For the love of poached eggs!
Before my field trip away, I went to the biscuit mill for the first time in a few weeks, craving the rosti with bacon/smoked salmon and poached eggs, which I’ve recently discovered is an invention of my current favourite Cape Town chef – Luke Dale Roberts. Unfortunately it seemed they had sold out by the time I got there 😦 I made do with plenty of samoosas from the Cumin curry guy, a smoothie and lots of tasters, but left a little unsatisfied.
This feeling did not relent, so sunday morning after a lazy lie-in I decided a special brunch was in order. The original plan was rosti with smoked salmon, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce…unfortunately what I didn’t count on was my blender not being able to cope with Delias hollandaise recipe (her recipes always seem to fail on me with their complexity!). Not one to be deterred from creating a delicious meal, I quickly whipped up something to compensate and here’s the result!
I highly recommend using the delicious smoked salmon trout which is available (if you are in SA. It’s SASSI green listed, so is the ultimate in sustainability. It’s also delicious and often cheaper than the imported Norwegian Salmon. If you are elsewhere in the world, look for MSC certified salmon.
Potato rosti topped with a lemon, parsley and parmesan ricotta, smoked salmon trout and a poached egg.
Serves 3 – a friend was here for brunch – or probably 2 if you want a big rosti each.
For the rosti:
5-6 small potatoes (the normal size we get here – about half the size of a normal baked potato)
2 tbsp flour
For the toppings:
1 tsp chopped parsley (plus some for garnishing)
1 tbsp grated parmesan (plus shavings to garnish)
Juice of half a lemon
Ground pepper to season
100g smoked salmon trout
3 eggs (free range and fresh is the best!)
A little white wine vinegar
Mix the ricotta with the parsley, lemon and parmesan, season and keep in the fridge for later.
Grate the potato and onion finely (I use the attachment on my food processor – very easy!). Squeeze all the water out of the potato and onion – easiest way to do this is with a clean tea towel/cloth. Add the flour and mix through. Divide mixture into rosti cakes about 3/4 to 1cm thick.Place in an olive oil coated frying pan on medium heat and cook for 5 minutes on either side. I found it easiest to squash the rosti down to required thickness once in the pan. Top each rosti with a portion of the ricotta mix and keep warm in the oven. I suggest plating the rosti up before doing this – its up to you, but I like the way the ricotta melts a little.
Poach the eggs. The best way I’ve found to do this is to fill a pan with just enough water so that there will be about 2 cm above the poaching egg. Add a splash of white wine vinegar and heat the water until small bubbles are rising – not a rolling boil – thanks to my cousin Annes hubby for this method. Break each egg into a cup (I use a little measuring cup for easiest way to drop them into the water). Swirl the water with a spoon to create a little vortex and carefully but quickly pour the egg into the centre – putting the cup as close to the water as possible. Cook for 2 minutes and you should have the perfect poached egg – just slightly runny in the middle with a cooked white, cook for about 30 seconds less/more for runny/hard yolk.
Curl a few slices of smoked salmon on to the ricotta topped rosti and place a poached egg on top. As a tip, if you would like the egg to stay nicely on top for presentation – reserve a little of the ricotta mix and place a half tsp on top of the salmon, this will stick the egg in place better. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley, a generous helping of ground black pepper and some parmesan shavings.
Enjoy with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee/a glass of pink bubbly and good company. I’m not sure it beats the biscuit mill version, which is perhaps more fat heavy, so good for a hangover, but its certainly delicious.
I think there’s potential for lots of variation with this dish. My original thought was based around using creme fraiche with a little lemon and chopped dill (we didn’t have any creme fraiche). For this I wouldn’t top the rosti with the creme fraiche mix until ready to serve with the eggs – it will melt and go all runny. Rather warm the rosti til the eggs are ready and place salmon on the rosti, a dollop of creme fraiche and then the egg. In fact this variation may be better served with a toasted bagel/chunk of toasted sourdough/seedy bread – extra healthy.
Dietary note: For our gluten free friends, I would recommend binding the rosti with a little egg if you have no gluten free flour to hand. Other than that I think this is a delicious breakfast for practically anyone.