I had a knee op a few weeks ago. It turned out to be more of an emotional trauma than a physical ordeal. My frustration levels were sky high. The inability to just stand up and make a cup of coffee; to climb in your car to go and buy a loaf of bread or the to simply walk to the kitchen to give the dogs a biscuit treat tested my patience on almost every level. Thank goodness though all of that seems behind me now. My knee is on the mend and I have a new lease on life – and thankfully, free from the nagging pain of previous months.
During me recouperation, my dear husband had to put up with a lot – and yes, he really looked after me. He made me pasta with creamy blue cheese dressing, herbed chicken and whatever he could rustle up from a fridge that had not been stocked for weeks. He then made me this fantastic breakfast: Potato chip rösti with a baked egg. It was such a clever way to recycle leftover chips (slap chips) that invariably taste horrible the next day. Rick gathered up the leftover chips, added some fresh ingredients and seasoned this – the result? A rather quirky yet crispy and delicious rösti.
Rick’s leftover slap chips rösti + egg
250 ml leftover chips
30 ml onion finely chopped
5 ml of fresh rosemary
small non-stick frying pan
Press the leftover chips with the back of a fork into smaller pieces. Stir in the chopped onion and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Heat a generous chunk of butter and some olive oil in a non-stick pan. With the back of the spoon press the potato mixture in the pan until it is compact. Fry over medium heat until golden brown on one side, turn carefully and cook until golden on the other side too. Fry an egg and serve the egg on top of the chip-rösti.
I am not a breakfast person. I would rather choose any other meal where I can drink wine. You are probably thinking I am stark raving mad, but to raise a glass of wine with a meal and to toast to life, happiness, health or whatever, is to me an appropriate way to dine.
I do have to admit that sipping on a glass of wine over breakfast has for many years escaped me – well that was until I recently visited my good friend Louis, who lives in Spain.
Lu is a country boy from Willowmore in the Easter Cape who moved to Castelion in Spain. On the first morning of my visit to him, he surprised me with a very simple Spanish breakfast… pan tumaca. Directly translated this is bread and tomato. Naturally, Louis in his usual flamboyant manner served this with a glass of Spanish red wine and the two of us celebrated with a toast to the good life and lasting friendships.
in spain with my good friend louis verwey
Following my visit to the continent there was just no stopping me. These days, very few breakfasts in my house are served without a glass of good red wine! One of the better breakfasts to enjoy …along with a tipple is John Whaite’s Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs.
Lu, I am looking forward to your visit in December. I shall be making you a breakfast, open a a bottle of the finest red so that we can raise a glass to our friendship and your health!
Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs
- 1 tablespoon sunflower
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, grated
- ½ red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sumac ( you can replace the sumac with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (I used pomegranate jam - otherwise use a tart berry jam)
- 200g chopped tomatoes (1/2 can)
- Leaves of two sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 eggs
- Pita breads to serve
- Fry the onions in oil for about 5 minutes in a small frying pan.
- Stirring occasionally, add the garlic, chilli, sumac, paprika, cumin and ground coriander. Stir well so that the spices coat the onions.
- Add the tomatoes and pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow the ingredients to gently bubble for about 5-10 minutes - or until the sauce is a good, thickish consistency.
- Stir in the thyme, fresh coriander, salt and pepper. Please taste and season the sauce.
- Crack in the eggs and allow the whites of the eggs to cook completely while keeping the yolks soft.
- Serve at once with pita bread. (…And a glass of good red!)
My favourite Saturday morning breakfast is a soft poached egg on whole wheat toast with a bit of wild rocket out of my garden and a pinch of Maldon salt. When you cut into that egg and the yellow slowly ooze onto the bread … it is like early morning sunshine on my plate! What I want to share with you today is not a specific recipe on how to poach the perfect egg but a few interesting facts and tips that might help you along the way. I am sure you will know most of them but one or two of these pointers are quite interesting.
1. The fresher the egg, the easier the poach – fresh eggs hold together better when slipped into the simmering water.
2. To test to see whether an egg is fresh – put the egg into a bowl of water. A very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side – an old egg will float.
3. The eggs must preferably be room temperature.
4. Remember to add a bit of vinegar to the simmering water – it helps hold the egg together.
5. The water must be simmering not boiling.
6. Now, my best tip is to slowly submerse the whole egg with shell and all in the hot simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
7. Before breaking the egg into your simmering pot of water, use a spoon and give the water a stir so that it forms a little bit of a whirlpool…the centrifugal motion will pull the egg together when you slide it into the water.
8. When you break the egg break it into a saucer or cup first – be careful not to break the yolk and then simply slide the egg off the saucer or cup into the centre of the whirling water.
9. How long to poach the egg? Here’s a quirky snippet I read…when you put your bread in to toast put your egg in to poach…when your toast pops out of the toaster…your poached egg should be ready to be removed from the pot. Otherwise poach it for 3-5 minutes until cooked.
10. When done scoop out with slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to dry excess water from the now poached egg.
It’s quick but fabulous when poached to perfection… decadent and yummy all at the same time!
Don’t forget too that a poached egg on top of a rocket + bacon salad makes for a wonderful salad option just ever so slightly out of the ordinary.