Simple flavours, quality ingredients and the economic use of both, pretty much sums up my attitude to food. Though not always appropriate or achievable, an effective way to maximise the enjoyment of whatever delights may be lurking within your pantry is simply to place them in the general vicinity of one another and let your mouth do the… chewing. Unfortunately, there appears to be a tendency in “food” to perform awfully clever tricks, when all that needs to be done is provide exceptional combinations of food with a meeting place. Truly, there can be no better surface on which my recipe for Poached Eggs with Anchovies to converge than a slice of my homemade mixed seed and honey loaf.
Of course, when presenting a well-considered dish, to my mind there is no better setting than a masterfully wrought chopping board. As many of you will have noticed, I have long been in possession of a penchant for good wood. So when Conor Bofin (editor-in-chief of the award winning One Man’s Meat) sent me a chopping board for Christmas, along with instructions of how to take part in a “board meeting” he had planned, I got a little excited.
The board, lovingly crafted by Terry of Two Wooden Horses, County Wicklow, is truly beautiful and will be done justice by the remaining board members, Richard McGary and Stefan Boer (REMCooks and Stefan’s Gourmet Blog, respectively). This is a synchronised board meeting and I assume my fellow members are on time, so check out their offerings!
You may think my use of the chopping board a little boring. However, I wanted to use it in such a way as to demonstrate the importance of high-quality wood in food photography. Take the photo above, you can see that my table surface is composed primarily of pine and finished in such a way as to give it a frightful yellow hue not suited to photography. Employ the services of a decent chunk of lovingly produced, delicately cared for wood and you can immediately elevate the status of a dish. It also makes a fine bread board, and what more noble and creative use can there be for a chopping board than that?
Poached Eggs with Anchovies
• 2 eggs
• 2 slices of bread, preferably homemade
• 4 anchovy fillets
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• a twist of black pepper
• a small handful of rocket
1. Poach the eggs using your preferred method. Meanwhile, lightly toast the bread.
2. Place the eggs on top of the bread and garnish with the anchovy fillets and rocket.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little black pepper and tuck in immediately.
Cost: Though delicious and healthy, the best thing about simple dishes like this is their price. Indeed, this breakfast or lunch – brunch, if you will – for two should set your back no more than £1.