Like Mr Perry in last night’s BBC Emma (go here to discuss!), I am not altogether against eggs. We’re lucky enough to keep some chickens which
crap free range all over the yard. Despite having pretty much the best eggs available to humanity, I’m not a huge fan of the breakfast egg. In fact while I love eggs in quiches, frittatas or a nice spanish-style tortilla, I almost never face off an egg straight up.
We often have two breakfasts on weekends. The first is emergency carbo loading of early waking children, usually porridge, often at an inhumane hour. A hour or so later is still a very long time before morning tea, let alone lunch. This weekend’s second breakfast was baked eggs, from a recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald/Age weekend colour magazine last month by Andrew McCo. I ripped the end of his name off, poor love, and the paper doesn’t seem to include the weekend recipes on their zhuszhy site. So sorry, Andrew.
You sweat some finely chopped onion with honey in butter, then add a tin of smooshed up tomatoes, allspice and cinnamon and let it simmer until thick. You can do that the day before because Christ knows you’re not going to do it dressed in your ugg boots at 5:45 am. What you do do at 5:45 is put the oven on about 180C, generously cover the bottom of a ramekin with the warmed sauce, crack on a couple of eggs and then cover with foil and bake until the yolks are still runny. His recipe says about 5 minutes, but his oven is obviously more obedient and reliable than mine. Do keep checking if you’re a fiend for runny yolk, as a couple of minutes can make a huge difference. When it’s ready, spoon on some thick plain yoghurt and dukkah. We were all out of dukkah as it happens, so I substituted sumac and some seriously grassy green olive oil. In my opinion, if you can’t pour a slug of olive oil on your breakfast before 6 am, you may as well just lie down in front of Video Hits and cry.
I first made this a week or so ago, and it was a big hit. When I made it a second time I decided to simmer some canned broad beans along with the tomato sauce. (They’re labelled “foul moudammas” but are not at all foul – a point made by The Canberra Cook’s Cath in a post yesterday covering her visit to Canberra’s middle eastern grocery “Cedars of Lebanon”.)
The beans were a mistake, which explains why Andrew McCo gets the big bucks to write in the Good Weekend and I am a suburban housewife. The heaviness of the beans robbed the eggs of centre stage and their skins added a toothy edge that worked against the silky texture of the original recipe. Also, they didn’t look very pretty:
That yellow is the oil, btw, the yolks are still intact underneath. We ate it scooped up with softened tortillas. And that yoghurty spoon in the photo is all about the pressures of trying to take a picture of your breakfast quickly under the disdainful eye of the folks. It always amuses me to see food blogs criticised for not having publication-standard photography. This food’s for eatin’, peeps.