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.