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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Eggs is eggs

I can honestly say that I don't know where I would be without eggs, as my fondness for quiches and custard-based ices demonstrates.  As the basis of a light lunch or a brunch they are satisfying and filling, and are nutritionally sound, being high in protein but not too fatty.

I tend to buy medium-sized organic eggs after having heard that large eggs are more difficult for hens to lay, which makes sense really.  Mr. F and I are also lucky in that we live near a deli which sells italian "Machiavelli"-brand eggs which have vibrant orange yolks and which I am sure would make wonderful fresh pasta.

The following two recipes make regular appearances on the weekend breakfast menu at Chateau Forkful.

1.  Poached eggs with smoked salt and grilled bread (for two)

4 organic eggs
4 slices of good bread (this recipe works well with good rye bread that's not too dark or a really fresh baguette)
Butter
White wine vinegar
Smoked salt
Chilli flakes
Rape seed oil or best quality extra virgin olive oil

Boil a pan full of water and place a ridged griddle pan over a high heat.  Butter the slices of bread on one side.  Once the water is boiling add the vinegar and turn the heat down.  Using a wire whisk stir the water in one direction and then drop an egg into the well that's created in the middle.  Poach each egg for about 3 minutes, or to your liking, and then remove to a warm dish covered with a cloth.  When you have finished the third egg (or the second egg if you need to cook the bread in two batches) place the slices of bread on the griddle pan buttered side down.  Let the bread get darkly ridged.  When the eggs have poached place two slices of bread on each plate and top each with an egg.  Sprinkle the eggs with the smoked salt and a small pinch of chilli flakes and drizzle lightly with oil.  Serve at once, with a steaming cup of cafe au lait.

2.  Han's eggs (for two)

4 eggs
Three tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
Pitted green olives, sliced
Capers
Fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

You will need two small frying pans to make this for two people who are set on eating together at the same time!

Heat the oil in the pans and when hot add the tomatoes, olives and capers.  Fry for a few minutes, then break the eggs on to the mixture.  Cover the eggs with the chopped herbs and season very well.  Put a lid on each pan and cook until the whites of the eggs are firm but the yolks are still wobbly, or to taste.  Serve immediately with hot buttered wholemeal toast.

This dish also works well when spring onions are cooked with the tomatoes.  For a more substantial supper, try scattering feta cheese over the eggs at the same time as the herb are sprinkled over.

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