Hello Everyone! Back with a quick one since I feel like you guys deserve another upload after being away for so long. Today I wanted to make a really filling and unforgettable brekkie where I can just sit down and enjoy it instead of packing it with me to bring to the office or even just skipping breakfast altogether. Well okay, I ended up having these for lunch after a deserved Sunday sleep in, but breakfast for lunch (even for dinner) is just the best thing ever!
So after my visit to Paper Plane Café 2 weeks ago or so (again as I mentioned in the previous post, I will do a review soon-ish), I really wanted to recreate their breakfast board at home. It looked simple enough to be able to do so just by glancing at the board and even pin-pointing the obvious ingredients. I must say that it was a huge success in the kitchen this morning, even though I may have burnt my balsamic reduction and the other side of the toast, oops! But nonetheless a brekkie so worth the time and effort spent in the kitchen. I invited my housemate Lydia as well for breakfast/brunch/lunch, so basically today’s lunch was a joint effort between the two of us. She’s now a professional chef! Under my guidance and supervision, as well as the Taste recipe being read to her, she made the Hollandaise Sauce all by herself for the very first time to go with the poached eggs. Her sauce was to die for! Apart from that, she helped wash and cut up the tomatoes, mushrooms and chorizo sausages, and also did a fair bit of the cleaning up. I took care of the rest. (This note is for Vidhya – don’t stop reading here, there’s a small paragraph/story at the end of the post!)
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 2
- 2 hash browns
- 2 hickory-smoked bacon rashers
- 2 large free range eggs
- 2 slices of Country Grain bread
- 2 field grown tomatoes, quartered
- 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
- 250g cup mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Handfull of rocket leaves
- Small thumb-sized ginger, grated
- Fresh Thyme Leaves
- Olive Oil
For the Hollandaise Sauce
- 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
- 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Fresh Thyme Leaves
- Ground salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180C. Place the hash browns and slices of bread on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the slices of bread with a bit of olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to about 50C to keep the food warm while you prepare and cook everything else.
- Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you are a hopeless impatient person like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess – basically what I did for the first batch of balsamic reduction. I was also stupid enough to try it and see if it was still edible, and it ended up sticking to the front of my teeth (not a very pleasing experience might I add).
- Meat, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms: Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the bacon and chorizo and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Place the bacon, chorizo slices, and tomatoes in the oven to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the grill pan with a bit of olive oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and lemon juice, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and then set aside in the oven to keep warm.
- Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
- Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
- Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
- Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
- Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
- Assembly: While the Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs are almost done, assemble your dish, this part is entirely up to you on how you wish to present it. Drizzle your balsamic reduction over your rocket leaves. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the eggs from the saucepan. Place on top of the toast and bacon. Then top with a generous amount of sauce to your poached eggs. Crack a little salt and pepper and serve immediately!
While having our lunch, all Lydia could talk about was how good it all tasted. She was already full, but she still wanted to eat more. We also talked about how in cafés you’d get an average dollop of hollandaise sauce, which is sometimes not enough with the amount of serving your get from the rest of the food. We had a whole bowl of it and basically drowned our eggs in them, and had them with everything basically. Also, the best thing about eating at home is that we get to be barbaric in a sense that we didn’t care about using our forks and knives, we ate our toast with our hands and weren’t afraid to have them smothered over the sides of our mouths or dripping down the side of our fingers.
– Ally xx