Dining Room Confessions Week 4; Eggs en Cocotte

6370156Ode to the humble yet glorious egg!  So convenient, so always at hand, so delightfully versatile!  Is it any wonder that this tidy little package of nutrient density is often referred to as nature’s perfect food?

Egg yolks were considered a “sacred food” by the healthy cultures Dr. Price studied.  Sacred because the are so very rich in the fat-soluble activators A, D & K2; the nutrients that allow minerals to be laid down in the bony structures of the body instead of excreted, or worse yet deposited in the soft tissues as calcification… ouch.

3902709Like our wise ancestors, I positively revere this slightly elongated orb, and one of my all time favorite ways to prepare an egg is en cocotte.  If you’re in the market for a nearly effortless preparation that delivers savory and sophisticated results, this is your tool.  I purchased a set of four of these little fire-engine red cuties from Staub for a song, at my local TJ Maxx of all places.

5717435This technique is as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… 6!
1. minced shallot in the bottom of the ramekin
2. flaked smoked salmon over shallots
3. squeeze of fresh lemon over salmon
4. cracked pastured egg over lemon
5. a tablespoon of creme fraiche over egg
6. salt and fresh thyme over creme fraiche

Then it’s into a hot water bath, or bain-marie, inside a slightly larger baking dish and into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes… just enough time to shower and…  voila!  Breakfast is served.

4719766Of course you’ll need some toast for dipping, and I try to keep a few loaves of homemade sourdough rye in my freezer at all times for just such an imperative.

If you care to attempt a sourdough project of your own, which I highly recommend you do, refer back a few posts to my sourdough bread tutorial for a step by step guide.  I promise you… it is so much easier than you think folks, and oh so gratifying… kind of like pregnancy and childbirth without the life-altering consequences.

4548334

Now, I’m a big fan of pan-fried ‘toast’ as opposed to the dried out and rather insipid electric toaster version.

Truth is, my cast iron skillet rarely cools off when there’s a loaf of sourdough bread to be had.  I ask you, what doesn’t taste fabulous on greasy, golden fried bread?  Exactly.

Bacon dripping is my fat of choice of course, but any ol’ fat will do in a pinch; butter, ghee, beef tallow, plain ol’ lard, it’s all good!  Remember, pasture-raised animal fats are also dense with those vital fat-soluble nutrients.  What that means, is that the minerals in the sourdough will be available to your bones and teeth rather than your gall bladder or kidneys… can I hear an ‘O-U-C-H‘?

2033663Ahhh… just the perfect thing to warm and fill the belly and get me out the door nourished and on time for a change!

Ayurvedic philosophy advises us to eat no more than can comfortably fit in the cupped palms of our two hands at any one time.  With a slice of well-buttered toast, this dish fits the bill for me.

Bigger hands?  Bigger serving!  Either make two cocotte or crack an extra egg into one and fry up another piece of toast.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

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