Serves: 2 or 4
These eggs are the perfect Sunday night supper. By adding a few embellishments, they become a little more filling than a classic oeuf en cocotte, which is usually an egg baked in cream. You can prepare both the spinach and mushroom mixtures in advance and crack in the eggs just before you want to eat. I prefer to cook the eggs in sugar bowl-sized vessels (mine were bought from Sainsbury) as I find a ramekin just too small-once you’ve cracked in an egg there’s very little room for anything else. The pie dishes that the ready meal king Charlie Bigham uses are a perfect size too. Don’t feel you have to cook both fillings at the same time-you may feel like spinach one day and the wild mushroom and Parma ham on another occasion.
- For the spinach and Gruyère eggs
- 200g baby spinach
- 10 tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 duck or hen eggs
- 30g Gruyère cheese, grated
- For the wild mushroom and parma ham eggs
- 25g butter
- 225g wild mushrooms, washed and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 40g parma ham, finely chopped
- 2 duck or hen eggs
- 4-6 tablespoons whipping cream
- For the spinach and Gruyère eggs, either microwave the spinach on high for about 3 minutes until wilted or place in a saucepan and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Tip the spinach into a sieve and when cool enough to handle squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Finely chop the spinach (you can do this in a food processor if you like) and place in a mixing bowl. Season well with salt and ground black pepper and stir in 4 tablespoons of the cream. At this point you can set aside the mixture and start making the mushroom one. If you are just serving the spinach and Gruyère, go to step 3.
- For the wild mushroom and parma ham eggs, heat the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Fry over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Turn up the heat to reduce any excess liquid. Take the mushrooms off the heat, cool for 5 minutes then stir in the parma ham.
- Heat the oven to 190˚c, fan oven 170˚c, mark 5. Divide the spinach mixture between 2 ovenproof bowls (see intro), making a slight hollow in the centre of each one. Crack an egg into each bowl and spoon over the cream. Sprinkle over the cheese. Divide the mushroom mixture between 2 bowls and crack an egg into each one, pour over the cream.
- Bake in the oven for 12-18 minutes. After 12 minutes keep checking the eggs every minute to check whether the white has set. Serve with crusty bread or toast.