When I lived with my mum and dad I never used to have any interest in cooking.An ability to prepare some scramble eggs was enough to survive in case of a hunger attack and so I had no urge to learn more.
Eating,however,was a totally different story!
My mum can really work magic in the kitchen and she would always spoil us rotten with the delicious meals.Sharing food with other (ravenous!) dwellers (including two brothers and one always hungry dad!) was never easy…It involved a lot of ferocious fights over who is licking the bowl or why someone had eaten more apple and carrot salad!Hiding food was sometimes the best(if not the only)option,so I would tuck oranges and apples under the pillow in my bedroom 🙂
Mum would always try her best to make everyone happy and made sure that everyone had their fair share,she would divide a tin of cake into 5 long slices and cut first letters of our names with a knife on the top of each piece so we didn’t argue who’d eaten more cake…
(Just to let you know,nobody starved to death,we all survived and love each other to bits :))
Despite my lack of interest in cooking,I am amazed of how much I learnt about preparing food from my parents.They always emphasized that making a meal starts long before turning the oven on.It starts from choosing the ingredients.They would always pick fresh and seasonal produce from shops and farms they knew and they trusted.
It stayed with me and this approach is a fundamental principle of how I cook.Ingredient is what really matters.
You know that tomato on the shelves in the supermarkets in the middle of winter,picked before it ripened and shipped thousand of miles is not a tomato really.It only pretends to be.A real tomato turns into its colour on the vine,somewhere at a local farm,warmed by the summer’s sunshine and is super delicate,sweet and juicy.And this real tomato is the one you want to cook with!
Simple food.This is exactly what I love the most.Garden picked,seasonal vegetables,juicy tomatoes,fresh eggs and fragrant herbs thrown together onto an iron pan and baked in the oven is all I need these days.
We always have a batch of fresh eggs at home and we like to turn them into some amazing meals.
This recipe is our ultimate WINNER!
1kg ripe tomatoes
splash of rapeseed oil
2-3 baby courgettes
1 small yellow pepper
4 duck eggs
favourite herbs(dry or chopped fresh ones)
1.Boil a full kettle of water.Cut a shallow cross on the ”bottom” of each tomatoes,place them in a pot and cover with boiling water.The skin(where the cross is cut) should start to peel after about 20-30 seconds.Remove from the pot and leave to cool.You may place them in a bowl full of ice to cool quicker.Remove the skin and stems and chop them tomatoes.Place in a pan and cook for around 30 minutes until all the water will evaporate and you’ll be left with a thick tomato sauce.Season with salt and pepper and add some of your favourite herbs.
2.Preheat the oven to 190C.
3.In the meantime,add a splash of oil onto a frying pan,add chopped shallots,pepper and sliced courgettes.Fry for few minutes until they are all soft.Leave on the side.
4.Grease two iron pans with a little oil,arrange the tomato sauce and vegetables,leaving space for eggs,then crack the eggs in.
5.Bake for 15 minutes for soft eggs or 20 minutes for hard.
NOTE:You can prepare the tomato sauce the day before if you would like to eat baked eggs for breakfast but haven’t got enough time to cook it.(This is what I often do!)