by Jennifer Bowles –
Ah yes, the egg. Fried, scrambled, poached, coddled or hard-boiled, these little gems are true comfort food that have versatility written all over them! An excellent source of protein, and a fairly inexpensive product that delivers stunning richness to any dish, the egg could possibly be one of the world’s most perfect foods!
Few people harness the egg’s flexibility. Sure, you can have them fried with toast or boiled with a touch of salt, but the possibilities with eggs go far beyond. One of the most delectable classics I was served recently was a Caesar salad. This wasn’t your usual bowl of warm romaine dripping in a creamy concoction that you so often find in some restaurants. This was cool, crisp pieces of romaine drizzled with a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, Lea & Perrins, lemon juice, and Tabasco tossed and piled high on a chilled plate. But it didn’t end there: on top of the salad perched a gorgeous, creamy poached egg, sliced so gently that the warm yolk just flowed out and mingled with the lettuce. It was topped with tangy curls of parmesan cheese, a dusting of fresh cracked pepper and,on the side, a gorgeous oven-warmed wedge of toasted baguette licked with butter … total heaven I can assure you. The best part? You can recreate it at home! It is perfect for lunch with friends or ideal if you seek a simple weekday dinner away from meat and potatoes.
The goodness of eggs and the delicious options they offer can be found in more dishes than salads and appetizers. Consider them as a topping on your next homemade pizza! Cracked right on top, corralled by a ring of red onion and baked right in, they add super richness and a dose of whimsy to your pie! Why not try one on top of a barbecued beef burger, traditional steak and eggs or try your hand at a Scotch egg. No longer just old school pub fare any more, hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded and then baked are gracing the pages of modern tapas menus, and holding their own as popular sellers on some of restaurants’ most exclusive menus!
But hands down, my all time favourite has got to be the quintessential comfort food: fettuccini carbonara. Dead simple: sauté a shallot, ½ a medium onion and a little bacon in a skillet with some butter. Not the bacon type? Substitute broccolini.
Boil a pot of salted water and toss in an extra large handful of fettuccini, cook till al dente, drain and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together 4 eggs, ½ cup cream, a good pinch of salt, fresh pepper and ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Place the drained pasta back on low-medium heat, add the cream mixture and the bacon together for 3-4 minutes and stir constantly. Toss this into an extra large bowl , grab a fork, pour a glass of jammy red wine, throw on your pajamas, hop into bed and switch on your favourite movie … luxury at its finest.
This recipe first appeared in the April 2012 issue of Seaside Magazine.