Why le petit oeuf?
As some of you may know, ‘le petit oeuf’ is French for ‘the little egg’, and it’s a name I came up with in a dream. Sometime around 2011 I woke up one morning, having had a very clear and lucid dream about starting a business called ‘le petit oeuf’. I was quite taken with the name so I decided to ‘follow the dream’ and a few months later I bought the domain name, lepetitoeuf.com, with no idea what to do with it. Fast forward to 2014 and I decided to start a food blog, which made sense to go under the ‘le petit oeuf’ name and therefore, the website you are reading now. At time of writing, I make absolutely no income from this website.
What is le petit oeuf about?
This website is about cookery, and all that is encompassed by that term. It’s about getting your hands dirty, interacting with the food and creating things.
Who writes the recipes?
All of the recipes on this website are written by myself and therefore I hold the copyright. Most recipes on here are developed from beginning to end from ideas I’ve had, but a few are adapted from other sources and if that’s the case, I will always credit those sources with a link to the original.
Who takes the photos?
All of the photos on this website are also taken by myself at home in my kitchen and I also hold the copyright. Please share them, pin them and link to them but please don’t steal them.
What happens to all of the food in the photos?
When I make something, I eat it. Almost everything I’ve ever made for this blog has either been eaten straight after being photographed (often a bit cold by that point, but sometimes you have to suffer for your art), or it’s frozen for consumption later when no-one is looking
What about GM, organic, sustainable or special variety products?
This is difficult as I don’t want to exlude anyone, so at no point in my recipes do I stress the importance of organic, GM free, free range, sustainable or special varieties of produce unless it’s important to the fundamental essence of the recipe.
All recipes can be made using whatever version of the ingredient is available to you, and I would much rather you try a recipe with what’s available, rather than give up because you spent four hours running around looking for organic, fair-trade saffron grown by a disabled transgender pygmy farmer co-operative in Timbuktu, to no avail.
I also understand that life is very busy, and you may not have the time to visit three different fishmongers, or the luxury that a chef has of phoning your order through to various purveyors of fine foods who will cater to your every whim and deliver to your door.
But what you must understand is the simple fact that the higher quality the ingredients you buy, the better the flavour, and better the end product will be. And it is our responsibility as consumers to try and use sustainable, responsibly produced ingredients wherever possible, otherwise food manufacturers and supermarkets are simply in a race to the bottom to provide the cheapest product at any cost.
So unless the fundamental essence of the recipe will be lost by not buying a specific product, then I’m not going to say anything more about it.
I made one of your recipes, but it took longer than you said?
I have to admit this is a very difficult area to get right. If I gave 100 people the same recipe, they would all finish making it at different times. When I publish a recipe, I’ve probably made it a few times already, so am going to be at the quicker end of things. You could be even quicker, if you’re in a real hurry, or you might take twice as long. Hence, the published ‘make’ times are really just a guesstimate, based on cooking and preparation times, which hopefully give you an indication of roughly how long it might take you.
Recipe notation and ‘mise en place’
The way I write recipes is to try and encourage ‘mise en place’, which is the idea that you should peel, cut, weigh and prepare all of your ingredients before starting to cook. Any ingredients which require preparation, will have that treatment written next to them in the ingredients list. The idea being that as you scan the ingredients list, you can clearly see what needs to happen to each item, without stumbling across the fact your carrots need to be julienned halfway through cooking.
This also has the effect of making the recipe’s directions much shorter and easier to read. I find that when there are thick paragraphs of directions, I often skim them or lose my place easily. Hopefully this style of recipe writing makes things clearer for everyone.