Friday, 10 February 2012

Egg Parlour

I often think the job I'd really truly actually be best at is being a party planner. Any time I invite people to drink in my room, it will be structured around a 'fun' theme. Mulled wine evening is an example. More recently, I hosted 'poker night' where I provided great mood lighting and lots of salty nuts. I like themes. Last Saturday, my room became The Egg Parlour for one night only. The majority of my correspondence between Tuesday and Saturday related to eggs. And egg garnishes. And egg based liquors. I have no doubt that my guests were sick to death of a) eggs and b) being told what to do. But it was all worth it! You might be wondering 'why eggs?' Well, one of our dear friends who graduated last year liked to fool people that there was a restaurant called The Egg Parlour down Iffley Road which sells lots of different types of eggs. There isn't. But there should be! Also, I was at a different friend's house near Christmas while he was making eggnog except I wasn't meticulous enough with my egg separating and so the egg whites wouldn't do what they were told. But apparently when he did eventually make it, it was delicious. So basically two of my friends at separate times did and said not-very-exciting things about eggs and so it became the theme of an evening activity that I got really into organising instead of focussing on my imminent future-deciding exams. As you would.
The menu comprised of shakshuka with pitta bread, juevos rancheros with tortillas, scrambled eggs with parsley, smoked salmon and hollandaise and soft-boiled duck eggs with soldiers. Drinks of note were eggnog and advocaat. There were some photos of the actual eggs rather than the trimmings but the Dame tried to jailbreak his phone and that led to the loss of all the photos. Alas. He found the photos.

I started with smittenkitchen's shakshuka recipe as a base but then cheated and used some of that sauce as the bed for the baked eggs for my juevos rancheros.

Olive oil
2 red chillies
1 green chilli
1 large onion
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cans plum tomatoes

Fry the chilli and onion in a large saucepan on a medium heat until the onions are browned.
Add the garlic and fry for a further two minutes.
Add the spices and plum tomatoes and mix well.
Season and simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes until thickened.

At this point, pour half the mixture into a deep baking tray.

For the shakshuka:
10 eggs
100g feta cheese

Crack 10 eggs into the saucepan and cover for 5 minutes until the yolks are just set. Baste the whites of the eggs with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and feta cheese.
For the juevos rancheros:
10 eggs
50g cheddar cheese

Crack 10 eggs on top of the mixture in the baking tray. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with cheddar and place in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes at 200.

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