The Friday Five – eggs-actly what your bookshelf needs

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So Easter is hurtling towards us, many of us will be off today so hopefully a day for relaxing and catching up with friends, family and maybe a bit of reading. Keeping the Easter theme going, but not the chocolate, then this week is all about the eggs.

 

Eggs by Michel Roux

 

Michel Roux Eggs

 

Start with a classic approach from Michel, taking you through lots of versions of frying, boiling, scrambling, poaching, baking…basically, he’s got all the bases covered, and then some.

 

A Good Egg: a year of recipes from an urban hen-keeper by Genevieve Taylor

 

A Good Egg

 

Whether you keep your own chickens or not, or just fancy doing so, then this will show you what you could be doing with the eggs throughout the seasons. The recipes also include lots of seasonal veg and fruit, so very much getting in touch with what’s going on around you.

 

Egg: The Very Best Recipes Inspired by the Simple Egg

 

Egg: The Very Best Recipes

 

I love the cover of this, great looking design. Inside, it’s no let down, as the recipes are good too. From the basics, through breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then sauces, puddings and drinks, truly giving you something for everyone, on every occasion

 

Take a Box of Eggs

 

Take a Box of Eggs

 

This one is a bit more involved cooking, so leaving out the basics, and moving onto recipes with eggs in. So, you’ll find recipes for Salad Niçoise and frittatas, and things like a Spanish almond cake. I would say this wasn’t a bad alternative student cookbook, as eggs have to be such a great simple food to have on standby.

 

How to Boil an Egg

 

How to Boil an Egg

 

Or maybe this is a great student cookbook, certainly a great starting out cookbook. In fact the full title is How to Boil an Egg; Poach one, Scramble one, Fry one, Bake one, Steam one. That pretty much covers it. Or at least gives you 6 days worth of variety before you start again.

So, bring all kinds of eggs to the table this Easter Sunday from morning to night, and not necessarily all about the chocolate. And you might even find enough recipes to last you through until next Easter!

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The Friday Five – A week of weeks

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Great cake results

 

Gosh, it’s a busy old week this week. It is National Curry Week. Chocolate Week. Egg Week. And just to top it off, cake week. And next week is National Baking Week. You’d have thought there were enough weeks in the year to have these better spread out, but no idea how they get decided upon anyway! So here’s one of my favourites for each “week”:

* The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook – I’ve always fancied the look of this book, giving a modern twist on authentic family recipes. I also love that lots of these recipes can be made in advance, even frozen, and there’s a good explanation of the spices that most of the recipes are based around.

* Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A. Young – I wrote recently about how much I enjoyed Paul A.Young’s demo at Harvest at Jimmy’s, and I would love this book. I’d really like it to get more detail on his brownie recipe, as that was the most amazing thing I saw been cooked that weekend. And I’d like to see the quantities for his “secret” ingredient for making perfect brownies. This book has more than brownies going for it, and would definitely get you looking at chocolate in all kinds of interesting ways.

* Eggs by Michel Roux – if I was going to have a single ingredient cookbook, then it would make sense to have one by Michel Roux, especially on a subject like eggs. Plenty of possibilities, delivered with style and taste. Not a new book, but if you must have a cookbook on eggs, still think this is a good one.

* Sky High – sorry to feature this one again, but it is still my favourite cake book. All the recipes I’ve made from it have been tasty and spectacular, although definitely not everyday cakes. These are special cakes for special days, but not all are particularly complicated. The one I made for BFF’s big birthday last year looked amazing, and yet was quite quick to make. Love it, treat yourself, then bake!

* Leon: Baking & Puddings – I love Leon, one of my favourite places to stop in for a quick bite to eat when I’m in London. The food is tasty, feels slightly virtuous and is always interesting. Which is probably how I would characterise their books too.  This one obviously covers two of my favourite subjects, so very, very tempting!

So, whichever week you decide to enjoy, or in what order, then guaranteed some interesting and tasty eating!

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The Friday Five – Pastry masterclass in your own home

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Let's get those skills into advanced mode

I’ve started writing this whilst watching Michel Roux give a masterclass in pastry on Masterchef. Definitely not a strong area for me! So whether you’re at the beginning of the chapter like me, or moving into advanced mode, then here’s some help along the way!

Pastry: Savoury and Sweet by Michel Roux – seemed only fair to feature him, particularly as he was billed as the godfather of pastry on Masterchef. This gives you every kind of pastry I could imagine you wanting, covering sweet pastries through to pies. No croquembouche featured, but that’s fine, I don’t have a traffic cone shaped mould hanging around anyway!

The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts by the French Culinary Institute – based on the highly regarded curriculum developed by the master patissier, Jacques Torres, this covers the skills you would need if you aspire to be a pastry chef. Photography looks beautiful, and clear, and it says there are lots of insider tips, which are always useful. If you can’t get on their course, then utilise this distillation of their experience!

Pastry Paris: In Paris, Everything Looks Like Dessert by Susan Hochbaum -I thought this was a bit of pastry fun. You will never look at Paris in the same way. And you’ll want cake by the end of the book! Stick this one on your wishlist.

The Diabetic Pastry Chef by Stacey Harris – there are nearly 3 million people suffering from diabetes in the UK, which doesn’t stop you fancying something nice to eat. Stacey Harris has used a number of substitutions to lower both the carbohydrate level and calorie counts in order to give some diabetic-friendly delights. Not only does it cover the recipes but also the basics to help progress everyone’s knowledge.

Puff Pastry Perfection: More than 175 recipes for Appetizers, Entrees and Sweets made with Frozen Puff Pastry Dough by Camilla V Saulsbury – I guess this is a title for those like me that think life is too short to make puff pastry yourself. Call me a bad foodie, but I’m great at converting someone else’s fabulous pastry, and sure these recipes would make great standbys.

There are so many aspects to pastry, that I’m sure there’s a book for every kind of pastry enthusiast, from lazy to wannabe chef. But I’m still buying frozen puff pastry! Fabulous photo of something to aspire to by Carabou on Flickr.

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