Make a meal with any number of eggs

What would you do with a single egg, or a pair, or 3, even 8? We posed these questions to regular Cook contributors, with some gloriously varied results

1 egg: Mozzarella in carrozza
By: Rachel Roddy

What would I do with only one egg? My nostalgic choice is “egg in a cup”, which was something my Grandma Roddy made for us when we were over the worst of a bug and on the mend. It’s hardly a recipe: a softish boiled egg, peeled and chopped (not mashed) directly in a porcelain teacup with a handle, with plenty of salt, black pepper and a knob of butter. Crustless cubes of bread were an option I always chose. You do not need to be recuperating to appreciate the nurturing powers of egg in a cup.

Otherwise, I would use one egg to make mozzarella in carrozza, which translates as “mozzarella in a carriage”. It’s a superb laptop supper that is somewhere between eggy bread, fried bread and a grilled cheese sandwich. It is not only more delicious with good, milky buffalo mozzarella, but neater, as the moisture in the cheese helps everything stay together. The carriage is ready when it has a burnished, golden crust and the mozzarella has melted obligingly to the edges. If you like, you can try Anna Del Conte’s trick of dipping the sandwich first (quickly) in milk, then flour before the egg: especially useful if the mozzarella is not very milky. A couple of anchovies make a very delicious addition.

Serves 1
1 egg
4 small slices white bread (crusts removed)
100g mozzarella, at room temperature, cut into slices
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil and butter, for frying

1. Make sandwiches from the bread and mozzarella, making sure the cheese is evenly distributed, but just short of the edges. Press the sandwiches together gently. In a soup bowl, beat the egg with a fork, then season with salt and pepper. In a frying pan, warm 1 tbsp of olive oil and small knob of butter over a medium heat until hot, but not smoking.

2. Working one sandwich at a time, dip one side, then the other, purposefully in the egg, then lower the sandwich carefully to fry first one side, then the other, until crisp and golden. Blot on kitchen towel if you really must. Eat before frying the second sandwich.

2 eggs: Masala omelette
By:Meera Sodha

When I was a child, a masala omelette was the smell of Sunday mornings. These days, I cook it when I’m looking for something comforting when I’ve little more than a couple of eggs in the house. Adjust the chill to your taste.

Serves 1
2 eggs
½-1 fresh green finger chilli, chopped
A small handful of coriander, chopped
A small pinch of turmeric
A small pinch of salt
A small knob of butter
2 pieces of buttered toast and ketchup,
to serve (optional)

1. Break the eggs into a bowl with the chilli, turmeric, salt and coriander and beat with a fork until properly mixed.

2. Put the knob of butter into a small frying pan over a low to medium heat and, when the butter starts to foam, pour in the eggs and tip around so that the bottom is coated. Cook for a minute until the eggs are just setting, but still soft on top, then flip and cook for 30 seconds before shuffling out on to a plate.

3. Eat by itself or between two pieces of buttered toast with some ketchup.

3 eggs: Caucasian beans and eggs
By: Olia Hercules

Perfect for using up those last three eggs, this is my version of a dish called chikhirtma in Azerbaijan (or green lobio in Georgi)a. They often let the beans and onions steam together in a pan for a long time, but I prefer the rich flavour of caramelised onions and I also like the beans to be less cooked-through.

Serves 2 as a main
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
250g green beans or runner beans
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 eggs, lightly beaten
A handful tarragon, chopped
A handful dill, chopped
Yogurtor Lancashire cheese, to serve

1. Heat 2 tbsp groundnut oil in a pan and pop in your shallots. Cook them over a medium-low heat until they soften and start to colour.

2. Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain and keep on the side.

3. When the onions are ready, add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. Then add the beans. Season the beaten eggs well and pour them into the beans.

4. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the eggs have just set.

5. Sprinkle with herbs, swirl some yoghurt or crumble over the cheese. This is also good at room temperature.

4 eggs: Menemen
By:Rebecca Seal

This spicy scramble assumes two eggs per person and makes a perfect brunch or light vegetarian supper. Unless, of course, you opt to eat it with slices of spicy sausage, like Turkish sucuk.

Serves 2
A knob of butter
1 small, long green pepper, finely chopped (or ½ green pepper)
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 large fresh tomato, deseeded
and finely chopped
2 tsp Turkish tomato paste/tomato puree
1 tsp Turkish red pepper paste
4 eggs, lightly beaten
40g feta, crumbled
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pul biber or mild chili flakes
Flat breads, to serve

1. Melt the butter in a pan big enough to take all the ingredients and gently fry the pepper and onion for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the chopped tomato and cook gently for 5 minutes.

2. Add the tomato and pepper paste, plus 1 tbsp water to loosen the mixture, if needed. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to blend, then pour in the beaten eggs. Stir gently and, as they start to scramble, add the crumbled feta, parsley and chili flakes.

3. Continue stirring gently. When the eggs are scrambled to your liking, serve with flat breads, pieces of baguette or crusty white bread.

6 eggs: Rum raisin soufflé
By: Claire Ptak

A box of eggs cries out to be made into a soufflé, demanding that you separate yolks and whites before reuniting them again in a dish. I love to make this in a large, single dish for a gooier centre.

Serves 6
For the pastry cream
300g whole milk
3 tbsp caster sugar
A pinch of salt
½ vanilla pod, scraped
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp butter

For the soufflé
120g mixed fruit
120g dark rum
50g butter for the soufflé dish, very soft
6 egg whites
120g caster sugar, plus extra
1 tbsp cornflour
Icing sugar and pouring cream to serve

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. You will need a deep 1.5 litre soufflé dish (about 18cm across).

2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk, sugar and vanilla to just under the boil. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornflour until smooth. Temper the yolks with the warm milk and return the pot to the heat, whisking continuously until thick.

3. Remove from the heat and transfer the pastry cream to a bowl. Stir in the butter. Set aside to cool with a piece of clingfilm pressed on top of the cream.

4. Blitz or finely chop your mixed fruit and soak it in the rum. Whip the butter with a wooden spoon to the consistency of whipped cream. Brush it inside your soufflé dish liberally, then go around the top edge of your dish with extra butter to create a rim of soft fat. This will help the soufflé to rise. Sprinkle the inside with caster sugar, gently tapping out any excess.

5. Whisk your egg whites, caster sugar and cornflour until meringue-like. An electric whisk is best for this. In another bowl, stir together the pastry cream and soaked fruit and rum. Fold this through the whipped egg and scrape the lot into your soufflé dish. Smooth the top and bake in the centre of your oven for 20-30 minutes. The centre should be wobbly, and even a bit runny, while the sides should be lovely and lifted. Sprinkle immediately with icing sugar and serve. Stone-cold pouring cream is a great partner here.

8 eggs: Chocolate and olive oil mousse with chocolate meringue sticks
By: Honey & Co

The obvious choice for using eight eggs, and for a large-crowd dessert is a bowl of chocolate mousse: it’s easy to prepare and can be made in advance. This is also gluten- and dairy-free.

Serves 8-10
For the meringue
2 whites (keep 2 yolks for the mousse)
70g sugar
100g icing sugar
10g cocoa powder

For the mousse
6 eggs
2 yolks
150g sugar
120ml olive oil
300g dark 70% chocolate

1. For the meringue, set the oven to 120C/250F/gas mark ∫ and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Whisk the whites till they start to fluff up. Gradually add the sugar. Continue whipping to a strong, glossy meringue. Carefully fold in the cocoa powder and icing sugar and mix until smooth.

2. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe in long strips on to your lined tray. Put in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until you can pick up a stick easily without it breaking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. To make the mousse, put the whole eggs and the yolks into the bowl of a food mixer with a whisk attachment. Add the sugar and start whipping on slow, increasing gradually to full speed. Once the mix has fluffed up significantly and is white and pale, add 40ml of olive oil in a very slow drizzle until it is all combined.

4. Break the chocolate up, melt it over a double burner or in bursts in the microwave, then stir in 80ml olive oil to create a smooth mix. Fold the chocolate into the egg mix carefully.

5. Tip half the mousse into a bowl. Now use a third of the meringues to create a layer in the bowl and top with the remaining mousse. Allow it all to chill in the fridge and, just before serving, top with the remaining meringues.

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