What do you do when you need a quick menu?
I've decided to reach for a box of eggs.
This week's recipes try to make the most of what's belatedly in season- asparagus, watercress, early tomatoes, rocket.. and put them together with the humble egg for, I hope, something quick and tasty.
Today's starter is boiled egg ( I know it sounds humble, but surprise yourself) with soldiers and asparagus dippers, followed by a salade composee of tomatoes, bacon and avocado on a bed of spinach, rocket and watercress with onion corn bread. Dessert is a brioche 'bread and butter' pudding.
Do you fellow foodies need me to tell you how to boil an egg? I know Delia did it and made money in the process- but really! Anyway, it all depends how you like it. I like mine cooked - but with still plenty of runny yolk for dipping. ( Brought to the boil from room temperature and then timed for 3 minutes- oops! I told you how to do it.) Steam some asparagus and make some toast strips (soldiers) to dip in. (My tummy is rumbling even now at the thought.) Forget your hollandaises and such like- asparagus dipped in egg yolk is sublime - especially if sprinkled with some fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.
|Asparagus and Soldiers on Parade|
For the next course, I'm using seasonal leaves (watercress and rocket) mixed with some baby spinach and dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette (recipe on the blog). I top these with some fried smoked bacon lardons, some sliced mozzarella, a sliced avocado and some ripe tomatoes.Mmmm...
Delicious though this is, it is made all the more substantial and special if served with some golden corn bread.
Grease a 20cm baking tin generously and pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.
Mix 110g of plain flour, 170g of cornmeal or polenta, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a bunch of chopped spring onions (tired ones from the bottom of the salad drawer are fine) together in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add 2 beaten eggs and a cup of olive oil or liquid Flora and a further cup of skimmed milk. Stir all the ingredients together and pour into the greased tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch, golden on top and a skewer inserted into the
middle comes out clean.
|Onion Corn Bread|
I only used a few slices of the corn bread- and sliced up the rest for the freezer. I will use slices variously with dishes that need soaking up- beef stew, ratatouille, baked beans, chile con carne- it will be delicious with any of these.
For pudding, I had a bag of brioche rolls in the freezer- the sort with sultanas in. I used 4 of them to make this pudding. They have the advantage over normal white bread as they already contain plenty of butter and sugar and they are very light and airy too.
Break the brioches into pieces so they fit into your bowl. Beat 2 eggs, a generous cup of skimmed milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence together in a jug. Pour over the brioches and press down so they absorb the liquid. Sprinkle on a sachet of vanilla sugar if you have it, or any tasty sugar if you don't.
Bake in a moderate oven 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes until (you guessed it) golden, risen and firm to the touch. No need to insert a skewer as you want a bit of wobble in there.
Serve with cream or ice cream or stewed seasonal fruit such as rhubarb.
So there you have it- my menu based around a box of eggs.
Sorry to short change you this week on recipes and ideas - but you must have plenty of your own for using up a box of eggs. Do share them.
In the meantime, have a cracking Bank Holiday weekend!