Thursday, 28 March 2013

Turkish eggs

I  have been worrying a bit recently that the book of this blog, The Bad Cook (which is out TODAY, purchasable here)*, is going to be a disappointment.

This hadn't crossed my mind until very recently - until recently I had always flicked through it sniggering to myself and going "This is great!!! Definitely worth £1.99." But now I'm not so sure.

"Does it represent value to my readers?" I think as I sit with a cookbook on my lap, staring out of the window and trying not to pick at my cuticles because it drives my husband nuts.

So I have decided today to alert you to a recipe, which I would pay someone £1.99 to tell me about, which will assuage my feelings of fraudulence.

It is for a turkish eggs thing that Peter Gordon does at his restaurant brasserie cafe thing Les Providores in Marylebone High Street. It is NOT in fusion (sic), which is his cookbook, so I had to source the recipe off a New Zealand website, convert all the measurements, try it out and photograph it.

I'm sure that's worth £1.99.

So these turkish eggs are poached eggs with yoghurt and a chilli butter. I understand if you think that yoghurt and eggs together sounds gross but I promise it isn't. This is an incredibly delicious, almost addictive taste and it is very easy to put together for a light supper for you and someone you love. Or just for you alone.

Do not worry if you aren't brilliant at poaching eggs - I am absolutely hopeless and mine came out just about okay.

So here we go - turkish eggs for 2

2 eggs - the fresher they are, the easier they will be to poach
200g greek yoghurt
1 tbsp olive oil
large pinch of chilli flakes
70g butter
some chopped parsley if you have it

NB - you will notice that there is no salt specified in this recipe. It is not an accident. You can, of course, add as much salt and pepper as you think this needs but personally, I think the lack of salt, the slight blandness, is a really important aspect to this - I don't think the flavours need it. But you must do whatever you like.

1 In a bowl whisk together the yoghurt and olive oil. It is this whisking and whipping of the yoghurt that makes it so delicious, in my view. You CAN add here a small scraping of crushed garlic, but I don't think it's neccessary.

2 In a small pan melt the butter gently until it takes on a very pale brown colour - this takes about 10 mins over a low heat. Don't be tempted to razz it hot otherwise it will burn. Once it looks to you like it has taken on some colour, add the chilli flakes and swirl around in the butter. Put to one side.

3 Now poach your eggs in some simmering water for 3-4 mins. If you add 100ml white vinegar to the water it should in theory help the process.

4 To assemble, divide the yoghurt between two bowls, then drop an egg on top, pour over the chilli butter and scatter with parsley.

We ate this with toasted sourdough, as they do in Les Providores, but I think this would also be terrific with any sort of flatbread or pitta.

* for Amazon refuseniks the book is also available from other sources:


Amazon US:


THANK you if you bought it. You don't have to read it, I promise I won't corner you and ask you what you thought next time I see you.


  1. I've just bought it! I always look forward to a new post of yours popping up on my google reader. I'm looking forward to your hilarious and honest writing in book form! Congratulations on getting a book out there.

  2. This is the best Easter news ever. I shall curl up on snowy Exmoor at my Mother-In-Law's house, with six large dogs, said eccentric Mother-In-Law, crazy Sister-In-Law, vegetating husband and a Tasmanian gay couple thrown in - and your book will complete the mix. Hurrah!

  3. The egg recipe alone is worth £1.99 of my money, dear girl, I am off to Amazon immediately. I shall also go and buy some yoghurt to make the dish, thank you!

  4. Oh man, I was all ready to buy but I can't on Amazon UK and the US says it's not available for sale yet.

  5. Oh god, I'm quite excited to read this, because I'm fucking dreadful at cooking (live off porridge and Starbucks muffins). I didn't realise it'd be so cheap. Congrats on being a published book person, I hope it does stormingly well.

  6. This sounds like approximately the most sophisticated dish I've ever read about; brown butter? Egg poaching? It's terrifying. There are just so many opportunities to cock it up.

  7. I am a new reader, (since your piece in The Times on Saturday) and I love your blog. I have already tried out 3 recipes, all of which were delicious, so i have swiftly just bought your book in the hope of making many more!

  8. Have just bought it! Even though I've read every single one of your posts, multiple times, I can't wait to devour the book. Congratulations on its publication!
    Am also intrigued by these Turkish Eggs - may well give them a whirl this weekend. It IS Easter after all, and I can't survive solely on the chocolate variety. (Obviously, I could, but probably best not...)
    Congrats again!
    Clare x

  9. congrats on the book E... I'm off to purchase now x

  10. £1.99! Is it a real proper book on PAPER? I suppose I could click on one of the links and find out, but I had to exclaim that first.

    I haven't gone for Kindle yet. I am very VERY old so can resist technology. If it is paper I shall buy it and have it sent over to The Daughter, who is 32 and not long married, so I think she is right bang centre of your potential reader demographic.

    Do you say fuck a lot in the book? I should so miss it if the publishers wouldn't let you

    1. It's not on paper, alas. If I sell 20,000 they will do a print run... but until then.

      Yes the book is almost exclusively swear words...

  11. Purchased on iBooks and seriously looking forward to it.

  12. Well this is the best news EVER!

    I love your blog - I remember discovering it one day at work and subsequently spending the rest of the day reading all of your posts, whilst trying, rather unsuccessfully, to look like I was working.

    It is downloaded and ready for my flight, hurrah! And congratulations!

    Sam x

  13. I have only read the intro of the book so far (love the reference to cleaning the Aegean Stables), and it's hysterical! Will save this as my late-night read on the iPad. Bloody great!

  14. Isn't it slightly contradictory to say "here is a bit out of the book that is worth £1.99" and give it to us for free?

    I've already bought it though :-)

  15. I have done some extensive research into poached egg techniques and concluded that it doesn't really matter what you do. There will always be a load of extra white floating about the place. But a higher yolk:white ratio in the bit you eat is probably no bad thing.

  16. Finally, the wait is over! I've downloaded and just begun reading, and even though I've read every blog post I'm still loving it. I love that you're funny and foul-mouthed and metacognitive about your neuroses, and I try a good number of your recipes and always like them.

  17. Yay! Your book is here! And the eggs look yummy too. Thanks for both x

  18. The chilli and yoghurt combo makes this an oddly intriguing recipe! Although alas, my stomach cannot take to poached eggs so this will be cooked for the person I love, alone. Having said that, I'm sure she'll have no problem scarfing my share!

  19. The only answer to perfect poached eggs is to go and buy some chickens, wait for them to settle in, collect your eggs and poach them within hours of being laid.

  20. I am devastated. I can't get your book here in Australia because UK Amazon is not available to us and it's not available from there anything you can do to rectify this fucking unfair to Antipodeans situation ?
    Love, Penny

  21. Congratulations on your book. I can't wait to read it!!
    I can't remember who gave me this tip for poaching eggs but it's a gem.
    Line a ramekin or cup with some cling film that you have brushed with oil or melted butter. Then crack the egg into it. Twist the top of the clingfilm into a knot to form a bag. Pop the bag into boiled water & simmer for 3 minutes. Cut open the bag with scissors & your perfectly cooked & shaped egg just slides onto the plate.

  22. I bought it because it looks like a bit of a giggle if nothing else. Love the eggs recipe.

  23. Still unavailable for purchase in Australia. Tried Amazon US link which says " this title is not available for purchase'. Maybe only says this to Australian customers ? WAAAAAH!!!

  24. Just made the eggs - so easy, so utterly delicious. Used this method for poaching, worked a treat

  25. I am with Penny. Please sort out access for whinging Aussies pronto! Never mind the fucking book, though I'm looking forward to reading it, THIS BLOG is worth the £1.99.

  26. For Aussies, I got my Kindle at the beginning of the year in Australia. Signed in with my UK account-linking my kindle to it- and could download any ebook from Amazon UK.

    Love the book- definitely worth £1.99.

  27. Bought the book, thoroughly enjoying it - no surprise there as I thoroughly enjoy your blog too :-) As your man at the standard would have well done! All the best, Jo

  28. Lovely recipe, lovely blog and lovely book. Fab, fab, fab.

  29. Oh fantastic! Have just scraped my Luddite self into the world of e-things in order to buy it. Thankfully the NZ part of the antipodes seems to be able to talk to e-publishers. Settling in now with the book, coffee and hot cross buns. Hopefully, the world of electronic devices will keep the children's attention until I'm done. Thank you!

  30. Bought the book yesterday & read it all in one hit last night. Love the unpretentious sweary style! Now to trawl all the way through the blog from the start whilst I wait for Ocado to deliver the ingredients for the greatest curry in the world!

    Oh, & we need more Giles on TV! Preferably post-watershed!

  31. I was just about to recommend Fiona's method too... I struggled and struggled with poached eggs until I discovered this (virtually*) foolproof method(*Ok, I did muck it up once by forgetting to grease the clingfilm as I was typically doing it too fast)... but other than that, its Jo-proof which essentially means it will work for everyone. I assume I can get the book on my ipad? How exciting! You've been awfully quiet about it being published - I fell off my chair with excitement when I read (SOMEWHERE ELSE! Was it the Times?) that you'd had your book published - and not a peep on the blog... I need warnings for lifechanging dramatic events such as these - my heart can't cope otherwise! Congrats tho - I can't wait to download it (as soon as I get home from work....) You should get an app for the ipad too (no idea how you do that but I'm sure someone does).
    Oh and following on from Russ's comment - you and giles should do a show together. That would be great. I've been getting withdrawal symptoms since I've managed to work my way through your entire blog start to finish.

  32. Oh joy ! Amazon US has relented and will now allow Aussies to purchase. What a difference a few days can make. Have just bought it and am frothing at the mouth with anticipation. You will make my day you wild and wise thing1

  33. Bought your book a few days ago, have already finished it. I'm new to your blog and loved the book! Will definitely keep reading.

  34. I enjoyed your book a lot - have never read your blog, but came across the book on Amazon. It is more than worth the money, i enjoyed reading it.

  35. The Canadian Amazon site said it wasn't available for purchase, yet when I clicked on it, it let me purchase it with no problems. Odd.

    Anyway, I very much enjoyed it and look forward to more at some point.

  36. Finished your book while on holiday - actually purchased while away (the joy of ebooks and wifi!).

    I really enjoyed it and am recommending it to anyone who will listen. Been reading your blog for a while and think it's great you are doing a second book.

  37. Turkish eggs look yummy. We will be trying those today! Thanks