Boozy gorgonzola egg cocotte + a quick pickle recipe

Sunday breakfast is something I take rather seriously. It should involve coffee that other people think takes way too much time to make (see here if you would like to know more about that), and some cooking, preferably with at least one reason to turn on the oven. 

So when the opportunity arises to have someone over for brunch (the holy grail of all Sunday mornings, don't frown) I jump on it and I go all out, making much more food than I could eat on my own. Or even an adequate amount for the number of people present. No regrets. 

This one was part of last week's Sunday breakfast after realizing, with much irritation, that finding a breakfast place that would give me something else than smoothie bowls, pancakes or avocado toast for 10€ each was getting pretty hard these days.

I did have to think for some time though before I could come up with something else I really felt like. Something Sunday morning worthy. At home it was the ubiquitous croissant and pain au chocolat, but making those is a lot of work. So what do us French people have for breakfast ?

I started googling "French breakfast", (in english because foreigners are usually much better at pointing out what is French than we are ourselves) and oeuf cocotte was the first one to pop up. It is rather simple, and I don't believe I have actually ever made them myself before, but I do have fond memories of them : choose one or two flavors, crack an egg on it (cause if you like it then you should just crack an egg on it, just saying) and bake for around 10 minutes at 150°C in the oven. 

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Those make use of my red onion jam, previously used with gnocchi on this site, because it was lying around, and some gorgonzola because yellow egg yolk + red wine + blue cheese = love. I've heard we should eat the rainbow and this one is just my type. To balance out the creaminess and richness of it all I served them with some pickled cauliflower and carrots I had on hand, and a great sourdough bread. 

Of course, this is an extremely forgiving recipe and you could very well put bacon in there, any other type of cheese, fresh or dried tomatoes, capers, anchovies....anything goes. It's a great way of using those little bits and bobs of condiments left hanging around in your fridge. 

For two people

  • 2 fresh eggs (freshness is important here since the yolk will be runny)
  • 4 tsp red wine onion jam 
  • 4 tsp gorgonzola
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche (or heavy cream)
  • salt & pepper

Preheat the oven at 150°C. 

In two ramequins (cups that go in the oven) place a tablespoon of cream in each, coating the sides a little. Crack one egg in each cup, then dot the egg white with 2 tsp onion jam and 2 tsp gorgonzola each. Grind some pepper, sprinkle some salt and pop in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes depending on how runny you want your yolk and the temperature of your oven. As always, keep an eye on it. 

I sprinkle some nigella seeds and sumac because I am obsessed but that is entirely optional.

For the pickles

  • 400mL vinegar (red, white, white balsamic, rice vinegar, apple cider...be creative)
  • 100mL water
  • 12g salt
  • 60g honey or agave syrup (or sugar)

Fill a clean jar with slices and chunks of vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, beetroot, beans, onions...) then cover with a brine made with all of the above ingredients. You could add herbs, seeds, spices to take the flavor profile in another direction here (thyme, rosemary, mustard seeds, cumin...). Leave to pickle for at least three hours or up to two weeks.  

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