Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do eggs go with cheese?

When you're working on a recipe book - as I am at the moment - you have to think not only 'would I actually make this' but 'would the people who are (hopefully) going to buy it?' And it's a tricky one when it comes to eggs and cheese.

Of course you couldn't make a cheese soufflé without both but even then not everyone likes the idea of hot cheesy foam, my husband included. And I don't really like cheese omelettes that much, still less that classic retro dish of eggs mornay - eggs in a cheese sauce (although a bit of spinach helps)

It does of course depend on the cheese. Parmesan is pretty good with eggs - much better than Cheddar which tends to separate and go fatty when inserted in an omelette (I shudder even to think about it). It also helps to have another ingredient in the dish like onions, potatoes or courgettes as in a frittata though even then I'm not that keen.

Or wasn't until I came across a near perfect cheesy egg dish the other night at a restaurant called Riverstation in Bristol: a cauliflower and smoked mozzarella frittata, about as unlikely a combination as you could imagine and which I had to order out of sheer curiosity. It was really delicious - though admittedly it doesn't look much from the rather blurry image above.

Smoking mozarella not only gives it a more interesting flavour but a firmer texture which really worked well in the frittata alongside the lightly cooked cauliflower. The accompanying roast cherry tomatoes which had been drizzled with balsamic vinegar provided an interesting sweet-sour contrast as did some bitter rocket leaves.

I checked out the recently published Flavour Thesaurus, my current bedtime reading, to see what author Niki Segnit had to say about eggs and cheese and she didn't even mention them as a combination which suggests its not just me who feels this way. What about you? Do you use the two together and if so how?

PS Writing this I realise I'm perfectly OK with quiche. Must be the pastry - and the cream!


shayma said...

I adore eggs and cheese, especially brie with some mushrooms sauteed on the side; or a la caprese- with mozzarella, basilico and cherry toms. cant wait to see your book. x shayma

Sig said...

Second Shayma's unabashed love of eggs + cheese, frittatas, omelettes, cheesy scrambled eggs, baked eggs with cheese, souffles....fave cheeses for combining with the humble egg: parmesan (predictably), jarlsberg, gruyere, any soft goat's cheese. Yum.

James said...

cheese and eggs are great late night (post midnight food - seem to be living more and more at this time). Rice, onion, pepper, cheese sauce and egg stirred through so cooks slighly? Guilty pleasures....

Fiona Beckett said...

Obviously I'm in a minority here but sounds from Twitter as if I'm not the only one at least.

Scrambled eggs w cheese are possibly even worse than cheese omelette, Sig. Think it's the combination of warm runny eggs and runny cheese that makes me feel faintly queasy even though I like both individually.

Frittatas (frittati?) aren't quite as bad because they're usually served lukewarm or at room temperature and can be quite sharply flavoured. Goats cheese (or feta), courgette and mint frittata isn't bad.

And I realise I do like spaghetti carbonara and twice baked souffles so I'm not entirely consistent about this ;-)

Kavey said...

I am glad you mentioned quiche because I was muttering to myself, whilst reading, "quiche quiche quiche or cheese flan like the one at school oh yes" (or something along those lines).

Not a fan of cheese in omelettes - I think there are far finer matches. But I do like a cheese souffle.

Ewan said...

Fontana cheese and eggs smothered in grated white truffle at (can't remember the name of the restaurant) in Acqui Terme in Piemonte. Worked a treat. Mind you, it was November, when everything was smothered in white truffle!

Alex said...

Gougeres - the king of the egg/cheese combo and perfect with a glass (or bottle) of red.

Scrambled eggs with cheese, on the other hand, sounds hideous!

Fiona Beckett said...

White truffle redeems everything, Ewan and gougères, yes Alex should be added to the Honourable exceptions list. Like quiche, as Kavey says . . .

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