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Ode to the Egg

egg the ultimate food

An egg is one of the most versatile and inexpensive items we have in our cupboards. We can eat eggs at anytime of the day not only at breakfast.  They are high in protein and not so high in calories but do watch the cholesterol.

Eggs are easy – they take minutes to make a fulfilling meal.  There are millions of variations on scrambled eggs and omelettes; you can add almost anything from your fridge to eggs.

Eggs are portable and super easy to incorporate into your packed lunch. An easy way is to boil your eggs to mix with tuna, green beans, new potatoes add vinaigrette et voilà salad Niçoise or make a Spanish frittata the night before to put a piece in your lunch box over salad.

Eggs can be luxurious, who would have thought that the humble egg can be an indulgent supper? One of my favourite, quite naughty supper recipes is made from very basic inexpensive ingredients; it is called oeufs en cocotte à la tartare. Which in basically baked eggs with ground beef.  I found this recipe in the mother of all cookery books – Larousse Gastronomique.  I have copied the recipe for you since the only place I could find it on the Internet was on a couple of French culinary websites.

Mince finely some raw beef, add chopped chives and season with salt and pepper.  Line cocotte (ramekin) dishes with this mixture and break eggs into them.  Pour a ring of fresh cream around the yolks.  Bake in the oven in a bain-marie (pan of hot water).

Unfortunately Larrouse didn’t tell us how hot the oven should be 220°C (425°F), and you should cook the eggs for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they are not nice over cooked.  Also I buy the BEST beef I can for this recipe since it is quite a vital ingredient. Sometimes it is less expensive to ask the butcher to grind a piece of beef than to buy it already ground.

The wonderful Nigella does a version of this. Hers has the egg and cream in the ramekin with a splash of truffle oil, very sexy. I am serving this to my man for Christmas breakfast.

Another luxurious supper is a soufflé; I have found a recipe on the British Lion Egg site that doesn’t look too scary.  All in all I was very impressed with this site; it has a plethora of ideas.

I must say when you are cooking always try to use the best ingredients you can afford if you can go for the better egg do it.  You will be able to tell the difference.

What are your favourite, out of the ordinary, egg recipes?

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