I don’t know about you but for me there is nothing that wakes me up better than the smell of coffee and eggs in the morning. So let’s talk about three of my favourite gourmet egg dishes!
The best known of these egg dishes. And also my favourite. I used to think this was a very complex dish that only chefs could do right. Then I learnt how to make poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Not saying that it is easy or that you will make them perfectly the first time, but with each try you will do a lot better. Keep in mind that this recipe is all about the butter and egg yolks. As such it has a lot of butter.
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 3 eggs (2 for poaching, 1 for the sauce)
- 15-20g of butter 82% fat (most of the recipes use a lot more but I prefer this ratio)
- A splash of water
- Lemon juice to taste
- Salt to taste
- (optional) 2 thin slices of smoked salmon or pan-fried bacon
Instructions for poached eggs: make them one by one.
- Heat a medium-large pot of water to boil then leave it to simmer
- Add 2 tbsp of vinegar for every 1L of water (it is ok to add more vinegar than needed)
- Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. Make a powerful swirl in the pot and gently let the egg down right in the middle (You can partially submerge the bowl)
- Leave it there for 4 minutes (or more if you want to hard boil it). Be sure there is enough water above the egg
- Pick the cooked egg up with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel. Let it cool
Instructions for the Hollandaise sauce:
- Use a pot with a thick bottom (a thin one won’t disperse the heat fast enough)
- Whisk 1 egg yolk in a small open pot with a splash of water
- Place the pot on the low heat on the smallest hob and get it to ~60ºC
- Until you are done cooking the egg yolk(s) you should be whisking. Else you risk making scrambled egg
- Check the bottom of the pot with the palm of your hand from time to time (Be very careful)
- If it is under 60ºC you will feel that you can keep your palm there for a fair amount of time, 5+ seconds. Put it back on the stove
- If it is a bit over 60ºC you will be able to keep your hand there under 1 second. It should not burn your hand. Put the pot away from the stove for the moment until it cools a little, then back on the hob.
- Your aim is that your egg yolk thickens close to mayo. At this stage the egg is cooked. Take it off the stove
- Add the cooled melted butter little by little, whisking it in each time
- Add salt and lemon juice to taste
The plating is very simple. I prefer to set the egg on the bacon/salmon and pour the sauce over. Some prefer to add a pinch of paprika at the end. And indeed it looks marvellous like that.
Greek Scrambled Eggs – Strapatsada
A quick, tasty and refreshing Mediterranean dish. It is great for brunch as it feels very filling. I must say that this is not the original recipe as I modified it a lot; I will show down below.
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp semi sweet red wine (originally 2 tsp sugar + 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
- 1 ripe large grated tomato, no skin (or equivalent tomato juice)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp dried oregano (originally ½ tsp dried thyme + ¼ tsp cumin + ¼ tsp paprika)
- 35-40g grated feta cheese
- Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil on a pan over medium-high heat until caramelised
- If you are using sugar and vinegar: add sugar, wait for it to caramelise a little then add vinegar to deglaze
- If you are using wine: add the wine to deglaze
- Add the grated tomato, mix and wait for the sauce to thicken and for the tomato to cook (make the sauce as dry as you like without burning it. I prefer the texture of tomato paste)
- Add the eggs with the spices you prefer and mix it well. You should cook until it is creamy but make them as dry as you like
- Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Mix it well
I prefer to plate it near a spoon of smashed avocado with pumpkin seeds for the contrast and serve it with 2 slices of ciabatta. I hope my Greek friends won’t be mad at me for this.
Turkish Poached Eggs – Çılbır
I discovered this recipe very recently. Turkish poached eggs are the one of the most beautiful looking egg dishes I can imagine. It is a wild balance between dry spicy butter and refreshing aromatic yogurt. And in the middle there is the rich creamy egg.
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 2-3 tbsp Greek yogurt (or any creamy yogurt like dairy you have)
- 2 tsp chopped dill
- 1 minced/grated garlic clove
- 1 tbsp butter 82%
- ½ tsp paprika (optionally smoked paprika)
- ¼ tsp hot chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs (for poaching)
- Mix the Greek yogurt, garlic and dill and let it sit. The mix should be at room temperature when you serve the dish, not chilled
- Put the butter in a pan over medium heat and wait for it to “sing”
- Quickly add the paprika, chilli, cumin and salt, mix and turn off the heat.
- Let the butter mix sit while you poach the eggs
- Add the olive oil to the butter mix
For the plating you just need to spread the yogurt mix on a flat plate, put the eggs over and drizzle the butter and oil mix. Use any bread of your liking to dip and be sure you take a little bit of everything with each bite.
I’m hopeful that those 3 recipes will help you discover that cooking is not so strange nor hard. Plus great food comes out of it. Of course you can’t have eggs Benedict day after day every day. Your poor heart couldn’t handle that much butter. Yet I can’t help but smile every time I take a bite out of these egg dishes. Especially when I am the one who made them.