Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Easter is now officially over. Yesterday was an state holiday and most stores were closed. Today, we're back at it...except for the school children and teachers. They've got another 2 weeks for spring holiday. And today began my chocolaterie crawl for beautiful, chocolate Easter treats...on sale. I promised my oldest son, who is 24 mind you, that I'd have an Easter basket ready for him when he gets here in May. Yes, I'm overcompensating for being a runaway mom! Anyway, much to my dismay, this stuff doesn't go on sale! What gives?

I had a decidedly unchocolatey Easter, although I did spend a beautiful day at the gargantuan antique market in Isle sur de Sorgue. So to compensate, yesterday I decided to make a traditional French egg dish.

The eggs here in France are always brown. I love the way they look so....organic. In fact, they're probably the same egg...just a different breed of hen. And they are most likely a pain if you want to to dye them a pastel yellow, but they are beautiful in all their natural glory.

Anyway...where was I? Oh yes, the recipe. Breakfast in France is usually a little bread and jam and coffee (nope, no sausage and hashbrowns here!) so this dish is normally served as a dinner. It was so nummy and simple that I have to share it.

Oeuf Cocotte au Roquefort
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 3 or 4 walnuts, slightly chopped(they're much better if toasted beforehand. I always keep toasted walnuts in the freezer)
  • Roquefort or other blue cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cream (yes, cream. This is France)
  • nutmeg (fresh grated is the BEST)
  • salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to around 390 degrees F (200 C.) Butter an individual ramekin or custard cup. Break the egg into the ramekin without breaking the yoke. Scatter the walnuts and blue cheese around the yolk. In a separate cup, mix the cream with the salt, pepper and a good pinch of nutmeg. Careful with the salt since blue cheese is pretty salty. Pour the cream over the egg.

Set the ramekin in a somewhat larger baking dish and prepare a bain marie by pouring boiling water into the larger dish until it's about halfway up the side of the ramekin. Bake for about 10 minutes. Watch the cocotte...you want the white to be just set and the yolk runny. At least that's what they tell me. I, however, do not like runny eggs so I cooked mine a little longer. And it was not "ruined"!

oeuf Cocotte
Serve this with a toasted baguette or nice brown crusty bread, and a salad and enjoy. This can be made any number of ways, with spinach and ham, salmon and dill, vegetables....you name it. And sometimes, it's naked but it always contains the egg and the cream.  I'll have you know, I've eaten 4 today (it was necessary to get a decent photo and I take this blog stuff very seriously!) and all were delicious.

Another Easter item of note: I did not see one giant, walking, talking Easter bunny at any of the shopping areas here in Aix en Provence! Can this be true? Who, if not the Mall Bunny, will bring the eggs? Well, of course, the Flying Bells! And I did not see one single, walking, talking, ginormous Flying Bell. Anywhere!

This recipe was originally published in Stephane Reynaud's cookbook, Ripailles, Traditional French Cuisine, but I found it in my Anglo-American of Provence Group newsletter (AAGP) thanks to Jennifer Dugdale



  1. Delana, I didn't know you had children. But then why on earth should I have known? Anyway I love the fact that your eldest boy will be with you next month and that you are making him an Easter basket.

  2. I'm going to make this for lunch today. Thanks Delana.

  3. Delana, What a truly delightful post and wonderfully spent Easter. I remember the wonder of France. I have visited and also did a college semester abroad in Paris, I miss France. The recipe sounds yummy and I was thinking of trying it, however, I don't care much for blue cheese, at least by itself. Maybe in a recipe it shall be different. I love to cook.

    I had to giggle when you spoke of being a run-away mom. I have often felt this way myself. I have three children, 22,29 and 34 and although they think its way cool that I'm living in Germany, they also feel my absence and sometimes I feel guilty.

    No sitings of mall-bunnies in Germany either, but plenty of free colorfully died eggs and chocolate marzipan eggs handed out at the shops. Mmmm, love marzipan.

    Thanks for the tour, of Easter in France.
    My children still want Easter Baskets, I love it, it gives me a chance to be a "Mommy" again.

  4. FF:oui, my babies are big boys now...22 and 24, but number 1 told me it was his first year without an Easter Basket. Poor baby!

    Aidan: Enjoy. I'll bet the kids (particularly your son) will love it.

    Michelle:Thank you so much. Try it with a little emmental and lardons. Although with bleu c'est bon!
    I know, guilt sets in periodically. Particularly when they're sick or needy. But I have to tell myself that I speak more with them now then I did there and I wouldn't be able to help them when they're sick, even if I were there. They live too far away. But holidays are really tough. I've never had a marzipan egg but I did notice in Switzerland, the beautiful eggs being given away. I want to figure out how to color them like they do.

  5. No matter how "big" our babies get, they're ALWAYS our babies. It's one of life's rare constants that I truly appreciate ;-)


  6. Wonderful post and oh that recipe! My mouth is watering(it's 9AM, I'm in my office/studio with nothing to eat.....).

    I've been to the market in Isle-sur-Sorgue several times and it is truly fantastic. It's those booths with hardware that I love most I think; then again, the linens are wonderful too.

    But tell me: HOW is the driving for you? I always find it so.... harrowing! They tail like nothing I've ever seen. And, of course, park absolutely anywhere! Ah, the joys of France..Enjoy.

    I'm glad we're "friends": I look forward to your posts!

  7. Delana,

    The recipe sounds devine. I will try it since I am always trying to find yummy ways to fix eggs.

    Speaking of cream, are French people naturally thin as they tell us? If so, what is their secret?

  8. Moxie: Yep, I'm still my mama's baby.

    Aneye: Sorry to tease you like that. Try it when you get a chance. How did you know I'm a hardware digger too. The shapes, the old metal...fabulous. I have to stop myself from buying it. I keep thinking of fun ways to use it and I have to place to work on projects! One of these days. I don't have a car so I don't drive often but periodically I rent or borrow a car. I have learned when to pull in my mirrors when the street is too narrow, how to pass on a curve...or almost...and how to jump a curve and make a parking place out of any little old space! And I'm glad you're here too.
    Joanna:The French are definitely thinner...and smaller people all around. But not all certainly. When I ask them the secret they say they don't eat fast food or drink soda and they take the time to taste.Personally, I think it's that they think about their food more. They sit down for a meal,(they don't seem to eat on the run) and I rarely see them snacking, and I don't see the excessive portions that I see in the US.

  9. Thanks Delana,

    I appreciate the information on thin French people. I know I tend to eat without any thought as to what, how much and the taste of the food I'm eating. I'm going to practice eating like the thin French people.


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