Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Turkish Eggs

And sometimes blogging can seem like such an IMPOSITION. The thinking, the writing, the re-writing, the eating in different places even though you KNOW which curry is best and which vegetarian cafĂ© near the Cathedral forces you to buy a salad you don’t want. It’s the taking of photos, the taking of photos again because the cheesecake just DOESN’T REALLY LOOK RIGHT in that one. The uploading, the “um, that one is slightly better than that one because on that one I look like I am mid-stroke but oh, um that one, oh GOD look at my chins, shall we re-shoot?” The editing of photos when you have time on your hands and the panic of OH SHIT I don’t have time to edit all the photos for THIS post but now I’ve made expectations and doesn’t it always pay to be average?

If I was a member of the upper class or a psychopath of any class, I would certainly hire an intern. What a splendid way to really give yourself a self-assured pat on the back: I’m so great that people want to do the SHIT parts of my life FOR FREE!!! What a ball!

Anyway, that explains the hiatus. I can’t promise that I will get any better at this but in the meantime, let me tell you about the time the local paper (The Sheffield Star) asked me to write a recipe for them.

“Write” is funny because yeah. So, instead, I regurgitated one from BBC Good Food and wrote this long drawl about what was in my head at that moment. I sent it off, waited, had a photographer come round to my house and had to cook the friggin meal again. Then I had to ask a friend to ‘test’ the meal, which meant I had to eat it again. By this time, I’m thinking, Jesus, this is DISGUSTING.

Anyway, the paper didn’t print everything I wrote. In fact, they printed perhaps one sentence and I got to be a musician or a celebrity or a politician and complain loads:

ME: “I’ve been misquoted!”

FRIEND: “But that is what you said – exactly! Look, it’s written in this Word document that you sent to them.”

ME: “But it was taken out of context!”

That was it, really. Most of the page was taken up with a picture of my big, pale, make-up free, frizzy-haired face.

So, here, for my real fans, I will post the unabridged version:

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a princess and dinner like a pauper” said someone with no children, no job and a vegetable patch in the back garden.

In reality, I tend to do the whole shebang in reverse order. Occasionally, I will almost get it right by eating a large lunch. Unfortunately though, those days tend to conclude with less of a pauper dinner and more of a family-sized bag of Maltesers with no hope of utilising the “seal up and save some for later” sticker (does anyone actually use those?)

And so, when I got some time off work the other day, I decided to make a hearty, healthy breakfast (or brunch – after all, I was off work) to see if the pauper dinner naturally followed on.

Scanning through the BBC Good Food website (the Holy Grail for all my cooking), I came across a Turkish recipe called Menemen. It’s basically like Nigella’s ‘Eggs In Purgatory’ but without the doomsday name.
There are different variations of Menemen. Some choose to leave the eggs whole, frying them into the mixture and others prefer to scramble the whole lot together. Seasoning is also a bit of a free-for-all, meaning that oregano, thyme and parsley are all welcome in the frying pan.

The eggs, vegetables and pita bread in this dish mean that you’re getting vitamins, protein and carbs before you’ve even left the house. If you’re fussy about your carb intake then a) does your breath smell a bit dodgy? BUT b) the morning is obviously the best time to enjoy them.

Did the motto serve me well? Yes! The meal was delicious and I definitely wasn’t hungry until around 2pm. I then whipped up some brownies and ate quite a bit of the raw batter but thankfully redeemed myself in the evening with a Greek salad.

All I need now is some motivation to get up at sunrise and to be blessed with non-blurry morning vision for chopping chillis as opposed to fingers. Hm. Looks like it’s back to toast and Marmite until further notice then.

This is my housemate, Rachel, testing the recipe. This photo is mainly included to show off my hologram of a cat and dog (behind).

The article is here.

Serves 2, Vegetarian
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 chillis, chopped (and de-seeded if you’re a wimp!)
2 large red onions
1 red pepper
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
A sprinkle of caster sugar
4 eggs
A handful of parsley
2 pita bread

1.      Heat up your oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and add your garlic, chilli, onion and pepper. Cook on a medium heat until the vegetables soften.
2.      Pour in the tomatoes and sprinkle with roughly a teaspoon of sugar to take away the sharp taste of the tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes have reduced, about 5 minutes.
3.      Make four ‘wells’ in the mixture and crack eggs into each one.
4.      Cover the pan with a lid or a chopping board (keep an eye out as the latter is almost certainly a fire risk).
5.      Warm up the pitas under the grill.
6.      When the eggs are firm and cooked (but still wobbly), take the pan off the heat and sprinkle with parsley.
7.      Serve with pita on the side to dip into the runny yolks.

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  1. Hooray! I'm so pleased you've blogged again! I can stop clicking refresh now for a little while :-)
    It looks good, although not suitable for me, obviously. Also, I'm loving the hologram.

    1. Oh THANK YOU!!! So good to have my number one (only) fan (except Mum!!).

      You are one of the only people, besides myself to be into the hologram :-(

  2. I will most certainly be attempting this dish on Wednesday - my day off always becomes 'treat myself to brunch' day and this looks like a delicious substitute to my usual poached egg and spinach on toast. Brilliant veggie option to start the day properly!

    Great to see you blogging again, as well :D

    Hannah's Haven