I really battled to write yesterday’s post, because I kept having to run to the toilet mid-sentence. Not really optimum writing conditions. And I think it was all because of a dodgy egg. I did the egg test (putting it in water to see if it floats or sinks, and if I understand the test correctly, it’s the floating eggs you’ve got to avoid), but I also spent the afternoon and night in a lot of discomfort, so perhaps the egg test isn’t fail-safe after all. It was either that or this fertility medication I started taking yesterday, Serophene. This is one of the joys of being a 36 year old woman who’s not produced offspring… everyone’s starting to get nervous about it, including me, so now I’m on the drugs. But I read the extensive list of possible side-effects in between dashes to the toilet bowl, and although one side effect ONLY VERY RARELY OCCASIONS DEATH (I love that, like rarity helps the poor patients who provided that statistic), the list says nothing about exploding bowels. So I’m left to deduce it was the egg (ironic, don’t you think, when you consider the medication I’m on). Which is a shame, because I fear it may have turned me off Eggs Deb Style, and I have been loving them ever since Deb showed me how they’re done. In fact, I’ve been meaning to share this lunchtime snack with the readers of this blog for some time, and, angry bottoms aside, today’s the day.
It was the last full day of my week-long residency at Varuna that I came across one of the Darklings, Deb, making her lunch in the kitchen. She was filling a coffee cup with rocket.
“What are you doing?” I asked. “What’s that?”
“Oh,” she said, “it’s just something I make sometimes. It’s my own bastardised version of something I made once from one of those Donna Hay books. It’s just really quick and tasty.”
In went a raw egg.
“Show me,” I stamped my foot and pointed at her coffee cup. “I want one, too.”
Deb went to the fridge and leaned in, considering. Then she pulled out some parmesan, a little bit of cream…telling me all the while that you “can add anything you like. It’s great with mushrooms. Cherry tomatoes. Whatever you have to hand.”
This is true. Since that day, I have added all sorts of things to my Eggs Deb Style, and it all works a blazing treat. I’ve chopped up cubes of ham, I’ve replaced rocket with basil and/or coriander, I’ve added sour cream, or philadelphia cream cheese, fresh cherry tomatoes and semi-sundried tomatoes too. Pine nuts. Any sort of cheese crumbled or grated into your cup will do. The basic rule of thumb is using whatever you happen to have to hand, and it can be as simple or as complex as you like. But the main thrust of the instructions are as follows:
Spray oil or butter the inside of a coffee cup.
Chop up rocket or fresh herbs and loosely fill cup.
Grate a small handful of parmesan or other cheese and add to cup.
Add a dollop of cream – I like reduced fat sour cream, but you could use cottage cheese or low-fat philly.
Add any other ingredients you may fancy, including diced ham or salami, tomatoes fresh or semi-dried, chopped mushrooms, chopped zucchini, chopped capsicum, etc. But the recipe doesn’t require any of these to work.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Crack an egg into the cup and mix all ingredients well, making sure the resulting mix is as evenly distributed as possible.
Place in a microwave and cook for one minute.
Remove from microwave and run and knife around the inside edge of the cup.
Return to the microwave and cook for another minute (times may vary according to different microwaves, but it’s important the egg cooks properly in the middle). It is normal for the mix to rise like a souffle as it is cooking; it will deflate as soon as it stops.
Turn the cup over onto a plate for serving your egg. Use the knife around the inside edge again if it sticks. Garnish with fresh herbs if you’re feeling so inclined. I actually think this dish looks very attractive on the plate – the cup being like a mould – and this is definitely something you could serve to other people for brunch or breakfast. Serve with hot buttered toast if desired. But either way, it’s a cracking lunch for one, especially if you’re a writer, at home alone, harried and hungry. Thanks, Deb! I love ’em! (ONLY VERY RARELY OCCASIONS DIARRHOEA…).