Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge this month is to bake the recipe on page 30 of cookbook number 30 on your bookcase. You can see the details here. I counted mine out and turned up a recipe for baked eggs in the recent book “John Whaite Bakes”. This is the charming young man who won the Great British Bake Off last year.
This book is very much in the style of modern cookbooks, each recipe having its own little story as an introduction and with lots of photos of the author, looking very handsome, nibbling a biscuit, holding a mug, walking down an alley of factory buildings holding half a baguette………..somehow I find it all slightly unnecessary. I blame Nigella – she started it, I seem to remember, and now they all do it. Except for Delia, who doesn’t seem to need to. It’s the celebrity thing, I suppose.
Having said all that, this really is a lovely book. The photos are beautiful and there’s one for most of the recipes – something I appreciate as it is helpful to see what the finished dish should look like. There are lots of fabulous recipes to try and they are clearly written.
And – at the risk of revealing here another little bee from my bonnet – at least the food isn’t presented on grotty, grubby, chipped and cracked old crockery that I personally would have thrown out long ago. This is another cookbook fashion that I really don’t understand. Shabby chic is one thing, well used and well worn favourite crockery is another, but chipped, cracked dishes, rusty tins and tea-stained tea cloths – no thanks !!
Maybe it’s just me or it’s my age. I’m now at the age where I can conveniently blame all sorts of things on my age and people accept it – turning 60 and gradually becoming a batty old lady is beginning to seem like fun after all !!
The nice thing about this recipe is that it is so simple you hardly need a recipe at all. My mum used to make these for Sunday tea. They were exactly the same except that she would never have used herbs and made them in a large Pyrex dish for the four of us. We would have ours with a slice of toast and a few baked beans on the side. ( John apparently has his with some sourdough or freshly baked foccacia!)
To make cheesy baked eggs:
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 160°fan / gas mk 3.
For each person, butter a large ramekin and drop two eggs into it. Add a tablespoon of cream or milk, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a few leaves of thyme. (I omitted the thyme as it’s growing in the garden and we were in the middle of a thunderstorm, it was chucking it down and I couldn’t be bothered to fetch my mac and wellies.)
Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 12-14 minutes if you like your eggs slightly runny, a little longer if you like them hard. Serve hot with toast, or just on their own.
i know EXACTLY what you mean... it's needless filler that i'm so not interested in, just give me a good recipe and maybe a nice story behind the recipe but not the whole photo thing, who cares?... gorgeous heart shaped pots... love a baked egg too... what a brilliant random recipes entry xReplyDelete
I'm glad you agree with me Dom, I thought I might just be becoming a grumpy old woman.....Delete
The heart dishes are from Waitrose in their recent sale - I just couldn't resist them.
Speaking as a very grumpy old man, I totally agree about the dreadful (and phoney) lifestyle bits in books (as well as in magazines and on-line). They're only writing about what they had for dinner so why so self-important? Mind you, I really dislike cooking competitions on TV too, so I've never heard of Mr Whaite, so what do I know? I do like baked eggs, though, and I'd definitely eat one of those right now. As for not liking chipped and cracked crockery - well, it's probably best that you don't look in my kitchen cupboards.ReplyDelete
Phil, I don't think I notice chips or cracks in your blog photos.......you must obviously bring out the best china for that !!Delete
:-) I got a cheesy eggy recipe this month, too!ReplyDelete
And if you want to posh it up a bit, just add some spinach and it is Eggs Florentine. Great comfort food. I've never heard of John Whaite either, and I don't recall ever seeing a cookbook with irrelevant lifestyle photos or chipped crockery. Is it obvious I haven't bought a cookbook for several years? But, joining the rest of you with GOGS (Grumpy Old Git Syndrome), I'm happy to blame Nigella -- I find her unwatchable.ReplyDelete
Susan, the addition of spinach and, possibly, a bit of ham or a few lardons, sounds lovely. I'll try that next time.Delete
Probably the worst offender in the chipped crockery dept is Jamie Oliver but I was slightly annoyed when even the new edition of the BeRo book was printed so as to look like it has coffee and grease stains on the pages !!
Ah! Good! A recipe to use all the extra eggs we're getting!!ReplyDelete
I agree with Susan about Nigella. I, too, find her unwatchable.
I found her previous series just about watchable but the Nigelissima programmes were just too cringeworthy.Delete
I know what you mean about the pictures. Fit more recipes in instead! That said, I do like every recipe to have a picture with it. I'm too shallow to risk something I can't seeReplyDelete
Come come Jean,they are young,they are loving everything retro and old,and this is the new market place for cookbook sales. The problem with being em....older( I put myself in this category) is that we have seen or been through the reality of broken or old stuff and now it is a bit old hat because we have seen the real thing and are annoyed by something regurgitated and sold to us as being trendy? I have to admit I like some of this photography and cooking shows and when I don't I either don't buy it or turn the TV over. I bet John is happy you own his book! And it has popped up in Dom's Challenge this month. Your eggs look very appealing and simple.ReplyDelete
You're right, of course!Delete
I'm from a generation where there was a certain pride taken in getting out and using the best china, and we would never let visitors see the chipped stuff !!
Having said that, I don't own any best china now. We have one dinner service and it's used every day.
I'm a sucker for a heart shaped dish - makes anything taste better...!?! This looks lovely - a perfect comforting supper dish.ReplyDelete
This looks delicious and easy-peasy for weekend breakfasts. I've never had baked eggs but may have to give them a go this weekend!ReplyDelete