A lovely quick and simple little lunch or light supper dish, and a great egg-using alternative to the ubiquitous omelette or fried eggs for those of us with our own hens.
To serve two –
- Four eggs (preferably fresh from your own garden!)
- Two big handfuls of grated cheese. Anything you fancy, really, as long as it’s a nice hard full flavoured cheese. I used some Lincolnshire Poacher left over from Christmas, the recipe called for Gruyère, but use whatever you enjoy or have around in the fridge.
- A big knob of unsalted butter
- Two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
- Salt & pepper
- A slice or two of toast per person to serve
Put the butter, cheese, and parsley in a medium sized frying pan and warm on a low heat until the butter and cheese have melted. It does look like a lot of fat and butter, but don’t let this trouble you!
Crack the eggs in on top of the buttery herby cheese mixture. If your pan is roomy enough to keep the eggs separate, all well and good, but if they meld together in the pan it’s not a big issue. Now just let the pan bubble away until the eggs are cooked. You can spoon some of the lovely butter over the top of the eggs to help cook the surface. You could put a lid on for a while, to help spread the heat, if your pan has one.
As the eggs cook, the cheese will take on a lovely golden crispness on the underside. Yum! When the egg whites are cooked, and the yolks are still nice and runny, serve simply with some toast (a good hunk of home-made bread is best – I wouldn’t bother buttering it, personally!), seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
All done in under ten minutes, and a wonderful fresh, tasty meal. These eggs went particularly well with toasted Pain de Savoie!
‘I Know How to Cook (Je sais cuisiner)’ by Ginette Mathiot (adapted / translated by Clotilde Dusoulier & Imogen Forster)
In English translation – Phaidon, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7148-4804-4.
Hardcover, 976 pages. RRP £29.95.
[Full disclosure: This is my book, which I bought. I have received no payment or sponsorship for this post, nor have I accepted a review copy. I do not have an amazon affiliate account and do not profit from any links provided.]
‘I Know How to Cook’ is quite probably *the* classic of French domestic cookery. Continuously in print in French since 1932, think of this as Delia Smith’s ‘Cookery Course’ from across the Channel, with knobs on! I saw this English translation in a remaindered bookshop a few years ago, and snapped it up.
Flouncy French ‘haute cuisine’ this is definitely not – but it covers an enormous amount of ground. With over 1400 recipes, there’s enough here to keep you eating something different every day for about four years! And much of it, like these cracking cheesy eggs, is quick and simple everyday food that’s easy to knock up just for yourself, or for family, after a long day at work.
Just to give you a sense of scale, I counted 77 egg recipes (that’s to say, recipes in which egg was the principal ingredient). There’s over a year’s worth of weekly experimentation just to get through that lot! But it also contains a raft of really classic, ‘show-off’ recipes which will knock the socks off your next dinner guests. While it may well have been written originally to help out newly married young wives, there’s truly something here for everyone!
This deserves to be one of the standard ‘go-to’ books if, like me, you sometimes find yourself staring at the ingredients you have, in the fridge and cupboards, and could do with some inspiration to help you combine them! Three (or more!) generations of French home cooks can’t be wrong, so go on and add this to your collection. You know you want to!
‘Cooking the Books’ is my self-imposed blog challenge for 2014 – I’ll be trying to cook a new recipe from one of my (rather extensive!) collection of cookbooks once a week, write it up and review it. Wish me luck!
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