It smells like "the cocotte" – Eggs cocotte with mustard greens, peas and cream
Ca sent la cocotte – Oeufs cocotte aux fanes de moutarde, crème et lardons
Another traditional French dish…cocotte has different meanings in French but is used in our modern slang, calling someone “ma cocotte” is somehow like “honey” or an endearing word. It probably goes back to last century meaning where cocottes were prostitutes selling their services to high profile clients. We have since then kept a popular expression “ca sent la cocotte” meaning “it smells like perfume” (the strong kind). Kids call a hen a cocotte as well . Then you have the cocotte minute which is a pressure cooker, or just a cocotte which is a cast iron utensil used to braise certain dishes and for slow cooking. As you can see cocotte has a lot of different meanings…and you probably don’t care about those linguistics precisions but I thought food is so linked to a culture that for me it’s important to understand where it comes from.
These eggs cocotte are so versatile, you can add anything to your egg, any greens such as spinach, mustard greens, etc… are perfect. I added some bacon in some of them but it’s optional, if you prefer to keep it vegetarian, it’s delicious too. The great thing about those is that if you really don’t have time to cook and have some eggs in the refrigerator, and a few veggies, you can make them a very short time. Preparing time is short and cooking time as well. You will need a souffle dish or deep individual dishes.
Ingredients for 4
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 lb of spinach, or any other greens
- 4 tbs frozen peas
- 4 tbs grated gruyere cheese
- 4 tbs heavy cream
- 1 tbs chives, chopped
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt and pepper
Bring water to a boil, add salt. Add the greens previously washed. Cook for about 5 minutes, drain excess water cut roughly and set aside.
Defrost peas. Butter the souffle dishes, add some greens, add peas, add salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Add cream. Break an egg on top, top with gruyere, salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes in the oven at 370F, to get soft eggs, or a little more to make them harder. You can also add some bacon. Sprinkle with chives and serve hot with country bread.
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