Still in love with poached eggs…
I’ve been particularly grouchy in the mornings of late. Mainly as we have to be a work at 7am to get parking *grumble, undergrads, too many disks, grumble*. Conclusively I think the grouchiness is not so much tiredness but more a lack of time to cook a decent breakfast. As a result, weekend breakfasts have become more eggstravagant (haha) and I’ve now decided that the P, H and D in PhD have nowt to do with my academic pursuits and everything to do with my newly honed skills making PoacHeD eggs.
This weekend I went in to poached egg overdrive. I tried two different dishes inspired firstly by the purchase of a delicious block of Gruyere from the City Bowl market on Hope Street (review coming 🙂 ) and secondly by the amazing indigenous free range eggs La bought from Woolworths. These eggs are laid by indigenous breeds, free to roam and come in an array of colours and sizes in the box – eggs how they should be. I’d love to be able to buy indigenous chickens to eat as well, I’m not sure if anywhere sells them. I’ve read that half the problems with battery chickens (trouble with bone structure etc) are a result of genetics – a problem not entirely excluded from free range chickens, so if anyone knows of anywhere I can get hold of decent birds, please let me know!
Anyway, eggs. First up was an eggs florentine, the poor relative of eggs benedict, just as tasty and (a little) healthier.
Makes enough for 4
Some nice white bread – a ciabatta or sour dough works well
4 free range eggs
A glug of white wine vinegar
Half an onion, finely chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 a cup of warm milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
75g of gruyere cheese – grated
100g baby spinach – wilted in butter/steamed or raw, personal preference.
Begin by making the sauce. Soften the finely chopped onions in the butter. Make sure they don’t brown. Once the onions are soft and crushable, add the flour and mix well until it resembles a roux. Gradually mix in the warm milk to form a smooth sauce. Add the cheese, nutmeg and parsley and season to taste with salt and ground pepper, cook until thick.
Take the sauce off the heat whilst you toast the bread and poach the eggs.
Slice the bread and toast lightly on both sides. Fill a pan with water, add the vinegar and heat until small bubbles rise to the surface. Swirl the water with a spoon and drop each egg in, one at a time, cook for 2 minutes, don’t allow the water to boil.
Place a little well drained, wilted spinach on top of each toast. Top this with a poached egg and drizzle the mornay sauce over the top. Top with a little extra chopped, fresh parsley.
Sunday morning, after a great gig from Jeremy Loops at Assembly, I was craving a delicious croissant based breakfast reminiscent of brunches at the Sidewalk Cafe. This was the next best thing:
Poached eggs with tomato and basil on croissants
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A large handful of basil, roughly chopped
50g gruyere cheese, grated
4 free range eggs
Soften the sliced onions in a little olive oil. Add the tomatoes and fry until just soft. Stir 3/4 of the grated cheese through unil it melts. Add the chopped basil and take the pan off the heat. Split the croissants in half and warm in the oven for a few minutes whilst you poach the eggs as above. Spoon a little of the tomato mix on to the bottom of each croissant. Top with a poached egg and sprinkle the rest of the cheese between each croissant. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze over each one and garnish with fresh basil.
My love of poached eggs is not limited to just chicken eggs. You can buy fabulous duck eggs from both Saucisse deli at the old biscuit mill and Gogos butchers in Newlands. These poach really well, and the yolks are really rich in flavour.
I think I may have to get more inventive now, but I very much doubt poached eggs will stop being a regular meal any time soon!