Introducing the first of a new series of cooking videos on technique, though admittedly this one focuses on an actual Le Creuset piece, the cocotte. I love these little dishes. They’re great to cook in and great to serve in. I’m dying to do a little snail potpie in them.

In this video, though, I’m cooking my favorite ingredient, the egg. How many ways can this little miracle of nutrition and economy be brought to ethereal heights of soul-satisfying deliciousness? Enough to fill a book or ten (wait for mine, coming in April).

Here, I’m going with perhaps the easiest way of all to cook an egg, baked in an enclosed vessel. There are three different terms applied to eggs cooked in an oven. The second, after baked, is coddled: covered and baked in a water bath. (Some people I know use this term for a soft-boiled egg served in its shell, but I don’t.) The third is shirred: baked in a ramekin, uncovered. Each results in a slightly different egg.

I love the enclosure as the steam released by the egg remains trapped to gently help in the cooking. And of course the fun here is in the garnish, the different flavors you can use.

I’ll be back next week with another technique. See more of my technique videos here on the LC site. At the end of the video, btw, there’s a fun experiment LC is trying. I’m fascinated to see how it’s going to work. To enter, go here.

Coddled Egg with Many Variations

2 eggs per cocotte baked in an oven preheated to 325°F/163°C. Serve with toast.

For coddled eggs with cream and tarragon:

Crack the eggs into the cocotte, add 1 tablespoon cream and 1 teaspoon browned bread crumbs and bake just until the white is set, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon freshly minced tarragon on top and serve.

For coddled eggs with ham and cheese:

Put 1 ounce diced or thinly sliced ham into the cocotte (just enough to cover the bottom). Put the eggs in over the ham, cover with 1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese and bake just until the white is set, about 15 minutes. Serve.

For coddled eggs with olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano:

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil into the cocotte, followed by the eggs. Cover with 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake just until the white is set, about 15 minutes. Serve.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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23 Wonderful responses to “Le Creuset Mini-Cocotte: Baked Eggs”

  • Kiara

    I am very excited to hear you are making a cookbook on the subject of my favourite ingredient!

  • Sarah

    Great video. I love the beautiful simplicity behind using these for eggs. Looking forward to your cookbook!

  • Micah

    I like the idea of instruction delivered by you, but I found the video to be a bit over-produced.

    The minute long intro was a bit much. And you can really see how much makeup was applied in the profile shots.

    My favorite part was actually when you were sitting down, casually talking about your mistake with the lamb. Seemed much more natural than the rest of the video.

    • Zora Margolis

      Word. The intro is way too long. And the close-ups, where you were in profile, obviously talking at a different camera, were distracting. In an instructional video, you should always be talking to the audience, us.

  • Carolyn Z

    Sorry this is off topic, but when is Schmalz coming out? Still in the fall? Thanks.

  • Scott Kelley

    sorry to say, I watch a lot of Food Network Star. In a recent episode, Bobby Flay made the contestants describe their food but did not allow them to use fluff words like ‘delicious.’ That is sound advice as I cannot imagine deliciousness, but my imagination can tie the crunchy, apple wood smoke and pepper of the bacon with the silky texture of the egg.

  • Chris

    Michael I like it when you do these videos. Wish you would do more from your home kitchen. The ones you have done in the past are great, just wish there are more to come. Helps me to see what something should look like through the stages of the cooking process. Plus you explain things so well that its easy to understand how it should be done.

  • Melissa J.

    Ruhlman, It really is pretty impressive how the egg can be converted and added into so many different meals and recipes. I have to admit this looks way good! Thanks for the video.

  • Adam

    This method simply begs to be applied in a “Shakshuka” variant.
    Add freshly made spicy tomato sauce, with chilies, big chunks of tomatoes, onion and garlic and seasoned with black pepper, paprika, cumin and sumak to the bottom of the cocotte, then add the eggs on top.
    Once done, mop up with a warm, gluten rich bread like a baguette and you’re in for a fantastic breakfast.

    • Adam

      of course, bacon bits in the sauce can also be awesome, although not very “traditional”.

  • Charles

    Great video, Michael. I have no idea why you are not on TV. You come across as such a real, genuine guy. Hell, if they put Anthony and David Chang on TV, there’s room for you. Oh, and I’m getting me a set of those Mini Cocottes for sure now!

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