and if you have sufficiently sized ramekins or pots, feel free to double the recipe, using 2 eggs per ramekin (4 total) and doubling the other ingredients.
1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
2. Lightly grease two porcelain ramekins with olive oil. Sprinkle one tablespoon each of the goat cheese crumbles, tomatoes and bacon evenly into the ramekins. Gently crack an egg over the mixture in each ramekin, taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the eggs. Finally, drizzle a tablespoon of heavy cream over each, and finish with a generous layer of smoked gouda.
3. If you like, prepare a bain marie to bake the cocottes in a gentle and even heat: Place them in a baking dish or cake pan, then fill the pan with about 1 inch of hot water. Otherwise, simply place them on a baking sheet. Either way, bake for about 10-20 minutes until your desired level of doneness: At 10 minutes, the egg whites will be just set; at 15 minutes, the yolks will still be soft; at 20, the whole egg should be set. If you're one who loves a runny egg, keep a close eye on your eggs before the 10 minutes are up.
4. Let cool briefly, then serve with a side of toast or salad.