Good Eggs by Ed Smith

It’s no secret that I adore eggs. I have been known to have eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same day and it’s not that rare an occurrence. They are such an incredibly versatile ingredient that it’s impossible to get bored. That said, I’m always up for learning new ways to enjoy one of my favourite ingredients and that’s exactly what I’ve found in Good Eggs: Over 100 Cracking Ways to Cook and Elevate Eggs by Ed Smith.

Good Eggs by Ed Smith (Cover)

The book provides exactly what it promises – 100 ideas and recipes to help you make the most of eggs, and to ring the changes in how you enjoy them.

I’ve known Ed Smith for many years, since the first days of Kavey Eats (Ed’s Rocket & Squash and my site both launched in the spring of 2009), when he too was a fellow food blogger sharing recipes and reviews for the joy of it whilst still working as a corporate lawyer – there were so few of us in 2009 such that all of us London food bloggers knew each other!

Since then, I’ve been happy to remain firmly in the amateur camp but have been so delighted to see Ed turn his talent and passion for food into his career; after giving up law to train as a professional chef in 2011, he has gone on to cook in a range of excellent restaurants and popups, worked in food TV, and is now a successful chef, recipe developer, food journalist, and cookbook author. Good Eggs is his fourth cookbook after Borough Market, On the Side, and Crave (read our full review of Crave here and enjoy three extracted recipes). He’s also co-authored an amazing children’s book Welcome To Our Table, all about what children eat around the world.

In his Introduction, Ed describes the book as a celebration of “eggs when they are the dish, the superstar, the raison d’être” and as such, they form the centrepiece of each recipe or idea shared. I say “idea” because whilst there are a great many very good egg recipes in this book, Ed doesn’t shy away from sharing wonderfully simple ways of elevating eggs by the simple addition of crisp sage with brown butter, a sprinkle of chilli flakes or spice blend, or a scattering of fresh herbs to give just three examples. For those who are already inventive cooks, these ideas may seem a little obvious, but for those who tend to get stuck in a rut these little inspirations give that tiny spark needed to ignite creativity in the pan and on the plate.

There are Egg Basics sharing tips on sourcing and storing eggs, which sizes to buy, and how to judge freshness, handy for those who aren’t already egg addicts.

Recipes are divided by cooking method into chapters for Fried Eggs; Poached Eggs; Boiled Eggs; Baked Eggs; Scrambled, Folded and Set Eggs; and Good Eggs For Groups. At the start of each chapter there is guidance on that technique, should you need it, or if you’re already confident in perfectly poaching, frying or soft-boiling your egg, dive straight into the recipes themselves.

However, Ed encourages further experimentation and many of the recipes have an ‘Also Consider’ section suggesting other directions you might want to take the given recipe. He also recommends that you might like to mix and match, choosing components from one recipe to incorporate into another, and of course, if you fancy that poached egg recipe but want to make it with fried eggs, that’s all good eggs! I particularly love the double page spread that indexes recipes by style of egg, which carb you are craving, whether you want to add meat or fish, dairy, pickles, or vegetables, what kind of condiment you fancy, and a range of different kinds of garnishes, to help you mix and match very easily. This is followed by a page grouping recipes by whether they are in the form of a sandwich, to serve on toast, to go with rice, potatoes or other root veg, or work well scooped up with flatbread. And lastly, a page that suggests recipes for when you need something wholesome, something for a sore head or something you can make from the cupboard.

I would happily eat almost every recipe in the book but to share just a selection of those that particularly catch my eye (or should that be my belly?), I’ve bookmarked Fried Eggs on Rice with Gochujang and Tahini Sauce, Fried Egg with a Crisp Cheese Skirt, Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde, Huevos Rotos with Sobrasada, Çilbir, Buck Rarebit, Poached Eggs and Good Tomatoes, Poached Eggs with Carrot and Cheddar Rosti, Poached Egg with ‘Nduja, Sage and Leek Butter Beans, Singapore-Style Soy Eggs, Runny Yolked Eggs with Aubergine, Tahini and Herb Salad, Miso Egg Mayo Sandwich, Mayak Eggs with Sushi Rice, Kimchi and Pickles, Hard-Boiled Eggs with Cheat;s Malawach Pancakes, Pizza Baked Eggs, Eggs in Creamed Spinach with Spiced Butter Seeds, Coddled Eggs, Tomato Egg Stir Fry, Potato Crisp and Crispy Onion Tortilla, and Poached Eggs with Marmite and Thyme-Braised Portobello Mushrooms.

Eggs Baked with Lardons and Wild Mushrooms from Good Eggs Tray Baked Coconut Omelette with Fragrant Salad from Good Eggs Fried eggs with tomatoes baked in cream and a rosemary crumb from Good Eggs

We’ve loved everything we’ve made from the book so far:

Eggs Baked with Lardons and Wild Mushrooms resembles the combination of lardons, wild mushrooms and cream that we often have with pasta but here combined satisfyingly well with eggs and toast.

Tray Baked Coconut Omelette with Fragrant Salad is such clever way to make tasty eggs to serve a small crowd and becomes something very special when combined with a fragrant and herb-laden salad.

 Sausage laab and fried egg bun from Good Eggs Fried eggs with 'Nduja Butter and Spinach

Fried Eggs with Tomatoes Baked in Cream and a Rosemary Crumb bring together elements we already love (eggs, cream and baked tomatoes) but which become utterly decadent with the addition of that rosemary crumb.

Sausage Laab and Fried Egg Bun provides the kind of addictively punchy flavours of Thailand and Laos that we both love, and is once again a great way to eat eggs in an altogether different way.

Poached eggs with ‘Nduja Butter and Spinach is another flavour bomb, and super simple. As poached eggs aren’t our forte, we switched to fried eggs (fried in the pan used to make the ‘nduja butter) and found yet another recipe that will be made again and again.

Good Eggs isn’t a compendium of every way you could possibly cook an egg (though with the mix an match approach and suggestions for ways to switch up recipes, it covers a lot of ground) but rather–as promised in the title–a collection of eggcellent ways to elevate eggs. Ed has a an instinct for developing dishes that are appealing and delicious, and his recipes are straightforward and reliable. If you’re looking for egg inspiration, this is definitely a book you should get!

Recipes from Good Eggs

We have permission from Quadrille to share these three fantastic recipes with you from the book [coming soon]:

  • Fried Eggs with Tomatoes Baked in Cream and a Rosemary Crumb
  • Sausage Laab and Fried Egg Bun
  • Poached eggs with ‘Nduja Butter and Spinach

Find more Egg recipes, here.

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Good Eggs: Over 100 Cracking Ways to Cook and Elevate Eggs by Ed Smith from publishers Quadrille. 

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One Comment to "Good Eggs by Ed Smith"

  1. Nicky Bramley

    100% agree, what a brilliant book! The Laab eggs are on rotation here 😁


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