Exploring the culinary possibilities of eggs
Eggs baked in dashi: Rose Carrarini laudably succeeds in making us take a second look at all the culinary pleasures the humble egg can bring. (Handout)
How to boil an egg is a question that seems particularly apropos of Easter and all that hoppity-hop stuff. Rose Carrarini gives it just eight paragraphs — four for soft-boiled, three for hard, one for both — in answering the question. That leaves some 132 pages to fill in her new book, "How to Boil an Egg" (Phaidon, $35). She does so rather well, with simple, delicious recipes you'll want to make year-round.
That's because Carrarini, owner with her husband of the well-regarded Rose Bakery, a bakery/restaurant with four locations in Paris, looks at all the possibilities eggs offer a cook — from gnocchi to crepes, muffins to salads, cakes to chawanmushi, the Japanese custard.
The 84 recipes are billed as "simple and nutritious." True. But they get a haute cuisine presentation in this handsomely produced book with its eye-catching tangerine cover. Sprinkled liberally amid the text are drawings of finished dishes by Fiona Strickland, a Scotland-based botanical artist. Her work has a startling realism that makes the reader look twice.
How fitting. For Carrarini laudably succeeds in making those of us unable to visit her bakeries in the French capital (or London, Seoul or Tokyo) take a second look at all the culinary pleasures the humble egg can bring.
Eggs baked in dashi
Dashi is a Japanese broth; make your own or buy the powdered form at Asian markets.
Grease 4 small gratin dishes with butter or oil. Heat dishes in oven until the oven reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. Add 3 tablespoons hot dashi to each dish. Return to the oven to heat for a few minutes.
Add 2 eggs to each dish. Put the dishes in a roasting pan; pour in warm water to come about a third of the way up the sides. Cover with foil; bake until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes. Serve with crumbled toasted nori seaweed and sesame seeds on top.
Makes: 4 servings
— Bill Daley, Tribune Newspapers