After the underwhelming outcome of my egg experiment, I wanted to give it another try. So I tasked my friend Google to see what other recipes were out there. The short answer is a lot. Most of the ones that I found involved baking the eggs in the oven. But there was one from Williams Sonoma that was more like a poached egg. I liked that approach because poaching, as a gentler cooking method, gives me a little more wiggle room before I go from raw to rubber.

Now, if you’ve ever looked at the recipes in the Williams Sonoma catalog, they are basically vehicles to get you to buy their wares. And I’m sure the fancy-schmancy Breakfast Pan that is specified in the Eggs en Cocotte recipe is the bomb, but a little reverse engineering with a large sauce pan and some glass ramekins worked just fine and didn’t cost me $175.

So I made myself a nice water bath on the stove and got cracking. Unlike last time, I was pretty vigilant about checking the progress of my eggs. Since I was using improvised tools, my cooking times were slightly longer than what the folks at WS said to expect. But that’s ok because after about 15 minutes (10 minutes on the heat, 5 minutes off) the whites were perfectly cooked, the yolks were firm but still soft and creamy, and the cheese had melted into the eggs and ham. I tried to get one of the eggs out of the ramekin and onto a plate can state with all certainty that eating it directly out of the ramekin is a much better idea.

Another good idea? Don’t think that this is just for breakfast or brunch. I think Eggs en Cocotte, as WS likes to call them, is a great dinner option especially if you’re cooking for just one person.

Eggs en Cocotte

Adapted from williams-sonoma.com

I easily made two individual servings in a 4 quart sauce pan on the stove. If I were cooking more than four ramekins, I would probably put the whole thing in a large roasting pan, filled with simmering water to reach halfway up the ramekins, and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon or ham (I used canadian bacon), diced
  • 1/4 cup, plus 4 teaspoons, shredded cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 teaspoons heavy cream (I used half and half)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives or other herb

Fill a large sauce pan with water (I put my ramekins in the pan, added enough water to reach halfway up them, and then removed the ramekins). Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.

Lightly coat ramekins with olive oil or butter. Put 1 tablespoon diced bacon or ham in the bottom of each and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Break one egg into each ramekin and top with 2 teaspoons cream and 1 additional teaspoon cheese.

Place the ramekins in the simmering water. Cover and cook until whites and yolks are set. The recipe said 6 to 7 minutes for runny yolks and 9 to 10 minutes for firmer ones. Don’t be afraid to test the whites with a fork because after 10 minutes the whites were not cooked. So I let the pan sit, covered, off the heat for another five minutes or so until the whites had cooked and the yolks were soft set.

Carefully remove the ramekins from the pan, season with salt, pepper, and herbs.   Serve immediately.

{Printable Recipe}

5 thoughts on “Poached

  1. QUESTION: what is a poached egg supposed to look like? I made this for brunch today with a side of asparagus. it was good, but since Ihave never poached an egg before, I have no idea what it is supposed to look like. I take it the whites are supposed to be congealed and white, but how “yolky” is the yolk supposed to be? I eat my eggs sunny side up. The sopouse however doesn’t. don’t want to gross him out!

    1. In a perfect world, the whites are set (firm but not tough) and the yolk is still soft and runny. An overcooked egg is rubbery. I’ve yet to perfect my technique with these.

      Eggs and asparagus….delightful.

  2. Well, these weren’t rubbery but there was a little runny stuff in the bottom of the ramekin. Maybe a few more minutes? And also, the spouse said that they cooked too long. ( I say cook em til they are done) He seems to think there is a “perfect”time to do this. Would it be better to put them in the oven rather than the stovetop method?

    the Canadian bacon was spot on! I didn’t know I liked it until now.!!!!!

    I am trying to get a Christmas candy recipe from mommy for peanut butter candy. I can go into a sugar coma eating them but have never made them. another staple!

    1. I’m still trying to perfect my technique with these eggs. I’ve made them in the oven and on top of the stove and I’ve had challenges with both but I prefer the stove top method. The liquid in the bottom could be from the cream. Really, don’t be afraid to poke around with a fork to see if the whites have set because you want those to be fully cooked, just not overcooked. I know, it’s a fine line between the two.

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