This is without a doubt my children’s favourite meal. The sort of thing you whip up on a tuesday night, amidst a very busy week, when the food delivery is due past dinner time and the only thing you have in the fridge is a packet of “brick” pastry and a few eggs…
Brick pastry is a very thin, paper like pastry sold in some supermarkets and in most asian or mediterranean shops. It is used to make dainty meat or veg parcels or tasty rolled up and fried sweets. I try to always keep some in the back of the fridge… NOt to be confused with filo pastry, it is sold flat in large circles.
At home, when we were young, we would eat those “Brick a l’oeuf” with a green salad and a sprinkling of cumin. No spice goes better with a simple egg than cumin! Take my word for it.
The instructions are easy peasy: take a sheet of brick, put it into a deep plate or a bowl so the sides are slightly raised. Break one or two eggs in the middle dip. Sprinkle some cumin and fold the sides up like a parcel.
Warm some rapeseed oil in a shallow pan and fry each parcel on both sides until the white is cooked but just before the yolk has set! This is the only skill required: The yolk needs to be runny so it oozes out when you cut up the parcel… Mop with the pastry and some salad leaves.
Brick a l’oeuf
Enjoy a very simple pleasure.
Eggs are the most perfect food, packaged in the most perfect shape.
This time-saving recipe uses a pinch of cumin or curry and that simple addition makes those eggs a delight fit for a Maharaja!
Curried eggs on muffins
- curry or cumin 1 pinch
- Optional: bacon slices
Just scramble some good, fresh farm eggs into a pan with a dollop of butter. Turn slowly on moderate heat. Mix a pinch of curry powder or cumin.
Fry the bacon beforehand and serve the egg and bacon over a nice muffin! Easy and delicious. Menus don’t have to be taxing – especially when returning from holidays, or packing for them!
Try rolling freshly steamed asparagus into a slice of smoked salmon and you’ve got a plateful of assorted flavours in no time at all. Now, time to edit those holiday snaps…
This gallery contains 11 photos.
I had never attempted puff pastry or picnic eggs but I did both last week-end for a picnic we were taking to the river. Being the royal wedding bank holiday, I wanted to put together a very British luncheon and … Continue reading
This is for me the ultimate nursery food: a comforting dish, oozing butter and cream with the hidden treasure of a soft, nourishing yolk in the middle!
Choose duck eggs for a change, they are lovely at the moment. This couple of ducks were shot in the Wetland Centre in Barnes: A great place for ducks and birds of all feathers but get your eggs from elsewhere.
Tonight I am using Elizabeth David recipe found in “French country cooking”, first published in 1951. The result was as delicious as I recalled… The traditional recipe includes ham so I added that in for memories sake. For a bigger egg (and more yolk to dip the bread in!), I used large duck eggs. I fantasise one day of using one single goose egg to make one big “oeuf cocotte” in a large soufflé dish, for example. But usually, some Le creuset terracotta ramequins are better suited though and give each guest a lovely individual dish to delve into… Elizabeth David talks of “little fireproof china dishes”, but you can be creative and use any small pot so long as it goes into the oven.
Ingredients list: Quantities for one
1 duck egg per person
1 spoonful of butter
1 spoonful of cream
1 thick slice of cooked ham
Cut a rough circle of ham and put it at the bottom of the dish. Heat the oven to fairly hot and put a blob of butter on top of the ham. Leave the dish in the oven until the butter has melted. Then crack an egg in each dish and cover with a good spoonful of cream. Leave to cook for 5 to 8 min. or until the white is set and the yolk still runny. Do not overcook or the dish is ruined! Simple but crucial.
Serve hot with a pinch of chopped tarragon and some cracked pepper. Some buttered olive bread from Chez Paul tonight made a welcome contribution to help us enjoy the hidden treasure inside the cream. I used to like my oeuf cocotte with plain soldiers but this is a matter of taste. This is regressive, comforting food if there was any – so no rules but family tradition must prevail!
Today we visited the Ministry of Food exhibition at the Imperial War Museum and had a great time learning about the war waged in allotments, kitchens and even public gardens! And how was food grown and prepared in London under the Blitz… Here is one of the recipes of the times.
Take one fillet of smoked kipper (or mackerel) per person and one egg for two people. Flake the fish flesh, beat the eggs lightly, mix both and season.
Put some rapeseed oil in a frying pan and scramble the mix over medium heat for a few minutes, being careful not to overcook the eggs so they remain creamy. Turn off the gas and add a dollop of crème fraîche and a pinch of dill before serving warm.
Note that the original war-time recipe did not include these last two ingredients!
Tonight, I made it with smoked mackerel and served it with a salad of chopped cucumber, avocado and mango seasoned with olive oil and soya sauce. But it would also make a delicious alternative to kedgeree for a nice sunday brunch.