EGG-SPLOSIVE RECIPES FROM CHEF JP
This time round, our favourite chef really has put all of his eggs in one basket
Whilst watching my fav reality cooking show, this year’s Masterchef Australia, titled Fans and Favs, got me really ‘egg cited’ about creating something ‘egg stra- ordinary. In Episode 12, the contestants had to create a dish using just one hero ingredient – the humble egg. That really got me going.
Having cooked with George Columbaris, one of the judges of Master Chef Australia in 2014, this latest show brought back some memories and reminded me of the beauty of cooking with simplicity. So, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket in every sense of the words and ‘egg speriment’.
In the process, I came up with a dozen ways to ‘eggnite the ‘egg stemities’ of’o ne of the most versatile ingredients on the planet. From poaching, frying, grilling, deep frying, scrambling and pickling to just using eggs as a binder in almost any confectionary, the egg has become central to all our culinary efforts and is on our plate in one form or another from breakfast to dessert.
EGG IN A KILT (AKA THE SCOTCH EGG)
The notorious Scotch Egg has certainly fuelled that agree-to-disagree standoff that has existed for many centuries between the northern and southern culinary aficionados of Great Britain.
Although the Scotties have claimed the fame for creating the well-known Scotch egg, the controversy hinges on the fact that it was apparently invented in London in 1738.
Traditionally, the egg was moulded in fish paste, reflecting the oceanic trends of the Scottish waters. But, then, I’m told that a pompous bunch English chefs high jacked this and changed things, substituting the fish for a sausage – and creating a Southern version of the Cornish Pasty, if you like.
Now, scotching is the name given to the process of mincing the meat and has nothing to do with the eggs – no wonder the colonialists are so confused!
I’m making mine with pork as I definitely don’t think that the fish paste works so well with an egg. (Even if that is what modern fusion food is all about – confusion dressed up in tartan!)
This is a very meticulous process and it could easily be a recipe for disaster so be warned. I threw myself into the so-called Scottish hot water and started to boil my first egg. It needs to be soft, but here comes the problem, how to wrap the pork around a soft egg…it takes tender hands.
This recipe is for one egg, so you can just multiply it to suit the number of people that you wish to serve.
FROMT THE PANTRY
One over confident, brave chef who has decided to make one egg in the most difficult of ways.
1 white egg
80 grams diced pork sausage, skinned
20 grams diced hickory ham
1 small onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
25 grams breadcrumbs
25 grams self-raising flour
I’m adding Corn Flakes to the mix (don’t want to upset the English)
palm oil for deep frying
Bring your salt water – with a dash of vinegar – to the boil and immerse your egg for three minutes and 15 seconds. That’s what I suggest – although some would send me back to Edinburgh to learn how to do things differently if they prefer their eggs a little firmer.
Then, carefully scoop out the egg and place it in an ice bath to make it easier to peel.
After your peeled soft egg has cooled down, you can now place you pork mix onto non-stick paper and roll it out as thinly as possible. Now for the delicate part – flour your egg and slowly (and I mean really slowly) wrap the mix around the egg.
Coat with breadcrumbs and corn flakes and shape it into a perfect not-quite but egg shaped round and then place in the freezer for two minutes. Meanwhile, heat your oil to 160.
Deep fry for two minutes per side.
Now for the moment of truth (which is what you have been waiting for), cut the crispy golden brown egg with a bread knife and ….
031 MOTHER-IN-LAW'S EGGS
(Otherwise known as two devils’ eggs with chilli mother-in-law chilli spice mix, grilled in an air fryer).
Take it from me, these devilish eggs put the fear on everyone’s tongue. But, if you have mastered your Scotch egg, then you can conquer and divide with this hot little number – either 031 or 911.
Like most mothers-in-law, this one is a little simpler. Use the same method and make a soft egg. Then, take a slightly healthier approach and dip your peeled egg in an egg wash and roll it in a tray of breadcrumbs and finely chopped chilli. Put it into the air fryer for 8 minutes – and, the devil is in the detail.
Delicately place your egg on your well garnished plate with some lime leaves and fresh chilli. Then, make your peace with your mother-in-law and dial the right number!
REDEYE EGG DOT COM
We all have had those mornings when the red eye flight is so not what you have planned for the day. But, with a good old fashioned fry up with the addition of some crunchy hash browns you will make those clouds disappear. Make sure all is sunny side up!!!!
With some Canadian French flair, you can create a delicious brioche, with bread coated in silky eggs and pan fried to golden perfection. To top it, add Canadian maple syrup and fresh blueberries.
AUTUMN IN NEW YORK
Fine bistros in New York city serve this dish to wall street bankers every morning – and I am sure that even Leonardo DiCaprio had this breakfast in Wolf of Wall Street.
My version is a tad different (due to the fall of the stock market and my budget). Aubergines (eggplant) set the stage for a Broadway play. Slices of eggplant are dusted in flour and then dipped in egg yolk to make an ‘egg cellent’ base for some grilled, caramelized green beans. The Americans usually use asparagus spears. Top your dish with a perfect soft poached egg. Only in NYC.
EGG IN A HOLE
There is nothing better than a good round of golf, but the halfway house is definitely par for the course – ok, apart from the 19th hole. A baked bacon and egg roll definitely puts the egg in the hole.
Using an egg moulder, assemble your pre-cooked back bacon slices in an oval shape to match your cracked egg. Place the ensemble on a stick free baking tray and cook for approximately six minutes per roll at160.
Hollow out your favourite bun – in this case I’m trying to hit the sweet spot by using a chocolate scone – and place your raw egg into the space. Then grill until you reach the fairway and your egg is just the way you like it.
EGG IN A BUNNY
This is essentially an egg and gnocchi lamb bunny.
Okay, I know that we have featured quite a lot of bunnies lately, but it has been the season for the little critters. This time round, I’ve tried a North Indian curry recipe, but featured the egg as the centre of the curry.
The egg not only absorbs the aromatics and spices, but also softens the blow of a hot curry. I’ve also added some potato dumplings to soak in those flavours as well. the easiest way is to use what is known as gnocchi in Italy (but enjoyed around the globe despite the fact that it originated in Mongolia.
FROM THE PANTRY
Ingredients needed for your chow include Kashmiri curry powder and a hot masala mix. For the base for this curry, you can use some peeled tomatoes, seasoned onions and then add 2/3 medium boiled eggs and some potato dumplings.
Give it a quick, five-minute cook before you fill that bunny with some hearty heated love.
NAGASAKI EGG NOODLE SOUP
Traditionally and nutritionally, eggs play a big part in Asian cuisine. Egg noodles are a pinnacle staple in Japanese food. They are healthy and add so much flavour and balance, especially in soups.
Eggs are extremely rich in choline a vital nutrient that helps with brain and liver function –
which is probably why we don’t forget to eat eggs.
Take it from me, this is a flavour bomb. I usually make my miso soup from scratch – hence the title instant noodle soup. Armed with a DIY miso home kit soup pack packed with all the umami flavours and goodness, I get going.
Bring your soup to boil, add your one time noodles and your pre-cooked boiled egg and all is ready in just five 5 minutes.
During the Worlds Cook Tour for Hunger, I spent a lot of time with a group of Danish chefs in Johannesburg. Their theme song for their chefs was: ” We are Danish Dynamite”. So, this dish is a tribute to them.
Denmark is known for its salmon but, living in a rainbow nation, I thought that I’d add a bit more colour and scramble things up a little. So, I created staple scrambled eggs and added some rainbow trout and Danish feta with some fennel to garnish.
Oh, and never forget, as a chef, there are rules and regulations when it comes to making the perfect scrambled eggs. Premix four eggs and 100ml of fresh milk in a bowl. When your pan is on medium heat, slowly pour in the mix and let it bubble.
Now for the real trick, never stir or use a wooden spoon! Slowly fold the egg, side to side with a spatula. Keep repeating and repeating until you are ready to add your crème fresh and trout right at the end. You just want to heat up the trout and crème and mix it in delicately.
Who doesn’t like to be pickled? In fact, nothing ‘beets’ the taste of pickled eggs which are really simple to make, yet so colourful and tasty.
After you have boiled your eggs – medium I suggest – let them cool down before soaking in beetroot juice overnight. You will have fancy pansy, colourful eggs in the morning.
ON A ROLL IN TOKYO
Again on the Asian front, we can digress to something bitter sweet, a bit of East meets West.
Japanese style pancakes become a sweet and sour delicacy. Making standard pancakes is a simple delight (google can tell you how). When you add some brown sugar and soy to your mix, it is like singing karaoke in Tokyo.
Once you’ve hit those high notes and flipped your pancake, drizzle some refined brown sugar and soy sauce over your egg pancake. Then fold it, ready to enjoy.
EGGS WITH A TWIST
To bring this blog to an end, I’m whipping it up to a crescendo.
For my crust, I’ve made a shortbread filling with lots of butter, but no eggs. Instead, I’ve used xanthan gum as an alternative to eggs for binding. Bake and set aside to cool.
To make the meringue, you’ll need 4 large egg whites, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Whip up your perfect meringue. Then, spread a little lemon curd on to your biscuit, spoon or pipe your meringue on top and grill in the oven for about a minute. Voila!
We take so many things for granted, so let’s get out of our shells and never get to busy making a life, to forget to live a life!