brunch

Poached eggs with avocado and chilli potatoes 

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You don’t need to wait for the weekend for this beautiful dish. It’s a great light midweek dinner or lunch as well as the perfect weekend brunch. 

We live in the age of avocado craze so admittedly this is not the first time you see a recipe like this one. But I was asked to blog the recipe by one of my followers when I posted a photo on social media…and here it is. 

I love using potatoes instead of bread but sourdough or other bread is a great alternative if that’s what you have handy. 

Poached eggs are  an absolute treat for me but if you like scrambled or fried don’t let me stop you. 

And  Dukkah, the Egyptian spice condiment the recipe for which is on my blog,  lifts flavours and as another page follower said ‘makes everything taste better’. So maybe have a go at making it this week. 

I love smoked salmon with avocado but you can easily omit it and replace with anything you fancy, for example sundried tomatoes work really well with this dish, as does chorizo and other spiced sausage if you are a carnivore.

Ingredients 

Feeds 2

  • 2-4 eggs, depending on your hunger
  • 1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced 
  • 170g new potatoes
  • 60g smoked salmon, half a packet 
  • Half a lime
  • 1/4 tsp chilli and garlic paste or 4 drops of Tabasco sauce 
  • A few slices baby plum or cherry tomatoes 
  • Salt
  • Olive oil 
  • White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dukkah spice mix 

Preparation

30 minutes 

  1. Wash and quarter the new potatoes (skin on) and simmer for 10 minutes, till cooked.
  2. Drain and mix in a bowl with the chilli sauce, a pinch of salt and a careful splash of olive oil. 
  3. Squeeze the lime juice on top of the avocado slices and sprinkle carefully with a bit of sea salt. 
  4. Slice the smoked salmon into thin slices.
  5. To poach the eggs bring a pot of water to the boil.
  6. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar.
  7. With a fork or spoon stir quickly in the middle to create a whirlpool and quickly  crack an egg into its centre.
  8. Simmer for 3-5minutes for a runny poached egg or a bit longer if you like it firmer.
  9. Cook one egg one at a time.
  10. Serve the egg(s) on a bed of potatoes, topped with the salmon strips and the avocados on the side.
  11. Add sliced baby tomatoes on the avocado if that takes your fancy.
  12. Sprinkle the dish with the Dukkah spice mix or a bit of salt.

Lia’s Tips:

  • You can also add more mild chilli sauces of your choice like Cholula or the coriander chilli sauce from Blaencamel market stall in Cardiff.
  • A dollop of yoghurt is mighty fine with this dish too.
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Eggs in red sauce-Shakshuka and Strapatsada

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Whether you call them huevos rancheros, shakshuka, menemen or,the very familiar to me, strapatsada, eggs in aromatic red tomato sauce are a popular breakfast and meal across the world. The basic principle is to precook a red sauce, most usually with fresh tomatoes, and then to either poach or scramble the eggs in it.

I have grown up with the Greek strapatsada as a summer dish or an easy dinner, in fact it is one of the first meals I ever cooked. Whilst strapatsada uses subtle flavours such as green peppers, pepper, basil or parsley and scrambles the eggs with feta cheese, shakshuka gains its distinctive flavour from spices such as (at least) cumin and turmeric, and requires that you poach the eggs towards the end of the cooking process.

You can play with this dish endlessly. Add chilli and serve with avocado for a Mexican twist, or use sumac for the scrambled Turkish menemen version.   But today I am sharing a version of the dish, closest to shakshuka,  which has allowed my Lia’s Kitchen recipe to reach new heights of flavour through the addition of honey mustard and fennel seeds. At the end of this blog entry, in my regular tips section, I give you instructions for a strapatsada  in the hope that this will satisfy your Greek cuisine cravings.

Ingredients

Feeds 4 (two eggs each)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 300g cherry tomatoes halved or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 fresh bay leaves or one dry
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1 t cumin seers
  • 1/4 t fennel seeds
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T (honey) mustard
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1T finely chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Preparation

30 minutes chopping and cooking

  1. Pick a pan wide enough to fit your four eggs when you poach them on top of the sauce.
  2. Sauté  the onion in a couple of tablespoons of oil with a couple of tablespoons of salt and all the spices  until translucent.
  3. Add the mustard and stir fry for a couple more minutes to release all the aromas. Add the tomatoes, another pinch of salt, the sugar.
  4. Stir, cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the juices are almost dry (more time needed for a tin of tomatoes). Break the four eggs carefully on top of the sauce.
  5. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the top of the eggs steam cooks to a light white.
  6. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander.
  7. Remove the eggs from heat immediately after you cook to stop the eggs from going firm or serve immediately.

Lia’s Tips:

  • It’s not the end of the world if the eggs go firm but this dish is most wonderful with runny poached eggs.
  • The more eggs you poach the wider your cooking pot should be.
  • Serve on sourdough bread. You will not forget me once you have tried this!
  • For a stapatsada include half or one green pepper and fry with the onions; don’t use any of the herbs or spices above, just salt and black pepper, and use parsley or basil to flavour the sauce  (basil is traditionally used in some of the Greek islands); once the sauce is cooked scramble the eggs in, remove from heat when the are cooked and add crumbled feta cheese (about 100g) to finish