Eggs Benedict – sort of…

Today’s Eggs Bene

This recipe is for our own unique Eggs Bene, as the Potato and Kumara Rosti recipe is completely my own, to overcome the gluten aspect of most Eggs Bene recipes. Spinach is not strictly part of Eggs Bene, but this recipe tastes a lot better with the spinach, and the Hollandaise has sweet chilli sauce added to it because what is life without a bit of Chilli added.

The rosties can be made the day before, and heated, but taste best fresh – in my opinion. They can also be frozen, which can be handy if you are going to be cooking Eggs Bene for a lot of people at the same time (eg Christmas morning!) While this is a recipe that takes a little while, and needs two people, ideally, to assemble at the end, there is nothing that is technically very difficult. It is all about the timing. I make the rosties, then the hollandaise, then cook the bacon (or cook the bacon whilst making the hollandaise), and lastly poach the eggs and wilt the spinach. I heat the plates in the same oven as the rosties are being kept warm in. Heated plates do make a difference for this recipe.

General Ingredients

2-3 rosties per person – recipe serves 4(ish)

2 pieces of streaky bacon per person

2 eggs per person

Hollandaise – serves 4

120g spinach – serves 4

Ingredients – Kumara and Potato Rosties

300g potatoes and 300g Kumara (NZ sweet potato – I like the golden ones best). A rule of thumb is approximately 150-200g per person, and increase other ingredients in proportion.

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/2 tsp Garlic and Herb Salt (to taste)

I clove crushed garlic (or half tsp of ready crushed)

2 tbsp chopped herbs (any combination of parsley, chives, thyme, and/or lemon thyme)

2 eggs

1/4 cup Gluten Free plain flour

1 small onion, finely chopped

Rice bran oil (high burning point) or your preferred cooking oil – eg canola.

1 tbsp chopped parsley or chives to dress

salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Turn warming oven to about 125 Celsius.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes and kumara into cubes. Par boil – about 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Roughly mash the potatoes with parmesan, garlic, and garlic and herb salt.
  4. Add chopped onion, herbs, eggs, and flour, and mix to combine. Don’t over mix or you will end up with a sloppy mixture. I use a fork to mix.
  5. Heat oil in frypan – you need to coat the base of the pan with oil. The rosties will absorb oil. Lightly oil rings, if you are using them to shape the rosties.
  6. Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop mix. Drop into ring and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread mixture. Cook 3 – 4 rosties at a time. Once the base is golden brown, flip the rosties. Put a paper towel on an oven proof cooling rack. Put cooked rosties on cooling rack and into oven. I put a baking dish under the rack to catch oil dripping from the rosties. Continue until all mixture is used.

Bacon 

Use streaky bacon. Turn the griller on to heat up, before you make the hollandaise. I use two slices per person. You can use more.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and set out the bacon. Put on to grill first side, as you make the Hollandaise. Turn the bacon to cook, as you poach the eggs. Keep a close eye on the bacon and turn the oven off before you think it is cooked. Then you can leave it there while you complete poaching the eggs. I like crispy bacon, but some people like their bacon soft – so cook to your taste.

Ingredients – Hollandaise sauce

(Before you make the Hollandaise, put on a pot of water to boil, ready to poach eggs. The pot should be fairly wide in the base, and not too high)

1 egg yolk

salt

juice of one lemon (more or less, to taste)

112g butter (unsalted has a lower burning point)

hot sauce, or sweet chilli sauce

Method – Hollandaise

  1. Put yolk, salt, and lemon juice into a stick blender cup, and blend.
  2. Put butter into pot, and melt on high heat. Butter should be bubbling.
  3. Drizzle melted butter onto yolk mixture, whilst blending. Pour slowly and monitor mixture to ensure a good blend.
  4. Add hot sauce or sweet chilli sauce, to taste. Blend.

Poaching Eggs and Wilting Spinach

  1. Boil a full jug of water to wilt the spinach before starting the poaching. Put the spinach into a colander. A bag of spinach (120g) will do about 4 people.
  2. Crack eggs individually into espresso cups (they seem to be a perfect size)
  3. Ensure water is hot and bubbling. (Click the link for a perfect egg poaching recipe) The water will cool quickly when you put the eggs in, so you need to have it hotter than you think. I add a little white vinegar to help set the eggs. This is controversial, and some people do not do this.
  4. Stir the water into a whirlpool and then pour eggs individually into the centre of the whirlpool.
  5. Set timer for 2 minutes – any longer and yolks will over cook as you prepare the plates.
  6. Pour boiling water over the spinach to wilt it.
  7. Set plates up so that they are ready for the poached eggs – see below Steps 1 to 3.

Plating Up

  1. Put two or three rosties on each plate.
  2. Share spinach between rosties.
  3. Put one slice of bacon on each rosti. I fold the bacon in half.
  4. Use slotted spoon to scoop poached eggs onto bacon. Remember that they will be covered with Hollandaise, so don’t fuss about making them look perfect.
  5. Drizzle Hollandaise over eggs
  6. Sprinkle chopped parsley or chives over.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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Leek and Lemon Thyme Frittata with Rocket Salad

This is a bit of a favourite with me – perfect for a summer brunch, but change the salad to char-grilled vegetables and it is equally warming for winter. I first got this recipe from Taste.com.au, and have only made some minor adaptations. It’s not too fiddly, and should only take about an hour from start to finish.

Ingredients – complete all prep (chopping etc) before you start cooking.

60-80g butter (I use unsalted)

2 good sized leeks (cut off root ends, slice lengthways, and chop until you get to the dark green leaves.

2 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp crushed garlic)

8-12 sprigs of lemon thyme (leaves picked – hold top of stem, and run fingers down the stalk to easily pick the leaves)

4 large desiree potatoes, diced into 2cm cubes. Any all purpose potatoes will do – agria are fine, they just don’t hold their shape so well. Perlas are good.

1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley – chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup of grated parmesan

8 eggs

Rocket (and salad veges – summer version) chargrilled veges (winter version)

Dressing – put all ingredients in blender and whizz

2 spring onions, roughly chopped, 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, 2 tsp white vinegar (or 1/2 and 1/2 vinegar and lemon juice), 1 tsp caster sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Method for Frittata

Preheat the oven to about 200 Celsius. I also put in a baking dish, so that it is hot when I go to use it.

In a frying pan, cook the leek and onion, using about half the butter. Look for the onion to become translucent and the leek to soften. This could take between 5 and 10 minutes. Ensure the pan is not too hot, as you don’t want to caramelise the onion or leek.

While the leek is cooking, melt the remaining butter in another pan, add half the diced potato and thyme leaves, and cook until they are golden brown. Once they are cooked, place them on a paper towel to drain. Put about half of the potatoes into the leek mixture.

In a bowl, put the eggs, parmesan and parsley, and mix. Take the hot baking dish out of the oven, lightly grease with olive oil, and put the leek mixture in, spreading it evenly. Pour the egg mixture over the leek mixture and again spread evenly. Put the frittata into the oven for about 15 minutes. When it is cooked, it will have a golden brown top and a slightly wobbly centre.

While the frittata cooks, prepare the plates for serving. A little rocket, with any other salad ingredients (I just use halved cherry tomatoes) goes on to each plate. Then cook up the rest of the potato, with butter and thyme, in the same way as before. This means they will still be hot when you serve them.

Once the frittata is cooked, get it out of the oven and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This makes serving it a little easier, as it sets a bit. Cut the frittata into pieces and place a slice on each plate. Sprinkle the potato cubes over the rocket and add dressing on the frittata and the salad. YUM!