This morning I made Eggs Cocotte aka Oeufs Cocotte Bressane aka eggs with heavy cream.
There are a lot of recipes for eggs cocotte on the web (like this one) but the majority of them call for placing the eggs in the oven. I made mine on the stove top per Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques.
Eggs Cocotte are essentially eggs that are indirectly heated to the consistency of soft boiled eggs. It is an incredibly simple recipe and process which of course took me several hours to master. Hey, I said I was a beginner cook.
Simply butter the inside of a ramekin, put a little pepper or salt in there, then put the ramekin in warm (almost simmering) water. The water shouldn't be so high that it will spill into the ramekin if it (the water) lightly boils. Cover and bring the water to a light boil. The recipe from Pepin's book I was following said to only have it in there for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes but it took my eggs a little longer to set. I think they were in there maybe 2-3 minutes.
The first time I tried it I had the water in the pan too high and probably let the water come to too much of a boil because the water tipped over the edge of the ramekin and into the eggs. The result was watered eggs, a burnt finger, and a mess. The other mistake I had made was putting an itty bitty bit of crunched up bacon in the bottom. The egg had trouble setting over the bacon. I don't know if it was moisture of the bacon (because it was pretty crisp) or if it soaked up the heat under the eggs in the center. I opted on my second try to add a little bacon on top instead of at the bottom of the ramekin.
I waited (and I don't know if this was right) until the egg had just barely set so I didn't see any clear egg white. But I did take it out the very second I didn't see white because remember the heat in the ramekin continues to cook the egg a little. I tried taking one out of the water before it had set and had maybe half a tablespoon of clear white left. I had hoped it would continue cooking enough to set the white but alas I was left with clear egg white on top of the set white.
I added about a tablespoon of heavy cream to one of the eggs. I was worried the texture would be slimy or that I wouldn't like it but it actually tasted great.
The flavor was remarkable. I really like it. It had a more delicate taste than a traditional soft boiled egg. You could really taste the egg flavor without it being too much. It definitely had more flavor than you might get with an over easy or sunny side up egg. It was almost like an egg yogurt. I know that may sound gross but it really was pretty good.
On a side note, I've always teased my wife about the ramekins (or ramma-khans as I mistakenly called them). I've been known to bemoan they are just another item for the kitchen that takes up needed space. Of course today I realized I actually use them more than her and I am occasionally happy we have them. Between panna cotta and the eggs cocotte I will be using them quite a bit.
So what's next? I have no idea. My whims in the kitchen are as unpredictable as the weather. Ok, maybe not the best analogy.