PHOTO: Spinach, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes fill the cookbook’s Mediterranean-Style Baked Egg Boats. | Copyright © 2015 by Teri Lyn Fisher
Here’s something that’s really perfect for the new book, “The Perfect Egg” (Ten Speed Press, $18.99): the timing of its release.
It’s hitting bookstores on the heels of the federal government’s report on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommendations. That report lifts the restriction or ban of foods with cholesterol because so many studies have shown they do not increase one’s cholesterol readings. And what is one of those foods? Eggs!
“The Perfect Egg” — by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, the writers behind the food blog Spoon Fork Bacon — celebrates the little shelled marvels. It also asks its readers to think beyond the tried and true uses for eggs as it tweaks traditional recipes — take Peppered Pastrami Eggs Benedict as an example — and presents others one might never have considered, such as the Poached Yolk-Stuffed Ravioli.
The book’s 176 pages include eggs for all three meals of the day as well as in dishes that can be snacks and desserts. There are instructions for a number of egg-based sauces and condiments as well as recipes for egg-centric foods such as pasta and breads, including interesting options such as Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.
“The Perfect Egg” includes dishes from across the globe, including intriguing recipes such as Chawanmushi, a steamed egg custard dish from Japan and the layered French Croque-Madame sandwich. Even a traditional dish like the pound cake gets a taste twist here: it uses grapefruit and poppy seeds.
Some of the recipes are lengthy, but the instructions are clear and concise, making them easy for most home chefs to master.
The majority of the recipes call for the eggs of chickens, although as the introduction pages show, there are eggs from other birds that are popular with diners, too. (I’m intrigued by turkey eggs after seeing this cookbook.) A little nugget of info from those pages to remember: the color of chicken egg shells does not impact its flavor.
And here’s a plus, given that Fisher is a photographer and Park a food stylist (as well as a recipe writer). The photos are beautiful, beckoning you from the book’s pages to try them. You can’t help but go through and say to yourself, “And I want to try this and this and …”
Here’s a recipe from the book, Mediterranean-Style Baked Egg Boats. The authors describe it as a quiche in a hollowed out baguette. They suggest it for breakfast or a snack, but during Lent I could see teaming them with a bowl of tomato soup and calling it dinner.
MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE BAKED EGG BOATS
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
These baked egg boats were born out of the authors’ dual love for baked eggs and for soup served in a bread bowl. Why not combine the two concepts and bake a savory quiche in a hollowed-out baguette? Serve these boats for a terrific
breakfast or pack one up for a midafternoon snack-on-the-go. If you cannot find square ciabatta rolls, mini baguettes — sourdough or French — will work, too.
⅔ cup sour cream
½ yellow onion, diced
¼ cup diced dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, well drained, and chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 square ciabatta rolls
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the eggs, sour cream, onion, tomatoes, spinach, feta, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing well. Cut off the top ½ inch or so of each ciabatta roll, leaving a ½ to ¾-inch perimeter around the top, then pull out most of the doughy insides. Place the rolls, hollow side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the hollowed-out rolls.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set in the center and golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Cut each boat crosswise into strips to serve.
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Egg, by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, copyright © 2015,
published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.