Initially I was contemplating beans on toast this evening, which I am certainly a fan of with chips, Encona chilli sauce and cheddar cheese. But then I remembered that my friend M had given me The Complete Delia book in a clearout (he had two copies) and I spied an oeufs en cocotte recipe in there. When I looked it up however, Delia adds no cream or other flavourings, and I had such things in mind. So I consulted Julia Childs’ ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, and loosely followed her method, with different dishes (did not have enough ramekins) and improvised flavourings. This was a filling dish and both flavours worked very well. I still have plans for Delia.
small pot of double cream
butter to grease dish with, and to put a blob on top
Roasted artichoke hearts in oil – about 4
Handful of emmental cheese, or ideally gruyère, chopped small or grated
Handful of breadcrumbs
Tarragon, chopped up
How I made it:
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Boil the kettle, and pour water into a deep roasting dish, place dish in the oven. Grease two approx. 4-6 inch wide and 2 inch deep oven dishes with butter. Fill the base of one with chopped up artichoke hearts and 2 tablespoons of cream and season with salt and pepper. Fill the other with 2 tablespoons of cream and the chopped tarragon, and season again. Carefully place both in the water filled roasting dish in the oven, ensuring water does not get in. Leave in the oven until the cream is warm. Then gently add 2 eggs to each dish (I cracked them into a glass first, then poured them in). Put a knob of butter and salt and pepper over the eggs in the artichoke dish. Gently sprinkle cheese, then breadcrumbs over the other dish and season too. Leave in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked with the yolk still soft. Gently remove dishes from the water and place on table, and share.
Watercress, chicory, gem lettuce, and radish salad with a Dijon vinaigrette (1tsp Dijon, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons extra virgin rapeseed oil, salt and pepper – whisked together), bread and butter and white wine.