This is for and about home cooks - the women all over the the world (and through the centuries) who put dinner on the table every night. They know how to cook quickly, easily, economically, healthily and satisfyingly whether for one or a dozen.

Part memoir, part diary of shopping, cooking, reading and thinking about putting supper on the table, by a former fashion/design writer/consultant whose secret love has always been food.  

 

Simple Poached Eggs with Potatoes & Peppers

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 Potatoes, Peppers cooking

Potatoes, Peppers cooking

As I have said, sometimes I just cook - that is, I look into the fridge, see what I have, and put something together quickly.

 One of my standard in a hurry dishes is a mix of little new (or salad) potatoes and eggs, plus whatever else is in the fridge - onion, tomatoes, peppers (I prefer red or yellow ones, but orange are good, too), slivers of cooked bacon or ham, thin slices of chorizo or Italian fennel sausage - all depending on what appeals at that moment. My favourite non stick frying pan makes this a one pot meal.

Forgetting quantities at the moment, all you do is put some olive oil in the pan, slice the little potatoes (just wash, no need to peel), add salt and pepper to taste, cover and put on on a low to medium heat to cook gently for a few moments. Then add whatever you like - thinly sliced shallots or onions, strips of seeded peppers or tomatoes - cover again and let them all cook together until soft and tender (10-15 minutes). A good time for a glass of wine.

 

 

At this point you could add strips of cooked bacon or sausage if you like, or just move on to the eggs.  On top of the cooked vegetables (and bacon or sausage) break one or two eggs per person. Cover again and cook on a low to medium heat until the whites are opaque but the yolks still liquid (the way I prefer). Using a plastic spatula, carefully lift each egg out (with the vegetables below it) and place on a dish.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley for a finished look. 

Sometimes I add minced garlic to the potatoes at the beginning, raising the heat slightly so they brown (rather like hash browns). Then the eggs go on top, keeping this more like a hearty breakfast dish - especially with bits of crisp bacon. 

Quantities?  It all depends on how hungry you are and how many people you are feeding. As a rule of thumb (and this is that kind of recipe - like soup - where if you add a little more or less it does't much matter) per person I use 4 or 5 small potatoes, half a large pepper, a handful of cherry or one medium tomato, a small or half a medium onion, a few strips of bacon (cut up), 6 or 8 slices of sausage, etc.  It's your meal - use as much or as little as you like. 

A Potager or Vegetable Garden

Spa Terminus (including Maltby Street)