Jacques Pepin is a Maître d’Oeufs—that’s Master of Eggs for you non-French speakers—the kind of chef who judges a cook’s skill by how they make an omelette. But one of his favorite egg preparations takes only a fraction of an omelette’s work; it’s so simple you barely need a recipe.
The dish is oeufs en cocotte, eggs steamed in ramekins or small pots. Pepin starts with some mushrooms and shallots sweated in a pan until they just start to soften. Then he adds some cream to form a quick sauce, which cools for a minute until it’s ready to be spooned into the bottom of single-serving cocottes. In go the eggs, and the cocottes steam in a water bath right on the stove. The cream works its way around the eggs—which Pepin takes runny, thankyouverymuch—for a delightfully saucy breakfast or lunch sopped up with plenty of bread. Are you feeling French yet?