Oeufs En Cocotte…On Quack
While most women get hot and heavy over French designer labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Christian Lacroix, my heart skips a beat for a different kind of haute couture. Frankly, I’m quite appalled that it wasn’t seen on the designer runways last month.
While the glitzy NYC Fashion Week has ended, our favorite designer labels just came fresh off the runway this past weekend. The airport runway, that is. When his father arrived on Saturday, he came armed with a luggage full of goodies. From a delectable box of Ladurée macarons straight out of Paris to specialty linen from Basque designer Jean Vier, we ogled at this season’s hottest trends.
Amidst the stockpile of presents were two little shoebox-like containers emblazoned with bright red letters. As we slowly lifted the cardboard lid, it was as if a celestial glow radiated from within while cherubs began to sing. Tucked inside was a perfect cherry-red mini cocotte from the ultimate cast iron designer, Staub. Along came an adorable little note from his sister telling us how she had harassed all the stores from Bordeaux to Bayonne to find these ruby gems.
We also have searched high and low but to no avail. While most gourmet shops carry Le Creuset, the Staub mini cocottes are diamonds in the rough. Although both are French labels, the American market seems to be heavily saturated with Le Creuset where as Staub is the brand for “those in the know”. Both are equally comparable but we always prefer the roads less travelled.
I have so many great plans for our shiny new toys but why not christen them with the most classic of all mini cocotte dishes? These oeufs en cocotte can be as creative as an omelette with various fillings or plain, if you prefer. I wanted to be as close to the French roots as possible so I used chanterelle mushrooms and creme fraîche served with a side of mouillette (a baguette cut into thin strips for dipping into the runny yolk). This makes for a delicious brunch that’s light enough to keep you from going right back to bed!
|2||fresh duck eggs|
|1||cup sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)|
|1||cup chanterelle mushrooms|
|4||Tbsp creme fraîche|
|salt & pepper|
|baguette, cut into thin strips (for dipping)|
- In a medium skillet, saute leeks in olive oil for 2-3 minutes (until it begins to wilt). Add chanterelle and saute another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a deep saute pan, bring about 2 inches of water to a boil – fill it enough so that when the cocottes are placed inside, the water goes half way up the side. Meanwhile, place one tablespoon of creme fraîche at the bottom of each mini cocotte (or ramekin of equal size). Next, divide the leek and chanterelle mixture in half and add on top of the creme fraîche. Add another tablespoon of creme fraîche in each cocotte. Finally, crack one egg on top of each serving (keep the yolk in tact). Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently place each mini cocotte in the boiling water and cook until the whites are opaque, about 10-15 minutes (do not place a lid on the pan!). Once the eggs are done, carefully remove from the water. Garnish with chopped chives and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Serve with toasted baguette cut into thin strips for the mouillette for dipping.