Cookbook review: How to Boil an Egg (+video)
At first glance, 'How to Boil an Egg' by Rose Carrarini seems simple, but the cookbook is packed with sophisticated and unusual recipes. It's also beautifully illustrated by award-winning botanical artist Fiona Strickland.
Growing up I rarely ate eggs for breakfast. My mom was not a big egg person, (hates them in fact), so the only time I got them was the rare occasion my dad would get a craving. Dad serves his eggs the same way every time, scrambled with lots of salt and pepper, and usually with a side of country ham.Skip to next paragraph
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So the concept of other egg dishes, eggs over-easy with a beautiful runny yolk to dip your toast in, soft-boiled eggs carefully cracked and scooped out, a perfect omelet that neither burns nor comes out too runny, was foreign to me. "How to Boil an Egg" by Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery, is the perfect primer for the cook who can't quite get eggs right, or is looking to take them to the next level.
At first glance the book may seem a little simplistic. As expected, it starts with easy instructions for simple breakfast dishes, poached eggs, fried eggs, eggs benedict, eggs florentine, pancakes, and French toast. The book also has recipes for classic pastries like scones, muffins, popovers, and cakes. (Well of course, I thought, there are eggs in almost every baked good!) But the chapter titled "Eggs for Tea," a collection of cakes and puddings, was full of surprises.
Ms. Carrarini is co-founder of the Anglo-French bakery and restaurant, Rose Bakery, with locations in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Seoul. The book has a decidedly British and sophisticated feel to it, with recipes for creative tarts and gratins and desserts you don't see often in the United States. A whole section on puddings? Maybe it's my American ignorance, but I sort of thought bread pudding was the height of pudding sophistication. Recipes with exotic names like "Orange Crème Caramel" and "Eton Mess" proved me wrong. "Pudding" is the generic term for dessert in Britain.
The book is beautifully illustrated by botanical artist, Fiona Strickland – a welcome visual delight in a world full of doctored food photos. Their simplicity and exquisite detail bring to life the beauty of cracked egg shell, not to mention the dizzily decorated "Geoise Sponge Cake," topped with layers of jam, dollops of whipped cream, a dusting of sugar, and raspberries. I have to confess, I was intimidated.