Photo by David Bishop
This elegant, delectable & delightful breakfast, brunch or dinner entree is as soothing and delicious, if not as seductive, as it’s French predecessor. I was inspired by a recipe from our beloved Jacques Pepin, and changed it up a bit so that we can see all of the ingredients in a wider scope, then added more flavor and visual ingredients. The definition of Cocotte is an egg cooked individually in cream or butter in a small ramekin.
I used six inch stainless steel double handled personal braising pans because of the presentation possibilities. As a food stylist I gravitate toward palettes that can showcase the food in it’s entirety. The traditional Cocotte obscures most of the ingredients because they are on top of each other, like a parfait with opaque sides. I used 2 medium eggs instead of one large egg for symmetry and added various baby vegetables for; balanced scale and textural mouth appeal, color for eye popping lasciviousness, and flavor for the soul to savor and devour.
The end product is enticingly simple, easy and fast, while being lusciously delicious.
Ingredients per person/pan:
- 1 slice of whole grain bread, toasted and buttered, cut into sticks for dipping into the egg dish
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1 tablespoon cognac
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sliced shallots
- 3 sliced button mushrooms
- 2 sliced baby zucchini
- 2 sliced baby patty pan summer squash
- 1/2 sliced red baby bell pepper (1 tablespoon)
- 2 medium raw eggs
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
- Heat pan on medium low heat with olive oil for a moment until it is just hot.
- Add shallot, squash, peppers and some seasoning. Cook until tender, about two minutes.
- Turn up the heat a tiny bit and add mushrooms, cooking them until they release their water and begin to brown a bit. Stir the mixture.
- Add cream and cognac, stirring the mixture again and tasting for balance. Add more seasoning if necessary. Simmer for a moment to thicken a little. It will thicken more in the next step.
- Make two welts in the mixture for the eggs.
- Crack the eggs into the welts and lower the heat a tiny bit.
- Garnish the cheese onto the eggs and veges.
- Let them braise in the liquid until they are cooked to your desired doneness of yolk, making sure that the whites are not still mucus like. You may have to spoon some of the liquid over the whites to ensure even cooking, without over cooking the yolks.
Serve hot with the side of toast sticks for dipping. Add the beverage of your choice, depending on the corresponding meal…Orange juice, Green tea, Prosecco… whatever your heart desires.