Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oefs en Cocotte (the simple and lazy version)

This Oefs en Cocotte , or eggs cooked in ramekins, is another dish that I made based on Julia Child`s recipe for our Saturday`s brunch. I call my version as the simple and lazy version because I don`t use butter and heavy cream that are called for in her recipe (this makes for the "simple") and I just steamed the eggs instead of baking them (and this makes for the "lazy"). These last couple months, I usually eat only plants-based diets to start my day and save the animal protein for my lunch or dinner, but I`ve been wanting to give a try on Julia`s eggs recipe as serving eggs in individual ramekins without the fuss of peeling the shells off sounds totally wonderful to me. So I finally had these lovely eggs for our brunch with the lighter ingredients, aka. no butter and cream.

Start with simmering water in a shallow frying pan or an oven-proof baking dish. 
I don`t have any baking dishes that can be used on my IH stove, so I figured that I need to do the whole cooking process on the stove. So, again, if you want the the simple way, just go with your frying pan.

While waiting the water to get simmered, crack an egg  in an individual ramekin. You can grease the ramekins first with butter or oil before placing the eggs. I skipped this part as I was going to prepare another oily dish. 
By the way, I feel like I was preparing this for kids. Just look at these Lego colors.

Now carefully place the ramekins in the pan. 
Don`t drop them, please. You don`t want poached eggs all over your pan with the ramekins in it, especially on your beautiful Saturday morning. 
You can see that the water level is no more than half the ramekin`s height. I did it to prevent the water from getting into the ramekins. Also, this way I could place the ramekins with my hands easily without getting my fingers cooked.

Put the lid on and you can go back to sleep

 Here`s how they look under the lid after 5 mins on low heat.
After 5 mins, remove from heat. 

Now, the next step would depend on your preference. If you want hard-boiled egg consistency,  let the ramekins sit inside the pan at room temperature with the lid still on for like 5-10 mins. This will extend the cooking process. I did it this way, although with no intention of making them into hard-boiled eggs. But, if you want the yolks to be soft or runny, you probably should lessen the cooking time or open the lid and serve the eggs right away. 

In Julia`s recipe, after the buttered ramekins containing eggs and whipping cream are steamed on a stove, the ramekins and the baking dish are transferred to the oven and baked at 375 F (190 C) for 7-10 mins. I have no idea how the eggs would turn out in her recipe, but I clearly overcooked my eggs.

This is another reason why I let the lid on for 10 mins. I was busy sauteeing these string beans with crushed garlic and black pepper while forgetting about the eggs still getting cooked inside the pan.

Well, at least this time we had a more proper brunch compared with our usual lazy Saturdays before.

Steamed eggs, sauteed string beans, and yaki-imo (baked sweet potato). I love yaki-imo, especially for breakfast.

Here is the hard-steamed yolk. It`s different in so many ways with the runny yolk, but the convenience it offers during the cooking and eating is definitely a big plus of this steamed egg. I`ve never cooked and had any boiled eggs this neat before. Ever.

Enjoy your weekend`s feast!
OEFS EN COCOTTE (shallow pan-steamed version)
Ingredients and equipments:
Individual ramekins (optional: greased with oil/butter)
A shallow frying pan containing simmering water with a lid
Salt and pepper
Sesame seeds

1. Simmer water in a shallow frying pan with the water level is half of the ramekin`s height
2. Crack an egg  in the individual ramekin
3. Carefully place the ramekins in the pan and put the lid on
4. Cook for 5 mins on low heat
5. Remove from heat
6. For hard-boiled egg consistency, let the ramekins sit inside the pan at room temperature with the lid on for another 5-10 mins before serving. For soft-boiled egg consistency, serve right away.
7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds when serving. 


  1. This is a great post, I really enjoyed it. If you think about it it;s a nice way to get boiled eggs and not have to fuss over the peeling of it when it's cooked.

  2. Hi, Lyndsey! Isn`t it like midnight at your place??
    Yes, for a person like me who can never peel off boiled eggs without destroying the egg itself , this one is a real life saver!
    Have a great weekend, Lyndsey!

  3. Wow, what a great way to start a day! They look so cute in these little heart shaped moulds. Thank you for your beautiful comment in my blog. Cause I have some difficulties in transferring my readers please be so kind as to add my new url to your following list. Thank you so much!Have a great week!

  4. Thank you for posting this! And what great timing. :)
    My husband recently described this method to me as something his sisters used to do, and I've had to improvise and wing it. I'm so happy to have an actual TIME to go off of! We keep ending up with hard-cooked eggs, which is not what we're going for. Thanks so much!

  5. Arudhi, it's a fantastic and creative way to cook oeuf en cocotte! I don't know why I often bother withhot water bath in the oven. It's so difficult to control! (it's quite dangerous too!)
    Your ramekins are so cute :-)
    Julia Child's recipes have to be modified in many cases, just like you did: especially the fat content. Her dishes full of butter and cream are no longer made this way by many famous French chefs. Even the French cooking books from the 80s contain recipes that need to be "slimmed down" ;-)

  6. I'll have them soft-boiled consistency, sprinkle with some soy sauce and white pepper, so we can dip them with toast. Malaysian style:) Wait a second, this is supposed to be French dish. So your hard-steamed one would be perfect!

  7. Katerina: I just re-followed you! Again, congrats on your new site!:)

    Alison: Hello, thank you for visiting! Glad that I can share this with you. Have fun with the egg cooking/boiling/steaming!

    Sissi: I`m glad if you find this method useful! I just made the steamed eggs again and this time I serve them right away after 5 mins on low heat. The yolk turned beautifully soft as what I`ve wanted! It`s quick, easy, and yummy. I couldn`t ask for more :D In practice, I do adjust recipes a lot, especially those call for butter and cream in generous amount, but I still very much enjoy reading various cookbook/recipes even if there are many ingredients that I never or don`t often use.

    Reese: I too love the soft-boiled eggs! I`ve never heard about the Malaysian style, but having it as toast dip sounds wonderful!