This is inspired by the French dish "oeufs en cocotte", which derives its name from the terracotta dishes in which the eggs are cooked. There are many variations, but Jay’s version is influenced by his leanings towards Italian cuisine and his need to have a simple, fast, delicious and consistent dish to serve in his small and busy café. The dish is fantastic for breakfast or brunch.
- ¼ tsp (5 ml) olive oil for greasing of terracotta dish
- 2 free-range eggs (70 g in total)
- 50 g Taleggio cheese, roughly pulled apart and torn into smaller pieces
- 2 g salt preserved lemon, cut into thin julienne slices
- 1 tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Brush a small terracotta dish (14 cm round and 2 cm deep) with olive oil.
Crack the two eggs into the centre of the dish.
Place the torn pieces of taleggio around the edges of the dish so that the eggs are kept in the centre, otherwise the eggs will overcook if they are on the edges.
Spread the thin julienne slices of preserved lemon on the top of the eggs.
Spread half of the coarsely chopped parsley on top, save the other half for finishing.
If using a steam oven, steam the eggs for 1 minute then bake for 8–9 minutes. If using a conventional oven, add 5 ice-cubes or some water in the bottom of a pan just before you place the terracotta dish into it to bake. Bake for 9–12 minutes depending on your oven heat.
After 9–10 minutes, check the eggs – the cheese should have melted and be bubbling, the egg whites should be cooked through and the yolks should still be soft. If you like your egg yolks firmer, then bake for another minute or two.
After removing from the oven, sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley on top and serve with sourdough bread.