eggs

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duck egg risotto

There’s a food ritual in our house which goes like “(Me)What do you want for breakfast?”, “Anything”, “Nah go on what do you want?”, “Just some toast”, “Ah… just some toast?”, “Yes”, “Just toast?”, “Yes”, “Well was thinking of having poached eggs on rye bread with hollandaise.” There’s also my “would you like me to do the dishes routine” but that’s for another day.

lime hollandaise


So hollandaise it was, and it’s not that tricky, and I added the juice of half a lime and had with spinach which makes it Eggs Florentine and kinda healthy. Then off to Mr Snippy’s Barber Shop where he was kind enough to offer me a nice cold Coopers Red. Gorgeous day, smashing haircut, and a morning bevvy and I was in fine form for a bit of bicycle chain shopping “You know how to fit it” , “Yep”, “And you’ve got the right tools” “Ah yep”, “And one of these things (bit of loopy wire)”, “Yeah yeah of course”, “Make sure it’s not too tight”, “No No”. Of course these were complete lies but I find it hard to admit not being able to do stuff, especially manly mechanical stuff. And anyway I’m now the proud owner of a chainbreaker and a bit of loopy wire which I bought at another shop.

blue sheep cheese


On to the Ginger Pig in Angove Street to drop off a couple of mags. It’s a lovely little food shop and I came out with some Raw (unpasteurised) French Sheep’s Blue Cheese and some Morbier (which has a line of ash in the middle), two duck eggs (a nearby shop owner has ducks and they deliver them fresh), and a jar of local handmade OohLala Coconut and Lime Curd. I went to a cheese night at Herdies Fresh where Catherine Ferrari, whose family has been importing cheese for decades, talked us through some Italian, French and Irish Cheese so I was a bit evangelised on the two good cheeses and no fruit salad approach to cheeseboards. It’s also a complete pain in the arse to get cheese into Australia so show a bit of gratitude.

No point leaving it to sit it in the fridge so I took it over to a friend’s place for some drinking and spirited Play Station Guitar Hero playing (Iron Man/ More Than a Feeling/ Smoke on the Water/ Wanna be Sedated/ Take me Out – all with dab mastery of the maneuver dubbed “rooting the wombat”). I must have this game. The sheep cheese was strong like Black Sabbath yet delicate like Boston and creamy like erm Cream.

Dim Sum for brekky in Northbridge and a day of sloth. Toni went off to buy some folders which I took as “going to buy some folders but secretly going off to buy me Guitar Hero to surprise me and make me the happiest boy in the world” but she really was just going to buy folders and apparently the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind.

duck eggs


Now what to do with some leftover sheep’s cheese and duck eggs. Both were the stronger less popular siblings of the more popular cow’s cheese and chicken eggs so they made a good pair. I’d made some chicken stock the day before (nice one too – it’s always good when it turns easily to jelly in the fridge) so blue cheese risotto it was. Your standard risotto with chopped shallots and pancetta and some fried spring onion and the blue cheese and parmesan reggiano mixed in at the end.

The fired duck egg was on top was because I like Nasi Goreng and the yolk was kept runny and mixed in with the hot risotto. Lovely, a very fancy eggy rice.

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Poached salmon with kang kong scrambled eggs


OK here we go. Deboned and skinned salmon cutlets poached in white wine, pepper, bayleaf, and parsley with scrambled eggs with cream and mushrooms with kang kong sauteed in olive oil with thin pieces of pancetta. Topped with a reduction of the poaching liquid with cream and chopped capers. Gotta do something about that glare. Any questions?

…..
Saffy asked how I poached the salmon. The roundlet of salmon is how they prepare it at Jacksons for the confit. You cut the cutlet down the middle, take the bones out, skin it, and then make a ying-yang shape and tie it up. This was the point where I found out I didn’t have any string so I secured it with a couple of skewers. Couple of big glasses of wine in a saucepan with peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley and bring it to boil. Place it on a heat mat/diffuser to get it down to a very low simmer (almost no bubbles) and then add the salmon. Top up to cover the salmon with water and poach until cooked. If you don’t have a diffuser, a very low heat will do.
…..
Seems to be trouble with the commenting, if so just email me – spiceblog at gmail.

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chicken and mushroom quiche


Today is International Women’s Day. Spiceblog is well regarded as a leader in gender issues on the internet in Australia so I shouldn’t let this slip by. As is often said, where the mirror cannot be found, the dish will do. Last Friday I went to the outdoor movies and I made a quiche. For those around at the time, the quiche was a minor celebrity in the crisis of manhood in the early 80s – second only to the manbag. It managed to inspire a book “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” with the punchline being “they eat ham and egg pie”. Hoohoo indeed! I’m not sure where this animosity came from, I mean it’s not as if half our language isn’t French already or that manliness is derived from an earthy literalness that would have us saying that’s not a carburettor, it’s a device to regulate the flow of fuel and air into the cylinder. Possibly it was a kind of no-nonsense response that played into a myth of the fall. The fall being the defeat in 1066 by the Normans which destroyed the priveleged position of good honest monosyllables and all things Arthury or something. So ingrained in me was this that there was a moment of hope that since I didn’t have a quiche tin and had to use a cake tin, the lack of scalloped edge and the relative heightiness meant that it would be a pie. It wasn’t

Get yourself some short-crust pastry, butter a tin, cut a circle of pastry out, place it in the bottom. Cut some strips out to go around the edge. Seal up any gaps and blind bake for 10 minutes at 220C. If you haven’t done this before, it’s just to get it nice and crusty. Place some dried beans on the pastry to stop it puffing up. I disn’t have any beans so I used some ceramic hashioki. Just put a sheet of baking paper under them.

Mix was one chicken breast which I left to marinate for an hour in Ras al Hanout spices. Pan cooked and shredded. About a cup of chopped field mushrooms and then a third as much chopped spring onions and a third as much of that in chopped scallions all gently cooked in butter. Mix together with the chicken and a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley. Four whole eggs, half as much cream, and half again of cheddar I had. OK alright there’s maths here but are you going to have the same amount of spring onions as mushrooms? No. Half as much mushrooms as chicken maybe. I wanted mix with eggy bits just holding it together and I got it. How much cheese do you want? Make a decision. Salt and pepper. Cook at 180C until you dip a knife in it and it comes out clean and then take it out and cool it on a rack. You can then pop it back in the tin for easy transportation to said French film.

Film of which was French film The Story of My Life – dealing with thirthysomething doubt regarding artistry versus commerce versus success versus failure versus risk versus identity versus vulagarity versus the woman you have versus the woman you want all mixed together in a second act snarl up with comedic result and character switchovers.

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terrine de mère et de fille


Sunday was the Fremantle Family Food Fiesta and Jeff the photographer and me decided to make an appearance with our loved ones on behalf of the mag. For those that like their fun highly organised, this was a treat with rules stretching to over two pages. The theme was the family’s favourite dish and this, with both of us having fairly bog standard Australian food childhoods, left us non-plussed. Unlike other foodies who could successfully write an essay within the given 50 minute period “Becoming a foodie was inevitable, discuss, giving examples with special emphasis on the period leading up to the event”. Pens down. My home food was neither especially bad or especially extraordinary, just food to feed a family with some variety with a supermarket 30 miles away. My mum though would always make a platter, or “plate”, for local dances and as these became kind of signature dishes for each family, I thought I’d recreate it, but in aspic. Not that it ever was in aspic but it’s a tasty enough allusion to the way we suspend and organise our memory.

It’s not an overly intimidating thing to make. All the work is creating the aspic. Unless you’re happy with commercial stocks, you’ll be making your own chicken stock. I ended up making a consomme and a good explanation of the hows and whys is here. A few things to think about. I used three teaspoons ofgelatine for 500ml of stock and added an extra teaspoon for hot weather. This balanced well – you don’t want it turning into chum but then again you don’t want something with the consistency of silastic. The stock should have its own gelatine from the bones and a good one gels in the fridge. If I’d done the chicken stock again, I would have a added a veal bone or tried to track down a calves foot. Failing this, maybe given a pig’s trotter a bit of a look.

As for the interior bits, I roasted a whole free-range chicken with sage, lemon, and butter. Butter and sage under the breast skin, lemon up the jacksie, and a good butter and seasoning all over. Shred.
Boiled four free-range eggs for 9 minutes and then refreshed in cold water to stop the cooking process. Working from memory, the fresher the eggs, the more likely you’re going to have a nice sharp junction between the yolk and the white.
Chopped up a small jar of gherkins and a small jar of small red cocktail onions.

I use a sharp rectangular bread tin-no need to oil or line with wrap. Pour a thin layer of aspic on the bottom and allow it to set (in the freezer if you keep a sharp eye on it) and then decorate with three egg halves and assorted shapes of gherkin and onion. Top with more chicken and chopped egg gherkin, chicken, and onion mix. I let it set again at the half way point to keep it all a bit loose and have a greater proportion of jelly. Fill again to a smidgen below the top and cover with aspic.
Get a piece of box the size of the tin, wrap it in foil, and place on top with a weight (eg bottle of beer) leave for 12 hours. Wipe fridge clean if you didn’t leave a smidgen of space on the top.
Cut around the sides with a sharp paring knife and if it doesn’t come out, just heat the top a little with some warm water.
Served with a surrounding salad of lettuce, carrot, gherkin, cheese cubes, cocktail onions, and flicks of pate. The best thing for cutting is a serrated cheese knife and if you make slow careful stroke, you should get a nice neat slice. Good stuff. The terrine is now my new official vehicle of food innovation.

250 people showed up for the lunch and there were some pretty speccy efforts with people bringing their finest for dining. I went along just to have fun and be there and then vowed revenge for next year – I’m thinking pig . Kudos to Jeff’s sausage rolls and chutney . Charmaine Solomon was there!

terrine de mère et de fille

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Mojo's


Third in a series of spiceblog’s dinner and a show. Tapas and a trip to Mojo’s and the Swan.

tortillaHere’s a tortilla that I seem to have done properly. Two important things. Frying the onion and the discarding the onion and keeping the oil. Leaving the cooked potatoes to sit in the egg mix for fifteen minutes before returning it to the pan.
Chop one medium sized onion finely and saute gently in a heavy pan without burning in half a cup of olive oil for 20 minutes. Leave the oil but discard the onion. Actually don’t chuck it in the bin like I did but use it for another dish. Peel and thinly slice five potatoes, I used Royal Blue which are the most versatile. It’s a nice bit of knife practice by the way. I added a small handful of chopped thinly sliced jamon to the oil and then added the potato in layers, seasoning each layer as I went along. Let the potatoes slowly cook, turning and mixing gently as needed until cooked. Drain the potatoes and reserve two tablespoons of the oil. Add the potatoes to a bowl of 5 whisked free-range eggs (look I’m not arguing here 50% of the taste is the egg) and a couple of tablespoons of parsely. Leave to sit for 15 minutes.

Add the oil to the pan, heat, and then add the potato-egg mix and press it down with a spoon. Keep shaking the pan to loosen the base. When the base is very lightly browned, slide it onto a plate, and then flip back over into the pan to do the top. Remove and serve.

A few other things we had were mussels cooked in Vina Esmeralda and parsley and then grilled with a parmesan, butter, garlic and parsley mix. Cheese and quince paste, tomato and lightly toasted sourdough bread. And salted cod potato cakes with aioli.Chorizo in Red Wine. Apologies for not having more pics but I do tend to spare new guests the sight of me taking too many food photos.

And down to Mojo’s in North Fremantle to see a promising bunch of twelve year olds in their first gig. Talented little buggers. A very Black Sabbathy original song which filled my heart with hope now I realise that Wolf Mother are jazz rockers. Rock on Short Fuse. Another acoustic performers, then two more acoustic performers at the Swan Hotel (which has the best tiles for a men’s toilet ever). All good, there’s no fairness you know. [shakes head wistfully, looks at beer thoughtfully]

short fuse singer two cute kiddoes in a band

[note to self: see more bands, write name of bands down, go electric despite solid acoustic performances]

Oh yes. Big plug for Spanish Flavours in the Wembley Food Hall next to the Wembley Pub. I got my jamon, chorizo, salted cod, and quince paste there. Quince paste was great and only $10 a kilo. Good line of friendly helpful chit-chat from the owner who does a good job of the whole rolling h for j thing.

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bbq egg


Ah yes mag is away (huzzah!) so now for a bit of egg related rock stuff to make up for EoMEoTE that’ve been neglecting baby.

Here is a egg. It was cooked on a barbecue and it is as close to eggy perfection as is humanly possible. Ponder that. Don’t argue. It lives on a pile of the corpses of a million odd shaped, burnt bummed, hard yolked, flipped over, greasy cold barbecue eggs.

A quick recap – Breakfast Barbecue order is this
- cook the tomatoes in the oven, they’re a messy pain in the arse on a hot plate.
- cook the bacon to softness and then put it into the oven to crisp up. On some toast if you like toast soaked in pig fat, and you do.
- cook the sausages
- remove sausages and cover with foil (don’t go anywhere near the bbq unless you have a roll of foil and a plate to put the cooked stuff on).

Now for the eggs. Make sure the plate is hot, add a bit of oil to the bbq and then crack away. Let them fry for a minute. They will start to get a slight crust on them which will make them easier to get off. Turn the heat off, close the lid of the BBQ and leave until the yolk are how you want them, which is runny. Sunny. Serve. That’s it. Easy. Perfection. All else is fluff. Enjoy with cold Coopers Ale and Vodka, Watermelon, Banana and Mint Smoothies.

Thanks to Kate and Jon for brekky.

The eggs were much needed aminoes for the Big Day Out. A yearly rock festival that makes its way to Perth and it is a good thing. A very good thing. This year the feature act was the more or less reformed (usage advisedly) Stooges. A quick summary of 60′s rock:
The Beatles – dull
The Rolling Stones – dull
The Doors – dull
The Who – good (although I think that had to do with me being heavily impressed by Paul Smith)
The Beach Boys – dull
Bob Dylan – dull
Herman’s Hermits – dull
The Stooges – in a vision of the universe compressing to a singularity and then exploding again, the Stooges are that singularity. All else is fluff, distraction, and waffle. I do them a disservice by talking about them, they should be listened to loudly. And, if you can, and I did, live.

Iggy A round of applause for the underappreciated Ron Asheton Iggy


I’d rewrite an Iggy poem but I will simply quote:

Now look out
I took a record of pretty music
I went down and baby you can tell
I took a record of pretty music
Now I’m putting it to you straight from hell
I’ll stick it deep inside
I’ll stick it deep inside
Cause I’m loose
I feel fine to be dancin’, baby
I feel fine, I’m a shakin’ leaf
I feel fine to be dancin’, baby
Cause it’s love, yeah I do believe
I’ll stick it deep inside
I’ll stick it deep inside
Cause I’m loose
And I’ll stick it deep inside
And I’ll stick it hey
Well I’m loose, well I’m loose
Well I’m loose

Not to be touched.
However:
Egg egg me do
You know I love you
Ohh pleeeeease please please
Egg me do

See. Crap. More than it deserves.

Sexy Tex Perkins and the Beasts of Bourbon and the White Stripes had a bit of the magic too, when they kept the fack away from the marimba.

Tex Perkins Jack and Meg White Jack and Meg White


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speck and leek omlette

Was going to do the hicken chicken (erk! thanks Santos) post but busy busy busy so here’s the egg one. Omlettes are the traditional food of the busy, yet are notoriously tricky to perfect. This is a shame as they’re the gateway from worthlessness at Le Cordon Bleu. There was something about banging the handle or something that I can’t work out, but I think I’ve done a reasonable job here. As it’s mainly practice with these things, I thought it would be a nice idea to use my small crepe pan so I could make four instead of two. This is the fourth one.

Five free-range eggs, lightly beaten with freshly ground pepper added (you can add salt but the speck is quite salty already). Usually omlettes are just eggs but I had about 2tbs of double cream leftover so that went in too. It doesn’t blend in particularly well but ah well.

Half a leek, finely sliced, about a handful of cubed speck (or bacon or pancetta), and a clove of local garlic. Sauteed in butter for a few minutes and then braise in half a glass of red wine until the wine is absorbed. Reserve.

Melt some butter in the pan, not allowing it to brown, and making sure it covers the pan well. Add a quarter of the mix and work the top with a fork. When it’s still a little runny on top add a tablespoon of the leek and speck in the third closest to the handle. Lift up the pan. Work an egg slice under at the handle and fold over at the one/third point to the two third part. Add some more butter and allow it to run under the rest of the omlette. Put down the pan and flip the other third over and then flip the omlettes onto a plate. You can drizzle some extra melted butter over it if you wish.

Browned on the outside. Runny in the middle. All animal protein and fat, it’s fantastically rich. My heartsie.

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chilli and soy scrambled eggs

Are you ready Jeanne? Aha
Stephanie? Yeah!
Uma, Emma?
Alright girls lets go!

Oh it’s getting oh so hard
Thinking of the things to do with eggs, aha
Oh once again it’s carbohydrates
unspecified, but subjected to heat

I see a chilli in the crisper
Chopped up it’s as hot as the sun
And the cream it was creamy
It thinks it’s the buttery one

The eggs, they were free range, which isn’t at all strange
The butter was danish, unsalted and delish.

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
And the chilli was deseeded
and soy sauce interceded
And it turned into the scrambled eggs
With the cream it was padded
And sugar was added
And it turned into the scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs

It’s it’s scrambled eggs, It’s it’s scrambled eggs
It’s it’s scrambled eggs, yeah, it’s scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs.

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scrambled eggs

The reward of being interested in cooking is not so much in doing the ambitious things as it is in doing simple things better. Omlettes are are vexatious candidate for this, seemingly impossible to get just right. Scrambled eggs however.

Use free range eggs. If we’re going to harness sentient creatures to our own benefits we may as well pass a bit of humanity their way. If this sounds like animal rights by noblesse oblige, well yes it is. Crack half a dozen of them, pick some chervil and flat leafed parsley from the garden, a gentle whisk, not quite smoothing over the distinctions between yolk and white and let it sit for half an hour; adding a splash of milk and a sprinkle of pepper.

Heat a heavy fry pan and then switch to a very low heat. A heavy pan will distribute the heat evenly. Another slower alternative is to use or make a bouble boiler. Melt some butter in the pan. Add the eggs and keep scraping the base of the pan with a spatula, regularly turning and flipping. The goal is to have little grains of doneness in an otherwise cream like consitency. Don’t be afraid to just turn the heat off and let it coast. It should pour.

As a side boil some spinach for a minute and then strain. Cook up some sliced ham in butter and add the spinach to it with the pepper.

Very softly cooked scarmbeld eggs are marvellous and travel well in the mouth. Creamy, warmy, tasty. The only chew should come from the accompanying bread. The spinach is there for the colour and the iron.

[insert segue later]

A couple of things of import for Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart. One. I’ll be writing for and setting up a website with a new food mag coming out in Perth called Spice. Familiar yes. Entirely coincidental, although I like to imagine a kind of localised Rupert Sheldrake vibe slowly seeping out. It will be good. People starting it up are sharp, earnest, and dedicated. Opposites attract. Two. Thanks to Crafty and Chris I get to have a go working in the kitchen at Jackson’s Restaurant this Thursday. It’s a brilliant restaurant, best in Perth, I’m not worthy of removing the peel from their potatoes.

Go play your hand, you big talking man,

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egg of greg

Related:Cook sister!, on the ball.
Unrelated: Crying, while eating (thank you bright young Mark).

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eggbenedictum2

Being a classic “plus one” personality type with the added disadvantage of being a secular animist tends to make me very prone to suggestions from friends instead of omniscient beings (witness this whole EoMEoTE thing). The Voices.

Admittedly an egg based tribute to an aged doctrinal heavy wasn’t on the top of my list of things to, but as it was for my favourite lefty, Robert Corr, how could I refuse? Despite spiceblog being typically oblique and asynchronous to the goings on of the world (I mean the last five posts were all a thinly veiled commentary on the Crimean War) I thought I’d give it a go anyway. May the eggs provide a guide for the church into the 20th century. This one’s for you your Wholebreadiness – Pope Benedict XVI.

The parsley, green for Irish Catholicism. The hollandaise sauce, gold, always believing. Does it come from Holland? You’d think not, hot-bed of Reformists, libertines, and Jewish emigres called Rodrigues. No lemons so a dash of vinegar.

The bread, New Norcia Seven Grain Sourdough. Why seven? Black Francis says that God is Seven. Seven grains, one loaf, many slices. What’s in it? St. Paul, in his first Letter to Corinthians tells us “a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind” [15:38] . Take that gnostics. Who’s responsible for this bread? None other than Benedictine monks. And despite leavened being symbolic of our sinful nature they’re giving it too us anyway. Well not exactly giving it to us but it’s a nice thought in a long tradition of good work and public good. So whether you’re munching on some Cistercian cheese or knocking back a couple of Trappist coldies, we foodies have much to appreciate in this smart sacred-profane/member’s lounge-public bar combo and look forward to future ventures.

Which brings us to the bacon. Not not-Catholic thinker Francis Bacon, (secular saint of preserved goods, martyred by dying after research into freezing chickens), but amoral bacon. In certain other major religions you’d be forced to have the relatively lackluster Eggs Florentine, for no better reason than because because. This is a courageous decison and to be respected, it’s not like pigs were particularly well regarded. Unlike bread and fish which were something to be shared, pigs got to be cliff jumping demon dumpsters, leaving a very large question mark over their qualities. This was the kind of thing that could split a church and tie up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for centuries, but it hasn’t. Is it healthy? Should it be crispy? Do pigs have horrible lives before being slaughtered? Unless it’s hillbilly style congress, we are forced to live in this tremendous moral void. How are we doing? Well, surprisingly enough, great.

Finally, the eggs. Symbols of reproduction and womanhood… ah well at least they’re not gay eggs.

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EoMEoTE5

How I love EoMEoTE. It is to food posting, what the electric starter is to engines.

I say this because last Monday I was in a plastic dinghy, in the surf, with a rope start outboard, listening to the whir and gasp of an engine that was doing nothing, as the waves rolled in. Why was I doing this? Because a few hundred metres offshore, were the bounty stuffed crayfish pots we had put out the day before under even more calamitous circumstances. A pump of fuel and a weedy rumble, off we went and at the end of the rope we found nothing we hadn’t seen 15 hours before. Never mind.

Breakfast then became pancakes and bacon and, as Carita had prepped the poaching liquid as per the previous day, poached eggs. I suspect she knows enough about the vagaries of fishing to have not prepared soy sauce and wasabi or whipped up some lime butter. The poaching liquid – the addition of a splash of balsamic, some parsely and two whole chillies. Does it make a difference? I think it does.

Toni is the egg poaching expert in our house so I deferred to her advice on cracking the egg into a ladle and gently lowering it in. A poke to test doneness and served with buckwheat pancakes and the toast that had lain in the oven under crisping bacon.
Was it crayfish?
placcyboatNo.
Did I care?
As is often said:
You cannot eat your dreams,
for the taste of marshmallows,
becomes the mouth of feathers.

Round Up: I’m the Alex Winter of EoMEoTE! Fixed.

Oi!: Who’s the cheeky Netdisaster monkey?

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eomeote4eggswine

I remembered my monthly eggy cycle not with the stomach but with the brain when Chris Sheil gave post-modernism CPR after the beating it received from angry villagers, accusing it of pinching apples and looking funny. I was just there to defend scrambled eggs, I’m a simple man¹.

I was going to go for the perfect poached egg but a slight victory hangover called for fried. Not very inspired I know, but chance favours the prepared mind and a 1/4 full bottle of last night’s shiraz was at hand. Too late go through the elaborate procedure of Bacon and Eggs Poached in Red Wine I just poured a glass in the frypan once the whites had set and placed a lid on. A quick dash outside to get a twig of rosemary from the garden to add. Simmered until the yolks were cooked. A tasty sunny side up finish to the eggs and an instant jus to be soaked up by the bread. The bread was New Norcia sourdough and was joined by fried roma tomatoes, bacon, and hash browns.

eomeote4baconeggs

If you’d like to know more or be a part of EoMEoTE²#4 please speak with our lovely host of the month and founding member Jeanne. The round-up will be in a week or so.

¹But I do know what I like. I woke up one morning to the guest “post-modernist” chef on Good Morning America telling us about his [gasp!]edible menu and [swoon!] hot/cold soup. The former dismissed by the Flinstone writers long ago in favour of the “bringing the table tennis table to the French restaurant” gag, and the latter showing he’s never used a microwave. He would have been covering himself with mud for a performance piece twenty years ago and choking on Gitanes Sans Filtre, forty. Stick to carny son.

²EoMEoTE is a global iniative to promote accessible engagement with simple food and shared experiences. All are welcome to partcipate. Spiceblog uses and encourages the use of free-range eggs.

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morgenhofcheninblanc2001

I know it may seem , having got past the initial step of being able to identify wine as wine, that I stumbled at the next stage of distinguishing between red and white. I could ask for pity as I suffer from the debilitating genetic illness of partial red-green colour blindness and subsequent humiliation at the hands of Ishihara test administrators. I’m also prone to the “hardware store effect” as well double-entedric distraction. As a result, I humbly submit to Wine Blogging Wednesday #6 heads down south – South African Reds, a chenin blanc.

The occasion was Greg Manthatcatchesgreatfish was bringing over some dhufish fillets from said great fish for cooking. Joining us was Anonymous of Floreat, glorying in topping the sales figures for Supermart and handily bringing an Australian chenin from a winery bought by a South African. How apropos.

halinabrookchenin

First off was the Halina Brook Estate 2003 Chenin. Unusually north for a West Australian wine with a vineyard near Bindoon. I can only tell you what I wrote on my kitchen whiteboard and that was “densely packed citric bite in an oily enteric coating“. Thinking back it was better than that sounds, a sharp hit that grabbed the tongue with a heavyweight refreshing linger.

Unusually further west was, from Stellenbosch South Africa, the Morgenhof Estate 2001 Chenin Blanc (or “Steen” as they say on the veldt). Immediately noticeable, even to me, was the richer gold colour of the wine. A shade over $20 a bottle, it’s midplaced between equivalent budget bests and lower premiums in price which sets up certain expectations. It has a simple trick and I fell for it. Like any song with a cow-bell, any wine that can tranport its flavour across my tongue in a sherbety fashion will have my love. And it does. Nothing else interfered with it, not the stone fruitiness or the warm nose. If you like this effect I don’t need to tell you any more, in fact I can’t. Thank you South Africa.

dhufishfillet

As for the meal. The dhufish fillets were cooked on a stovetop griddle just in butter. They are not to be messed around with. I found “done” occurred just as the fillet looked like it was going to flake. For a simple match I had Pommes Veronique without the garlic and good dab of goose fat; oven roasted asparagus; and a bernaise without the sorrel tarragon sauce on the side. It’s a magnificent piece of fish, sweet and unfishy without being bland. A West Australian must have.

Egg whites to be rid of led to the soufflé omlette. The combination of 4 egg yolks with 115gm of caster sugar, whisked until pale and creamy with 30ml of Cointreau added once done. Egg whites whisked until stiffly peaked with a little extra caster sugar added slowly for extra hold and gloss. A third mixed in with the yolks and then the rest folded in. Baked in a long baking dish in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes, some strawberries dropped in and then warmed brandy and Cointreau poured over. Light the match and ….. oh well, must have gone straight to the bottom. The dessert that wasn’t there, sugar and booze mysteriously appears in the mouth.

Rest of the meal spent with readings of The Philosopher in the Kitchen. Hilarious. Best thing since the Scarlet Pimpernel.

dishes

Typically well written red round-up from Jeanne at A barrel of South African reds – WBW#6 round-up, Part I and Part II

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Ongoing omlettes.

6 free range eggs; bunch of spinach – chopped; feta cheese – cubed; garlic clove -sliced; butter; pepper

Eggs separated with the whites whisked to whiteness, and then the yolks folded in. Peppered. Rested. Garlic softened in butter and followed by the spinach and then the the feta added to get it a little melty. Put aside. Cooked in some more butter with the spinch feta mix added while the top is still runny. Folded into thirds.

Well?

The execution was botched leaving a less than happy looking omlette but rather tasty I’d have to say.

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No.

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Frittata are the inflexible predecessors of omlettes and the easiest of all egg things to make – including boiled. I had 5 eggs so instead of two skinny omlettes, I made this from a look in the fridge. What I had were some smoked salmon pieces*. I also looked at a tub of sundried tomatoes but decided it’d overdo things and applied the less is more rule.

Being

5 Margaret River Free Range Eggs, handful of chopped smoked salmon, 2 grated potatoes, chopped parsley, 4 chopped spring onions, pepper, olive oil

Doing

Separated the egg whites, gave them a good whisking to aerate. Reunited the yolks, mixed and added the parsley and seasoned with a little pepper. In an ovenable cast iron frypan, I gently fried the spring onions until soft. Then, a mild heating and stir of the potatoes and salmon. In went the eggs, making sure they covered it all. Cooked gently until browned underneath then finished in the oven under the griller.

Nothingness

It was very very nice. And I use nice advisedly, it made me feel homely, earthy – I saw bits of moss between logs. Good. Easy. If I were back in my three recipes are all you need days, this would have been one of them.

*Attention shoppers: Innaloo fish markets do a good price on smoked salmon “bits”.

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