A few weeks ago I had brunch at Nellcôte, one of my favorite Chicago restaurants. Normally I get their burger, but this time I decided to be adventurous and try something different, and so I ordered the Eggs en Cocotte. The dish featured a spicy, tangy tomato sauce, and was filled with olives, Italian sausages, and a couple baked eggs. It was so good and satisfying, and I decided to try making it myself. The recipe below doesn't include olives or sausage -- I forgot to get both at the market -- but I didn't miss them, although I did miss Nellcôte's brunch cocktails ...
This dish is perfect for brunch for a crowd or even a quick dinner. Just make the sauce ahead of time, warm it in the skillet, and then add eggs. Make sure to serve with crusty grilled bread and a side of hot sauce!
Eggs en Cocotte
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 can chopped tomatoes in juice
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dry thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon+ Moroccan spice blend (or mix cinnamon, cumin, chili power to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Oil a heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the thyme, a few shakes of salt, and garlic, and then stir until the garlic is fragrant but not brown (about 40 seconds). Add tomatoes and Moroccan spices, and simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the liquid is less watery. Taste and adjust for spice blend and salt.
When the sauce is ready, dot the top with small pieces of goat cheese and then carefully crack eggs on top. Place skillet in the oven and cook until the eggs and have set but the yolks are still al little runny -- about 7-10 minutes.
Serve by placing skillet on a heatproof surface and let everyone spoon the eggs and sauce over grilled bread.