Wednesday, 27 January 2016

A heart attack of my own making: Gateshead Eggs

In my high school days I spent a lot of time at my best friend Andrea's house. Once there, we used to inexplicably demand that her big sister Shelley make us food. I'm not sure why we thought being so bossy was okay, but Shelley really did make good cheese sandwiches. We used to routinely demand that she make us Anglesey eggs, which was always met with a resigned sigh. 

Nowadays, I understand that sigh. I made Anglesey eggs myself a couple of years ago, and whilst it was delicious, I ended up using every bloody pan and receptacle in my kitchen. By the end of cooking it, I was greeted by a kitchen disaster area that made my heart sink. 

 This evening, as I gazed into the fridge hoping for inspiration, I remembered the recipe and considered making it. Then I realised that I neither had all the ingredients I needed, nor the energy for hours of washing up, so I decided to make my own abbreviated version instead. Even then, I had to make some on the hoof changes as I got halfway through and realised that my milk had gone off and I had no mustard. 

I am calling it Gateshead Eggs. Just like a Saturday night out in Gateshead town centre, it is actually probably quite deadly if experienced regularly.The result ended up really quite pleasant and very comforting. 

  • olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • Whatever potatoes you happen to have lying about, diced. I used about 500g of Charlotte potatoes, but I'm guessing anything will do.
  • 2 leeks, sliced. 
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 300 mL double cream
  • 75g extra mature cheddar cheese, grated. A mixture of cheeses would be lovely too. 
  • 6 rashers of bacon
  • Some water
  • smoked garlic salt, pepper, and chives to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees or equivalent. 
  2. Splash some olive oil around an oven-proof dish. If you want, pop in some finely chopped garlic or herbs, and pop in the oven.
  3. Boil the potatoes and leeks in a pan together for a few minutes. Once softened, drain and toss in the dish with the olive oil. Put into the oven until nicely browned. I didn't time it, but I think it took about 20 mins or so.
  4. In the meantime, hard boil the eggs and leave aside to cool
  5. fry up or grill the bacon to your liking. leave aside to cool a bit
  6. Peel and slice the boiled eggs
  7. Chop up the bacon into chunks. 
  8. Once the potatoes and leeks are done, place the sliced egg and bacon over them. You could do this in a pretty, precise manner, or you could just vaguely chuck it in like me. 
  9. In a sauce pan, gently melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted, stir in the flour, then pour in the cream, whisking continuously, in three or four lots. Add enough water to make a pourable sauce. 
  10. Pour the sauce over the dish contents. 
  11. sprinkle the cheese evenly over the whole affair and shove in the oven
  12. Cook until gooey and bubbly and lush. 
  13. At this point, it might be nice to consider a bread crumb layer. I couldn't be bothered, but I imagine a bit of crunch could be quite pleasant. 
  14. Season with garlic salt, pepper and chives as required.
  15. Eat and enjoy the sensation of your arteries clogging up.

Like I say, this is definitely an occasional treat sort of recipe. It has that lovely comforting cheesy goo about it that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Perfect for a dark winter night, and ideally consumed in pyjamas under some sort of blankie. 


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