Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Mini cocotte

I'm an average cook. I can rustle together a healthy meal reasonably quickly and it will taste fine, but cooking is not my passion. Somehow, I'm better at feeding an army than cooking for just myself or the two of us. This often sees me making a large portion of something simple and having it for two or three meals, but I've always admired cooks who can serve up a gourmet meal for one.

Enter mini cocotte, the cutest little cooking vessel ever and a Christmas present from my family in 2014. I was given a pair (purple ones, naturally) along with an accompanying recipe book. I was hesitant at first; sweet cooking and baking is my forte, but what meals can you possibly make that are this small? It turns out: almost anything!

If you like eggs for breakfast or brunch, here are four simple recipes to get you going.

I began by making coddled eggs with leftover Christmas ham, just like in the video. I added a sprinkle of cracked pepper and mixed herbs on top. Success!

Coddled eggs
Next up, a smaller version of this hearty ham casserole with more leftover Christmas ham, corn and potato. This would work with almost any combination of vegetables and meat.

Hearty ham casserole
And, of course, there's dessert. This mini apple crisp was delicious and I have also made volcano chocolate cakes.

Apple crisp
I have now started a Pinterest board of mini cocotte recipes. You can use any recipe that can be cooked in a ramekin, which I find is a helpful rule of thumb until I work out how to reduce recipes to fit into the mini cocottes. I am quickly becoming an expert at halving and quartering quantities of ingredients. For our appetites, mini cocotte cooking is perfect for breakfast or brunch, lunch and desserts, but we find them more suitable as a side dish for main meals.

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