2 vegetable cocottes: cawliflower & zucchini
|November 23, 2009||Posted by ameliaps under cawliflower, summer, vegetables, vegetarian, zucchini|
Before topping the vegetable cocottes, here are what the chives on my patio looked like, in the early morning, as they were covered in dew drops:
Today, I am going to talk about making vegetable ”cocottes”. According to the dictionary the French word “cocotte” [pronounced kɔkɔt] is a “small fireproof dish in which individual portions of food are cooked and served”. You can also call them mini-soufflés, flans, ramekins….although each one of these terms has its own stand-alone meaning. As a matter of fact, that is why I like the word cocotte the most, because it is more versatile and omni-comprehensive of techniques. These mini-portions are a great way to plate and present a egg-based, custardy vegetable side dish, when turned upside down.
You can, if you wish beat the egg white in soft peak to provide extra “lift” to the preparation…but that might be too fussy if you don’t have enough time.
These are a wonderful, easy and fast dish. The kids loved them (I did not tell them there was cawliflower in them and they did not even notice). They make a great vegetable side dish, especially next to fish. Eat with a spoon.
1/2 cup cream
4 tbs grated parmesan cheese (or other cheese)
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg or 1 tsp fresh herbs (chives, thyme, or tarragon)
Salt and pepper, TT
Steam the cauliflower cut in florets and mash with a potato masher.
Preheat the oven at 350F.
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, the cream, the parmesan cheese and the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Butter (or spray with canola oil) 4 to 6 ramekins (depends on size) and pour the mixture in each to top. Lay the ramekins on a cooking sheet layered with foil and add an extra ramekin full of hot water (this will allow for some steam to flow through the oven, making for more tender cocottes).
Bake about 30 minutes or until cooked (a knife inserted will come out clean).
Let them sit for a few minutes. Unmold on plates. You can decorate with chive stems, if you wish.
This is a rather dense cocotte, which can be sliced. I place a small piece of cheese (mozzarella) in the middle which melts when cooked. It is absolutely best when eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven. It becomes sort of chewy if you let it sit for long or refrigerate it. Eat with a fork.
I had made some pasta with zucchini the other night and made extra fried zucchini rounds, which I used to layer the sides of the ramekins, which made a nice effect once unmolded.
2 medium Zucchini, cut in thin rounds (use a mandoline for best result)
Oil for frying (or sauteeing, if you prefer)
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
Salt and pepper, TT
Fry (or sautee…your choice) the zucchini rounds and set on paper towels.
Preheat the oven at 375F.
Butter (or spray with canola oil) 4 ramekins. Layers some of the zucchini rounds on the bottom and sides of the ramekins, to create a tight wrapping.
Place a few pieces of mozzarella on the bottom of the ramekins, on top of the zucchini layer.
In a bowl mix together the eggs, cornstarch (taking care that no lumps remain), the cream, the Parmesan cheese, the basil and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining zucchini and mix well.
Pour the zucchini mixture in each ramekin to top. Lay the ramekins on a cooking sheet layered with foil and add an extra ramekin full of hot water (this will allow for some steam to flow through the oven, making for more tender cocottes). Bake about 20 minutes or until cooked (a knife inserted will come out clean).
Let them sit for a few minutes. Unmold on plates. You can decorate with more basil, if you wish.