The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Shirred Eggs with Mushrooms
 (Oeuf Cocotte aux Champignons)

Today we have a very special and wonderful guest here on The Ardent Epicure.
Denise is the Author of Quickies Morning, Noon and Night an exceptionally stunning
and beautifully written cookbook, designed with a  todays busy lifestyles in mind.
  This book is packed with amazing recipes not unlike the one she is featuring here for us
 today. She is also the lovely author of not one but two amazing blogs listed below.
 Both her skill as well as passion are unquestionable...So with no further ramblings
from me, let us move on to the good stuff. I am both pleased as well as honored to
 introduce my most amazing and gifted friend Denise :)

A Guest Post by Denise Fletcher

Hello everyone! My name is Denise and I blog at Quickies on the Dinner Table and Bread Expectations. It’s wonderful to be here today, sharing with readers and followers of one of the most inspiring food blogs I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

What makes today even more special to me is that Alisha, one of the talented threesome behind The Ardent Epicure, apart from being a chef, stellar blogger and general force of nature in the kitchen, is also a friend.  We found each other online and though we have yet to meet in person, I feel a kinship with her as we share much in common; motherhood, a background in the culinary arts and an all consuming passion for food, cooking and all things related. Thank you Alisha, for your friendship, faith, encouragement and gracious invitation.

If you follow my blogs, you may know that I tend to shy away from eggs for a number of reasons. However I do feel that there are no bad foods, just badly prepared ones, so anything can be delicious, if done right. As I believe in putting my money where my mouth is, I have for you today, a simple but sublimely delicious egg dish that makes me forget all my reservations and want to plunge in with a spoon. 

 A dish this simple really stands on the quality and freshness of its few ingredients so while I usually am very relaxed about cooking, today I must be a despot and insist that you get the freshest organic eggs, purest sea salt and best quality cream you can find.  I promise, you will be glad you did! Now without further delay, on to the recipe!

Shirred Eggs with Mushrooms (Oeuf Cocotte aux Champignons)

Prep 10 mins Cook 12 mins Serves 2

A little soft butter for greasing ramekins
2 cremini or Swiss brown mushrooms clean off any grit and slice thinly
4 really fresh eggs (preferably organic) 
Two generous pinches sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 Tbsp heavy cream
Sweet paprika for garnishing
Snipped fresh chives for garnishing
Toast soldiers (optional)

1. Preheat oven at 195 C (385 F) and grease the insides of two ramekins generously with the butter so eggs don’t stick.
2. Divide the mushroom slices between the ramekins. Carefully break two eggs into each ramekin and season both generously with salt and pepper.

3. Pour a tablespoon of cream over the surface of each of the ramekin contents ensuring it covers the surface of the eggs. This will prevent a chewy skin forming as the eggs bake.

4. Place ramekins into a baking dish and put into oven.  Fill baking dish with really hot water to reach half way up the sides of the ramekins.

5. Bake for no more than 12 minutes. Remove from oven. If you like your eggs tender and wobbly, serve immediately. If you prefer them firmer, cover ramekins while still in water filled baking dish, securely with cling wrap so steam is trapped inside and continues to cook and firm up the eggs.

6. Garnish with chives and paprika and serve with buttered toast soldiers if you like.

Note : Toast soldiers are pieces of cut up bread toasted to a crackling crunch and usually served with soft cooked eggs. They’re a British culinary tradition and take any kind of soft cooked eggs to a new level.  I made them using my own home made sunflower seed bread but use whatever you prefer. The important thing is that they should be really crunchy, in fact the crusts should border on charred.

Thank you so much Denise for sharing this wonderful recipe here with us.
Please take a moment and stop by to view some other delectable goodies here 


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