I have seen many versions of baked eggs over the years and this one is probably similar to most. Although, I prefer to bake my eggs in a stew of vegetables versus a cream mixture.
I like this dish because:
- it makes for a nice presentation for entertaining
- it is easy to execute
- so much can be prepared ahead
- it has a short finish
- it is forgiving in what ingredients to use and how much
- it is a great way to use up leftovers
- the choices of garnishes are endless
Oeufs en Cocotte with Tomatoes and Spinach
Inspired by many
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cooking onion, diced
1 garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
8 small tomatoes, chopped
5 ounces spinach, stemmed
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 avocado, whipped
1 slice of bacon, crumbled
4 chives, finely cut
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Sauté onions and garlic in a medium frying pan. Once they have softened, add tomatoes and heat them through until they soften. Add the spinach to the tomato mixture and heat slowly until the spinach wilts. At this point the stew can be cooled and refrigerated if using the next day. Reheat the stew gently before continuing.
Butter four 1/2-cup ramekins. Divide the warm stew among the 4 ramekins and create a deep well in each. Crack one room temperature egg into each well. Season the egg with salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place on the middle rack in the oven.
Look at the eggs after 6 to 7 minutes. You want the egg white to be cooked and the yolk to remain runny. Giving the baking sheet a bit of a jiggle will help to gauge doneness and judge how much extra time is needed. The time is affected by the warmth of the stew, the temperature and size of the egg. It could take up to 10 minutes. Take a look at them after each minute.
When you remove the baked eggs from the oven, let them stand for a minute before garnishing with the avocado whip, bacon crumble and chives.