don’t think we make the most of eggs in the UK. In fact, I don’t think most countries do. I’m talking savoury dishes here, not desserts – what would we do without the good old egg in a cake or soufflé? I’ve been a big fan of Clarence court eggs for years now and when it comes to breeds of hens and ducks, they are way ahead of the egg game.
They aren’t available everywhere, which is maybe a good thing because over the years their eggs have really influenced both the Hix menus and my home cooking. Whether it’s bright orange yolked Burford Brown hens eggs or Gladys May ducks eggs, there’s nothing better.
The egg is a great vehicle for all sorts of both humble and luxury ingredients. I recently did a dinner in Latvia for our sustainable caviar producer Mottra (read about that next week), where I scrambled a duck’s egg, returned it to the shell and topped it with a spoonful of sterlet caviar: simple and delicious.
Read more: Mark Hix thinks it's a shame we're ignoring garlic scapes
Things like bottarga which is dried grey mullet roes really transforms scrambled eggs and a simple fried egg gets a bit of a lift when you scatter brown shrimps and skinny asparagus or samphire over it.
So don’t think of the high protein simple egg as a dull breakfast staple but give it a whirl at your next dinner party and surprise your guests.
Brik a L'oeuf in all its gooey glory
Brik a L’oeuf
I first had this Tunisian dish in a restaurant when I first moved to London and haven’t seen it on a menu since. I stuck it on the menu at Pharmacy 2 and it flies out with great feedback and I always keep a packet or two of warka pastry leaves in my freezer for a quick and delicious breakfast dish.
2–3 tbsps olive oil
4 sheets of warka or filo pastry measuring about 25—30cm in diameter
4 Braddock white duck eggs or another egg of your choice, cracked into individual small pots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Harissa paste, to serve
Heat some olive oil in a large, preferably non-stick, frying pan. Lay a sheet of pastry into the pan then quickly tip the egg into the centre, season and fold the pastry over into a triangle.
Cook for a minute or so on each side, or until the pastry is crisp but the egg yolk is still soft.
Carefully remove with a spatula and serve immediately, with or without the harissa paste.