Friday, May 6, 2011

Nigella's oeufs en cocotte with truffle oil (R.E.R. part 4)

Quite a while back I started a section called R.E.R. (ridiculously easy recipes). My idea was to write about recipes that a) are so easy you don't really even need a recipe, but that we make all the time at home and may be a new idea for you despite their simplicity or b) we think everybody knows how to make except us so we prefer looking it up on the Internet rather than asking someone and feeling stupid.

Looking back, I realized that three out of the four R.E.R.s I have posted so far involve cooking eggs and that is not a coincidence. Despite their versatility and how quick they are to make, a certain amount of technique is required when preparing them. After all, there is a reason why they say you can tell a real chef by how he/she cooks an egg.

This is a recipe from Nigella Express, a book full of quick and easy recipes for a rushed week night dinner that will still impress your guests. These eggs are a perfect idea for that brunch you are hosting this week end or for a comforting Sunday night meal, which is how Nigella grew up eating them. You can serve the eggs with toasted bread, fancy olive or parmesan bread sticks or asparagus Bismark style. You can flavor it with anything that appeals to you, from crunchy bits of bacon to chives, smoked ham, spicy tomato salsa or even cheese. But if you ask me, I think truffles and eggs are a match made in heaven and would be happy to eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I had to make these a few times before getting them right. It is not as easy as you would expect to get the egg whites firm without the yolk cooking through and viceversa. Nigella says her mum used to bake them in the oven for exactly 19 minutes at low heat, but she prefers to bake them for 15 minutes at 190°C/375°F. I had to reduce the cooking time considerably and went from overcooked to undercooked before getting them the way I liked them. My advice is to stand in front of that oven and watch those suckers closely after the first ten minutes. If you are not quite sure, open the oven and shake the pan a little. If the whites are solid it is already too late. They need to wobble a little, but not too much (because there is nothing I dislike more than runny, slimey whites).

4 fresh, free range eggs
4tbsp cream
1tsp truffle oil (4x 1/4tsp)
pepper (optional)
butter for greasing
4 ramekins

Grease the ramekins with a little butter. If you intend to add ingredients, put them in the bottom of the oven-proof bowls now. Crack an egg into each ramekin, add a tablespoon of cream, a drizzle of truffle oil (a few drops will take you a long way) and a sprinkle of pepper and salt. Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F. Boil some water in a kettle and after placing the ramekins in a baking tray, pour it up to about the middle of the ramekins. Place in the oven and pull out after 10-15 minutes (the albumen should no longer be transluscent but it should still wobble slightly).


  1. I always, always end up having trouble with easy egg recipes, so your tutorial is very welcome.
    I could eat truffles and eggs at every meal as well, but I'm going to make them with asparagus since it is tool local and seasonal to be ignored now.

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  2. I love, love, love Nigella and her oeufs en cocotte! A similar recipe was featured in the Wed. food section of the NYTimes this week. Do you read it as a former New Yorker? We subscribe and I always look forward to Wednesdays!
    Don't worry, you're not alone in looking up RER's on the internet!!

  3. I love your idea of keeping track of SUPER easy recipes! I just love eggs...I think I posted on twitter in the past month, how impressed I am with the power of one little egg! These are wonderful and I will use your meathod and give them a try! I have white truffle oil I haven't used in a while so it's time I do!

    PS - Mother's Day weekend and my little one is sick - fever of 102+. SIGH :( Poor little guy looks awful... just thought I would share. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Hee hee, I kind of make fun of the truffle + egg combo, but it's true: SO good!! I also love egg + a shitload of onions, but it's not good for my neighboring friends.

    Nigella is one of my favorite cooks ever. She is SO sensual with food, even though most of her recipes are simple.

  5. I have often thought of making these eggs and nover got around to it; I think now I will!

  6. I love you R.E.R. concept!!! It is so true! These eggs sound easy, but I am sure the cooking can be quite tricky... at least it would be for me! Have a great Mother;s Day tomorrow! :-)

  7. I have always wanted to try oeufs en cocotte. I just love egg dishes, there is something so comforting about them. In fact, one of my favorite things in the world to eat is scrambled eggs and cheese on bagel.
    *kisses* HH

  8. Love this! Looks fantastic, thanks for sharing!

  9. Caffettiera rosa - hi! Love your blog. Asparagus dipped in the runny yolk...lovely. And nothing is keeping you from using the truffle oil if you want to go overboard ;o)
    Nicole - I must check it out. I do not have a subscription but I do read it online daily. Love the NYT.
    DD&W - how is your little one? So sorry. My whole family forgot it was Mother's Day until a dropped a not so subtle hint at lunchtime. Lovely, no? Go ahead, use that truffle oil, you won't regret it.
    Sophia - the great thing about these eggs is you can make them with just about anything. You always come up with such creative solutions, I would love to hear your take on these.
    ToB - Never too late!
    Manu - hope you had a nice Mother's Day too.
    HH - don't even start me on bagels and eggs. Oh, the next post is dedicated to you dahling.
    Miri - thanks for stopping by

  10. It's the easiest recipes that are the best. This is definitely something I'm trying in the morning. I found a local family that raises chickens in their back yard and I've been buying the most delicious eggs from them. This recipe is certainly very welcome. I eat more eggs now than I've ever eaten in the past the yolk is orange rather than yellow and they just taste so much better, just like they used to in Sicily, home grown.

  11. I'm a bit confused about the water part..... do the ramequins sit in the water as they bake or does the water go in w the egg? I cant imagine the water goes inside.....

    Help...... I love O.E.C..... I used to have it all the time as a child and miss it so

  12. Anonymous - Hi! Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. Yes, the ramekins sit in the water as they bake. Hope they turn out the way you remember them.

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