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.