m.f.k. (fisher) monday

last week i asked who your favorite food writer was, so this week i figured it was only fair i share with you mine.

meet (if you haven't already) m.f.k. fisher.

i won't go into the details of her life or works, you can read for yourself here.

ever since reading her book, how to cook a wolf, a few years ago, m.f.k. fisher has been my personal literary and culinary hero. and, ever since collecting an anthology of her earlier works, the art of eating, i've had a strong urge to try some of her recipes.

there is an elegance and graciousness to m.f.k. fisher's writing — an understanding of simplicity and need as well as an appreciation of decadence and indulgence — that i sometimes fear is getting lost in modern food writing.

 

so, while i'm still slowly developing my own style (both literary and culinary), i've decided to take on a few of m.f.k. fisher's recipes and try one or two out a month. to start, i'll try to post an "m.f.k.f. monday" (yes, i'm dropping her last name for alliteration's sake) every other week or so. you can tell me if you get bored or not.

 

this weekend, i made "eggs in hell."

 

this:

 

turned into this:

 

 

it wasn't that pretty, but i wouldn't expect eggs from hell to be. it did taste very nice, though.

 

i'm not much of a recipe person (as has been mentioned previously), but for this first m.f.k.f. monday, i wanted to share her notes, because as wonderful as this simple recipe was, her words are even better.

 

eggs in hell

4 tablespoons olive oil (substitute will do, dad blast it)

1 clove garlic

1 onion

2 cups tomato sauce (italian kind is best, but even catsup will do if you cut down on spices)

1 teaspoon minced mixed herbs (basil, thyme)

1 teaspoon minced parsley

salt and pepper

8 eggs

slices of french bread, thin, toasted

 

heat oil in a saucepan that has a tight cover. split garlic length-wise, run a toothpick through each half , and brown slowly in oil ... add the onion, minced, and cook until golden. then add the tomato sauce and the seasonings and herbs. cook about fifteen minutes, stirring often, and then take out the garlic.

into this sauce break the eggs. spoon the sauce over them, cover closely, and cook very slowly until the eggs are done, or about fifteen minutes. (if the skillet is a heavy one, you can turn off the heat and cook in fifteen minutes with what is stored in the metal.)

when done, put the eggs carefully on the slices of dry toast, and cover with sauce. (grated parmesan cheese is good on this, if you can get any)

 

there are too many variations of this recipe, even in my own mind, to be able to write. one i remember that we used to make, never earlier than two and never later than four in the morning, in a strange modernistic electric kitchen on the wine terraces between lausanna and montreux. we put cream and worcestershire sauce into little casseroles, and heated them into bubbling. then we broke eggs into them, turned off the current, and waited until they looked done, while we stood around drinking champagne with circles under our eyes and viennese music in our heads. then we ate the eggs with spoons, and went to bed. (fisher 236-237)

 

happy monday, everyone.