Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Oeufs en Cocotte

While most people are fussing about what they'll serve for dinner on Christmas Day, I tend to focus more on what I'll serve for brunch. Not breakfast, really because at that time we're usually opening our presents. But oh how I love Christmas brunch! The possibilities are endless: beautiful breads, freshly pressed juices, colorful winter fruit salads, quiches, eggs in a million and one different ways. Wonderful! 
Here is one of my favorite Christmas brunch recipes. These little baked eggs are so versatile and can be thrown together faster than an elf can make toys for a whole neighborhood of children!
I like to serve them with buttery pan-fried ciabatta slices, a citrus salad with pomegranate seeds and of course, a nice bottle of Champagne.

Oeufs en Cocotte
Serves 2
2 tbsps lardons
4 slices ciabatta
1 spring onion, finely chopped
freshly-grated Gruyère
4 eggs
2 tbsp cream
freshly-grated pepper
pinch of dried tarragon

Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter two small ramequins and place them on a baking dish. In the meantime, fry your lardons in a dry frying pan. Remove them with a slotted spoon and divide over the ramequins. Now add a generous knob of butter to your pan (don't wipe it clean, you want all those salty, bacony juices!) and crisp the ciabatta slices for 3-4 minutes a side. To make the eggs: divide the spring onions over the ramequins, top with the Gruyère, 2 eggs each and 1 tbsp of cream each. Season with some pepper and the tarragon. You probably won't need any salt. Pour some boiling water into the baking dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramequins and pop the eggs in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Serve with the fried bread- perfect for dipping into the runny yolks!

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