Eggs Benedict aka Heaven on a Plate

This really is heaven on a plate and most certainly is not a slimmers delight – but hey, you got to live on the edge every now and again.  There is a little bit of prep work involved with making Eggs Benedict but it is SO worth it.  I don’t enjoy the English muffin so swap that out with a potato & onion rosti and replace the ham with crispy streaky bacon – perfect! 😀

Eggs Benedict

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes peeled, grated and squeezed through a cloth to remove all the liquid
1 small onion peeled, grated and squeezed through a cloth to remove all the liquid
Streaky bacon – 3 strips per rosti – probably not necessary but oh so nice
Hollandaise Sauce
Eggs – 1 per rosti

Method

  1. Divide and roughly shape the potatoes and onion into thin disks and fry in a little olive oil over a medium heat – turning regularly to prevent burning.  Fry until browned and crispy.
  2. Fry the bacon until crispy and keep warm.
  3. Make the Hollandaise Sauce.
  4. Poach the Eggs.
  5. Plate and serve.

Poaching an Egg

I have read SO many different and conflicting ways on how to poach an egg that I got terribly confused by the whole idea.  I thought the whirlpool option would be best so set to poaching my first egg – d i s a s t e r – there were egg white ribbons everywhere with a lonesome little yolk all by itself.  I should possibly have made a “calmer” whirlpool but was put off by this method.  I shall not bore you with the insurmountable ways there are to poach and egg, rather I shall show you how I was successful after a few attempts at the various methods.

I am of the opinion that the fresher your egg the better as the older the egg gets, the runnier the white will become.

Poaching and Egg

In a saucepan, bring water to a gentle rolling boil and add a teaspoon or two of vinegar if you like – “they” say the acidity in the vinegar helps the protein in the egg white coagulate so it hugs nicely around the yolk.  I have tried with and without with pretty much the same result.

For ease of getting the egg into the boiling water I cracked it into a Tupperware measuring cup which has a smooth rounded lip.  I gently and slowly submerged the tip of the measuring cup into the water and tipped the egg out into the water.

I let the egg poach for two and a half minutes and removed it with a slotted spoon.

Gently place the egg on a piece of kitchen towel or stale bread to absorb the excess liquid followed by some freshly ground black pepper and sprinkling of salt and voila you have the perfect poached egg.

Watch this space for my version of Eggs Benedict…

Caramelised Onion and Bacon Tarts

Savoury tarts always make for a scrumptious lunch and come together quite quickly, so if you have last minute guests, you are good to go. I was going to serve these tasty tarts with a all-home-grown salad and when I went to harvest my greens, my lettuce had all but vanished!  I had the healthiest most beautiful lettuce not 2 days earlier – I can only assume that all the rain we have been having has something to do with it.  What a disappointment, but no matter, these little individual quiches still went down a treat.

Caramelised Onion and Bacon Tarts

Ingredients

1 brown onion thinly sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon chopped
250ml cheddar cheese grated
3 eggs
125ml milk
5ml veggie spice
Black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Caramelise the onions over a medium heat in a little olive oil and butter.  Set aside.
  3. Fry the bacon until cooked through.
  4. Beat the eggs in a jug and add the milk, veggie spice and pepper.
  5. Divide the onion and bacon into 4 10cm prepared quiche tins. *
  6. Divide and spread the cheese over the onion and bacon.
  7. Pour over the egg mixture and bake for 15 minutes.

*If using the loose bottom tins, place them on a baking tray in case they leak.

Un-Recipe – Bacon and Mushroom Omelet

For some peculiar reason, I had just two rashers of bacon left over in the fridge.  Stranger things have been known to happen though.  I could not live with myself if I let them go to waste so very quickly whipped them out of the fridge along with 2 mushrooms, and egg (which had 2 yolks :-))  and some cheddar cheese and turned it all into a lovely little omelet.  This was the ideal super quick, tasty and easy lunch.  Think I may have to always keep 2 spare rashers of bacon going forward.

Un-Recipe – Bacon and Mushroom Omelet

Ingredients

2 rashers bacon chopped
2 mushrooms sliced
Vegetable spice
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Fry the bacon and mushrooms until browned and sprinkle on vegetable spice.
  2. Add the egg and grated cheese.
  3. Fold sides into the middle and turn.

Un-Recipe – Egg and Tomato Sandwich

I love un-recipes for a quick and tasty lunch.  Un-recipe’s also fall into the comfort food category for me, which is a double bonus.  The last short while, whilst sorting out our home and garden, un-recipe’s of sorts has been on the cards for lunch – either that or leftovers from the previous evenings dinns.  I love eggs and tomatoes together in a sarmie or on a slice of hot buttered toast, especially when the egg yolk is still lovely and runny – there is something magical that happens with an egg and tomato – not sure what but it’s yummy.  Please let me know how you enjoy this moreish sarmie if you give it a try.

Un-Recipe Egg and Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices fresh white bread – brown just isn’t the same for this
Butter
Sliced tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
Fried egg

Method

  1. Butter the bread and top the one slice with the sliced tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.
  2.  Add your fried egg and top with the second slice of bread.
  3. Cut and enjoy.

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 4

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 4

 

 

The chapter on Eggs starts:

“Any good cook can solve the old riddle; the egg comes before the chicken. For chicken, popular as it is, is only one solution to the dinner or midday meat course; while eggs do duty at at every meal, from the boiled egg at breakfast to the lunchtime omelet and the dinner meringue.  Invisible but important, eggs thicken, leaven and enrich other foods.  In supporting roles they garnish salads, fluff soufflés and top pies.  Present-day cooks may smile at hold recipes beginning, ‘Take the whites of two dozen eggs’ but they heed nutrition experts who recommend one egg a day fro every member of the family – or at least four a week.  Insist on that, say the dieticians – be hard boiled about it!”

Eggs of yesteryear were graded and classified as Fancy, Grade A, Grade B and Grade C.  Can’t say I have heard of the grade fancy before and it seems you had to be from a family with a liberal budget to be able to afford them.

The paragraph Refrigeration reads:

“It is worth while to shop around and find a market where eggs are kept in a refrigerator, not on the open counter.  Eggs contain much the same food substances as milk  and meat; yet some people who would not dream of letting milk and meat stand around at room temperature still hold the notion that cold air is bad for eggs.  As long as grocers leave eggs on the open counter, especially in warm weather, consumers cannot be sure that the eggs they buy are of the highest quality.”

And under the paragraph about Care of Eggs, the following was advised:

“Place eggs immediately in the refrigerator – in the humidity controlled section if you have one.  It is money thrown away to pay for a well refrigerated eggs, then let them stand at room temperature at home.  The busy grocer at least has a rapid turnover of his stock; the home-maker’s box of a dozen eggs may stand around for a week.”

Amongst the recipes for scrambling, frying, poaching, baking and making souffles, is a recipe for a Rum Omelet, and once cooked reads:

“Turn omelet onto a hot platter and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons rum around; ignite and serve. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.  (Good as a late evening snack.)”

Un-Recipe – Egg on Toast

I have fond memories from my Primary (Junior) School days when my Mom would make fried eggs on toast with sliced tomato for breakfast – it was, well, still is a hit with me.  My version today is with baked beans but if you are not so inclined, creamed sweetcorn is also very nice and I enjoy my fried eggs cooked in butter, over easy and sprinkled with salt and white pepper.

Un-Recipe Egg on Toast

Ingredients

Toast
Butter
Baked Beans warmed
Fried Egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Butter the toast and top with the baked beans followed by the egg.

Egg Foo-Yong

Surprise, surprise, this is ANOTHER favourite from childhood.  My mom makes the best Chinese dinners with sweet & sour pork or chicken, Shanghai steak, fried rice, and egg foo-yong.  I do try and replicate her magnificence when we have Chinese dinner evenings but we all know, Mom’s is the best!

Egg Fu-Yong

Ingredients 

2 small baby cabbages sliced
1 medium onion peeled and sliced
1 carrot scraped and julienned
Handful frozen green beans
6 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2ml sugar
1ml soya sauce

Method

  1. Place the cabbages, onion, carrot and beans in pot.
  2. Add water to the pot and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes and drain.  The vegetables must be al-dente.
  3. Whisk the eggs and add the salt, pepper, sugar and soya sauce.
  4. Add the vegetables to the egg mixture and fry in an oiled pan over a medium heat.
  5. Divide and turn the segments of the egg mixture and fry until cooked through.

Submitted by:  Val Olsen, Johannesburg

Crumbled Eggs

This is a brilliant recipe for when you have guests staying over and don’t want to to a big fry up for breakfast the next morning.  

Crumbled Eggs

 

Ingredients

8 hard boiled eggs
4 slices stale bread
2 onions
Herbs of choice
Butter for frying
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
250ml cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks and chop (not too finely).
  3. Grate the bread.
  4. Thinly slice the onions and fry in butter until soft.
  5. Layer the egg whites, yolks, onions and bread crumbs, herbs of choice, salt & freshly ground black pepper in a flat ovenproof dish.
  6. Pour the cream over and bake for 20 minutes.

 

Submitted by:  Nic Prinsloo, Clarens

Tips for boiling the perfect egg

Ensuring your boiled eggs come out just the way you like them can sometimes be hit and miss.  The following tips will help you get the perfect boiled egg:

  • Use room temperature eggs as eggs straight from the fridge could crack whilst boiling, plus room temperature eggs require less cooking time.
  • Using eggs that are too fresh are difficult to peel due to the white membrane not being mature enough.  Ideally use week old eggs.
  • Place your eggs into gently simmering water ensuring that the eggs are covered by approximately 2.5cm of water.
  • Don’t add salt to the water as it raises the boiling point of the water making the egg whites rubbery.
  • Submerge your eggs in cold water to stop the cooking process.  The cold water also creates steam between the egg white and the shell, which makes the shell easier to remove.
  • A quick “eye” test if you forgot to start timing your eggs is to lift an egg from the water and if the shell stays wet, the egg is still raw. If the water evaporates after a couple of seconds you have a soft boiled egg.  If the water evaporates instantaneously you have a hard boiled egg.
  • When making devilled eggs, place the carton on its side for a day.  The yolks will centre themselves so once boiled you will have them directly in the middle of the white.
  • Overcooking causes a green layer to form around the yolk. This layer is caused by a reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulphur in the white.
  • Cracking your egg several times all over then rolling the egg over a hard surface makes the shell come off much easier.  Shelling the egg under running water also makes removing the shell easier.