Eggs en cocotte

Eggs en cocotte It’s the summer holidays and quite frankly, if I can find an array of shortcuts to get me through cooking meals for hordes of guests then I will. I love having friends to stay but it does mean having a few little tricks up my sleeve that mean that I am not slaving over the stove endlessly! This is ridiculously simple. A super quick fool proof brunch or breakfast dish – one of my favourites when you have a houseful who all like different things for breakfast. This recipe can be prepared in seconds and only takes 10-12 minutes for a soft egg in the oven.

Eggs en cocotte

1 medium slice of ham

1 egg

1 tsp double cream

2 tsp freshly grated parmesan

salt and pepper

Line a ramekin with the slice of ham, covering the bottom and sides and making sure you cannot see the ramekin peeking through.

Crack the egg into the middle of the ham lined ramekin, add the cream and sprinkle with parmesan.

Place the ramekin onto a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven 200 degrees centigrade/400F/gas mark 6 for roughly 10-12 minutes for a soft egg. Do check frequently and touch the top of the yolk gently with a finger to check on the firmness to make sure you have the egg consistency you like.

Serve immediately as the egg will continue to cook if left on the hot baking tray. The best thing about this dish is that you can adapt it to suit your guests.

Try lining the ramekin with smoked salmon and adding a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of chervil along with the cream. Like spinach? Line the ramekin with spinach instead. Parma ham makes a lovely edition with a teaspoon of soft ricotta served with mozzarella en carozza for dipping. You could even replace the ham with snipped bits of crispy pancetta or smoked bacon over the top before cooking. I love to serve mine with anchovy toast – makes a deliciously salty addition for dipping into the soft egg.