Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oeufs en Cocotte

So I just finished reading Julie and Julia. One of the recipes that Julie really likes making from Julia Child's The Art of French Cooking is Oeufs en Cocotte (Eggs in Casserole). Although this is not a traditional version, it will not kill you as quickly as Julia Child's heavy butter cream and bacon versions.

The day before yesterday my mom asked me what to do with Swiss Chard. I realized I couldn't come up with anything better than salad greens, steam or saute. I knew I could do better than that.
This is a twist on an old French classic.

What you will need:
(This makes 2 servings for 10 oz ramekins)
9 small Tomatoes
1 cup Onion chopped
1 1/2 cup Swiss Chard chopped
2 cloves Garlic
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Oregano
Fresh Basil
1/2 cup Jalapeno Havarti Cheese chopped
1 Tbs Sour Cream
2 Eggs separated
Olive Oil

I guess Daisy wants to help :)

To get started heat your oven to 350. Spread the tomatoes out on a cookie sheet that is lined with foil. Place them in the oven for 20 minutes or until they have shriveled. Once they are done you can set them aside to cool but leave the oven set to 350. You will use 4 tomatoes for each dish and be sure to have an extra for you to eat on it's own, they are so yummy!
While the tomatoes are baking, chop up 1 cup of onion and put it in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a splash of balsamic and turn to medium low heat. Let the onion cook down until translucent, about 7 minutes.
Wash the chard and dry with a cloth. Trim off the stems and then chop into roughly 1 inch pieces.You should have about 1 1/2 cups of tightly pressed chard. When the onions are cooked down add the chard and let it wilt for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Dice the 2 cloves of garlic and a small handful of fresh thyme, oregano and basil. Add these to the chard and onion for an additional minute. Then remove from heat and scoop it all into a bowl so it can cool.
Shred or chop 1/2 cup of cheese. I used Jalapeno Havarti because I had it on hand, but you can use what ever kind of cheese you like, I think Gruyere is the traditional cheese for this dish. Once the chard and onion is cooled, add the cheese to the mix.
Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream if you have it, but you could also use cream or half-and-half or omit all together.
Now we need to separate the eggs. Let the egg whites drop into the chard mix and carefully place the yolks in a small bowl making sure the yolks don't break. Mix the whites into the chard and add a bit of salt and pepper.
Place a little pat of butter in the bottom of each of the ramekins and put them in the oven until the  butter melts.
Put one tomato on the bottom of each dish, then divide the chard mix evenly between the dishes. Top with 3 tomatoes on each. Very carefully place a yolk on top of each dish and finish it off with a little more pepper. Put them in the oven for 10-20 depending on how you like your eggs.
When you take them out of the oven let them cool for a minute and then top it off  with fresh thyme and basil.
This would go nicely with some fresh baguette too!

I think this is traditionally a breakfast dish, but it would also make a nice light lunch or the main course of a dinner. Thank you Julia Child and Julie Powell for the inspiration, as cliche as that is. And thanks mom for provoking me to think outside the box with Swiss Chard. Does anyone have any creative ways to make Swiss Chard?
Bon Appetit!

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