I was getting ready to do today’s TBT cookbook, writing about Michel Roux’s wonderful Eggs book. I had just reviewed the grand new Cheese book yesterday. And then my mail came and here was the NEW edition of Eggs. Eggs was first published in 2005 and now we have this 2018 version.
The key question: are these two versions significantly different. The key answer: no. In terms of text and recipes, the two versions are 99.9% the same. Same writing, same photos. Almost the same recipes: the new book has just a couple more. Some recipe titles have been changed, some sentences just tweaked by a word or two. But, yes, the same.
Paris-born, Michel has cooked in France and Great Britain. His restaurant in England, The Waterside Inn, has held three Michelin stars of over 30 years. Michel is truly a master chef, and we can all learn from his insights. Here is what he has to say about eggs:
“The egg is the simplest and most complete food, highly nutritious and versatile enough for the quickest of meals or the smartest of dinner parties.”
In Eggs, Michel offers 100 recipes in 13 chapters divided into two groups. The first 6 chapters showcase eggs as the dish in their own right. The egg is the dish here. The remaining chapters use the culinary properties and powers of eggs to fashion a spectrum of dishes like starters, snacks, dessert, and sauces. Here the eggs are not necessarily the primary ingredient, but their culinary properties are at the core of what make the dish work. Imagine a soufflé without eggs!
Here’s a tour of the chapters with one or two recipes from each, recipes that strike me as classic and essential for you to try. Or, new recipes that showcase the creativity that has made Michel world-famous for decades.
1: Boiled and Mollet Eggs [hard and soft boiled!]: Hard-Boiled Stuffed with Mussels
2: Poached Eggs: Herby Eggs in Mousseline Potato Nests [mousseline is like hollandaise]
3: Fried Eggs: Crunchy Fried Eggs on Darphin Potatoes with Spinach; or Fried Quail’s Eggs on Toast with Mustard Hollandaise
4: Scrambled Eggs: Scrambled Eggs in Smoked Salmon Papillotes; or Scrambled Eggs with Rhubarb
5: Baked Eggs: Baked Eggs with Chicken Livers and Shallots in Wine; or Baked Eggs with Smoked Ham and Toasted Hazelnuts
6: Omelets: Mussels and Chive Omelet; or Pear and Cinnamon
7: Soufflés: Roquefort and Walnut; or Vanilla and Mango with Passion Fruit Coulis
8: Crêpes and Batters: Seafood and Monkfish Fritters; or Yorkshires with Caramelized Onions and Sausage
9: Egg-Rich Pastries and Pasta: Prune Tartlets; or Tagliatelle with young Spring Vegetables
10: Custards, Creams and Mousses: Minted Crème Anglaise; or Pistachio Crème Brûlée
11: Ice Creams: Cinnamon; or Tea; or Candied Ginger
12: Meringues and Sponges: Pavlova with Berries, Mango and Passion Fruit; or Raspberry Roulade
13: Sauces and Dressing: Mustard Hollandaise; or Chocolate Sabayon
Eggs is a book rich in tradition and treasure. The recipes here are easily doable by you. Short ingredient lists, just a page of instructions that are clearly written. For the new edition here, the previously perfect recipes have been tweaked with just a work here and there. Perfection can be made better.
Eggs is a book of significance and importance. I know: you think of eggs as simple things. Well, actually eggs are quite grand with potential for culinary complexity, and Eggs proves that one recipe after another.
Oh, where to begin in this book. What about this lovely Mussel and Chive Omelet? Want the recipe? I’m posting it right after this cookbook review!