Baked Eggs with Goat Cheese, Chanterelle, and Leek
Called eggs en cocotte when we’re feeling fancy, these individual-serving baked eggs are elegant enough to serve at brunch yet easy enough to make before you’ve finished a single cup of coffee on a weekday. The recipe is endlessly adaptable based on what cheeses and vegetables are available and in season. For an extra-adorable presentation, substitute teacups for ramekins.
- 1 young leek white part only
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing
- 3 ounces chanterelles cleaned and sliced into strips*
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
- 8 eggs
- ¼ cup light cream
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Carefully rinse the leek, removing all grit. Cut the leek lengthwise into halves, then slice thinly into slivers. You should end up with about ¼ cup loosely packed.
- In a pan large enough to hold the mushrooms without crowding, over medium heat, melt butter. Add the leek, and cook until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until their golden color deepens, about 20 minutes. Add thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
- Grease four 8-ounce ramekins with butter. To the bottom of each ramekin, add ½ ounce of crumbled goat cheese. Gently crack two eggs into each ramekin, taking care not to break the yolks. Add ¼ of the leek and mushroom mixture to each ramekin, and top each with 1 tablespoon cream and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the ramekins in a baking dish. Add hot water to the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the ramekins in their water bath until the egg whites are set and the yolks are just runny in the center; this can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the hot water you add to the baking dish. Remove the ramekins from the water bath, and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving with spoons and dry toast.
*Hen of the wood (also known as maitake), oyster, and black trumpet mushrooms are all good substitutes for chanterelles, but pretty much any fresh mushroom will taste good in this recipe.