Introducing Eating Out at Home…with an Instagram rant…and there’s a Baked Eggs recipe in here somewhere, too

Eating out at home baked eggs recipe

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no gourmet chef. Jamie Oliver is my cooking idol for his easy approach to cooking – despite all the cockney mockney smash your garlic like a geezer chat – and if a recipe has more than ten ingredients (including salt and pepper) and involves more than two pans, I start breaking a small sweat. But…I do like tasty, I value quality in my food, and I enjoy experimenting, so I think that’s my saving grace to cooking. I also love the joy of sharing something I’ve made which I like with people I care about – family, friends, even strangers. I believe that good food and simplicity can go hand in hand.

For those of you follow my blog and/or my Instagram, you’ll know that I’m very active on the latter, and I pore over the posts I receive in my feed almost obsessively. Instagram is an inspiration and a curse: it’s visual nature makes its content digestible and instantly captivating, but because it’s so visually driven, it’s a prime victim of what I call the Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome. Here, it refers to when a post makes something looks fantastic – often, food or a venue – and everybody raves about it like it’s amazing because it looks so good (AKA Instagrammable), and it’s got a million photos in circulation (because we all have to take one and share it), and each has a million likes…and in fact it’s disappointingly ordinary. Even more frustratingly, nobody wants to call it out on Instagram because a) often, people want to get the ‘likes’ for posting Instagrammable photos; b) it’s likely nobody will listen, because Instagram isn’t really a place where people stop, read and absorb the words. It’s all about the image.

Eating out at home baked eggs recipe Habaneros

Looks good, right? This was actually a really disappointing burger, and I said so in my post, but on Instagram it’s only the #foodporn factor that counts…

I would love Instagram to be a more discerning information-sharing medium. Maybe that’s a dream, but that’s how I’m going to use it, and maybe some others will, too. I do it because I really don’t like things not being what they’re depicted as being, and I don’t like lack of honesty (in reviews etc). It’s about integrity. What made me talk about Instagram now was the saturated market of avocado on sourdough toast images, crushed feta on organic caraway seed crostini, eggs in any form with a generous amount of ‘yolkporn’ smeared all over our Instagram feeds – well, mine anyway because I follow a lot of food sites – and other rather simple but hyped dishes. I see all this, from Instagram-created ‘place to be seen’ hangouts, and I think…

…please. So, let me get this right: you’re paying for somebody to dollop some mashed avocado on toasted sourdough and plate it up for you so you can smugly take a photo of it and say ‘I was here’. Did I get that right? Or, is that a plate of poached eggs which you can make at home in less than 10 minutes, but you’ve just paid £8 for? Hmm, I’m not convinced. What is far cooler than going to all these hyped up, hip hangouts and paying for average-yet-Instagrammable food is making it yourself at home.

And guess what – you don’t need to be a gourmet chef to do it. In fact, liking tasty food, good quality ingredients, and being willing to experiment with new flavours will go a long way to getting a jealousy-inducing – and even Instagrammable (horror) – brunch, lunch or dinner just the way you like it. 

I am championing the Eating Out At Home Movement. Whenever I mention this to somebody, they say ‘ooh, good idea’, so I think it has traction. For me personally, I am in the middle of creating a new career right now; by necessity I have started eating out less, and also becoming more selective about what I’m eating when I’m out – I don’t want to pay for something which isn’t worth my money, and I certainly don’t want to recommend it to other people if I don’t think it’s worth it. As it happens, eating out less by necessity has opened up home cooking for me, which is a real blessing, not least because I have learned that some of the best brunches (in particular, but other meals) I can make at home. I’ve even made an afternoon tea at home, which was amazing (I should post about that soon). Eating out now is becoming a luxury I don’t think I need, unless it really is new, interesting, beyond my skill set to make myself, or from somewhere which is very good.

Having said that, I dip in and out of enthusiasm for my own movement. Ha. The key to my continued engagement with it, I have realised, and therefore success of the movement overall (cosmologically speaking) is enjoying what you make. Don’t make it because you have to, for whatever reason – do it because you are making something you are really going to savour. Whatever it is, bring joy to it. Even if you’ve become disenchanted with the whole effort of cooking anything at home, all it takes is one meal – normally one that’s high on taste and low on difficulty – to enamour you all over again. Now that I think about it, it is rare that the joy of an Eating Out At Home meal has not exceeded the enjoyment of a meal eaten out. Yet, when I do eat out, it’s more special, and that brings its own magic.

Eating Out At Home doesn’t have to be grand. My favourite meals so far include salt beef sandwiches, mammoth toasties, oat pancakes, and hot cross bun French toast. And eggs, plenty of eggs, of course.

Eating out at home baked eggs recipe salt beef sandwich

Salt beef toastie on rye – a perfect example of Eating Out At Home

I started writing this as a short introduction to a recipe post, but it turned into a post of its own. To compensate, here is a perfect Eating Out At Home brunch recipe, simple and quick to make: Baked Eggs. I have included guidelines on how to make all of the components in the photo below, so pick and choose. I make no apology for how ridiculously easy it is to make this – I will accept any thanks for saving you money you might have spent at some trendy Notting Hill or East London coffee-shop-diner, though.

Oh, and added bonus: it’s very Instagrammable. Your Insta-cred will remain intact.

Recipe: Baked Eggs, Garlic Veg Scramble, and Avocado on Rye

IMG_3094

Baked Eggs

You will need:
– a frying pan
– a ramekin dish that can go in the oven
– a grater or garlic press

Ingredients:
– 1-2 eggs per person
– spinach (a huge handful per person)
– 1 clove garlic (more if you like more)
– Emmental cheese (I like the grated bag – all the hard work done for you)
– nutmeg, to taste
– salt and pepper, to taste

Method:
– Switch on the oven to 200ºC
– Rinse spinach and leave to drain in a colander
– Heat frying pan on medium high heat – you can add a touch of oil if you like
– Crush the clove of garlic – I prefer to grate mine using the finer holes on the grater – make sure to scrape all the garlic off the grater
– Put the garlic and spinach in the frying pan, and move around for a minute until the spinach has wilted – this happens very quickly
– Season the spinach to taste with freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper
– Spoon the spinach evenly into the ramekins so each one has the same amount. Leave a well in the centre of each ramekin to leave space for the egg – you don’t have to, but I think it centres the egg
– Crack an egg into the well in each ramekin, so it’s nestled in the spinach
– Season the egg to taste (salt, pepper)
– Top the whole thing with grated cheese (you can use any cheese you like)
– Pop the ramekin/s into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. 8 minutes will give you soft eggs, 10 minutes a more set yolk
– Remove and allow to cool while you finish off the scrambled veg (see below)

Garlicky Scrambled Veg

You will need:
– a frying pan
– a chopping board

Ingredients:
– a handful of cherry tomatoes per person (these are my favourite veg to use here – when they’re done they burst in your mouth and release a wonderful juice)
– a couple of mushrooms per person, sliced
– salt and pepper, to taste
– a clove of garlic (more if you prefer), crushed/grated
– any other veg you like! I like asparagus, too

Method:
– Heat frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a touch of oil (coconut adds its own flavour; I often use that or home-made ghee)
– Toss in the tomatoes (whole), garlic and mushrooms
– Cook for a 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and slightly charred at spots. The mushrooms will be soft but still juicy
– Remove from heat and serve on plate next to your eggs

Avocado on toast

You will need:
– a bowl

Ingredients:
– 1/2 ripe avocado per person
– salt and pepper, to taste
– fresh lime, to taste
– Green Tabasco sauce, to taste
– a slice of rye bread per person, toasted (pure rye is really dense so one slice is really filling)
– cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (optional – photo is of cottage cheese)

Method:
– scrape all of the avocado into a bowl. Add all of the seasoning and mash with a fork
– spoon on top of the rye toast, and top with cottage cheese/ricotta cheese

Take photo, post to Instagram, and enjoy your brunch, feeling smug.

 

 

 

Comments are closed