This week here are some egg recipes which are cracking value.
Spicy fried eggs
This is quite a traditional snack in many parts of Italy but of course would make a wonderful breakfast or late night supper.
Two ripe plum tomatoes; olive oil; four slices of ciabatta or other rustic type bread; four large eggs; two garlic cloves, thinly sliced; one red chilli, thinly sliced into rings; one tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped; one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and lightly dressed baby leaf salad with herbs, to serve
Heat a heavy-based griddle pan. Thickly slice the plum tomatoes and then lightly brush with olive oil. Add to the heated pan and cook for about five minutes until nicely marked. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Brush the bread with a little more oil and toast on the same pan until nicely marked.
Meanwhile heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and crack in the eggs. Scatter over the garlic and chilli, if using, and cook for a couple of minutes, spooning the hot oil over the egg yolks until they are cooked to your liking.
Place the griddled bread on warmed plates and quickly arrange the griddled tomatoes on top.
Scatter the chives into the egg pan and sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar. Season generously, then slide the eggs on to the tomatoes and drizzle over any pan juices. Add a small pile of the salad to each plate to serve.
Colcannon cakes with poached eggs
This dish would also be delicious served with a slice of baked ham or bacon if you have any left over. Alternatively, chop up the ham or bacon and add to the colcannon mixture before shaping into patties.
450g potatoes; 40g butter; three scallions, finely chopped; sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper; 50g Savoy cabbage, shredded; a little plain flour, for dusting; olive oil, for frying; one tablespoon of white wine vinegar; four large eggs.
For the Hollandaise sauce— two teaspoons of white wine or tarragon vinegar; two large egg yolks; 100g unsalted butter; fresh watercress sprigs, to serve.
Cook the potatoes in a covered pan of boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Meanwhile heat a knob of the butter and one tablespoon of water in a heavy-based pan with a lid over a high heat.
When the butter has melted and formed an emulsion, add the scallions and cabbage with a pinch of salt. Cover, shake vigorously, and cook over a high heat for one minute. Shake the pan again and cook for another minute, then season with pepper.
Drain the potatoes and mash until smooth, then beat in the remaining butter. Fold in the cabbage mixture. Shape the mixture into four balls, dust with flour and press into neat patties.
Heat a thin film of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the patties, then cook for three to four minutes on each side until golden brown.
To make the poached eggs, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the vinegar and season with salt and keep at a very gentle simmer. Break the eggs into the water and simmer for three to four minutes until just cooked but still soft on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper, trimming away any ragged edges.
To make the hollandaise sauce, place the vinegar and egg yolks in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Blend until just combined.
Gently heat the butter in a heavy-based pan until melted and just beginning to foam. Turn on the food processor and with the motor running at medium speed; pour in the melted butter in a thin, steady, stream through the feeder tube. Continue to blitz for another five seconds and pour back into the pan and stir in the scallions but do not return to the heat. Allow the heat from the pan to finish thickening the sauce as you stir it gently for another minute before serving. Season to taste with salt.
To serve, place a colcannon cake on each warmed plate and place a poached egg on top of each one. Spoon over the hollandaise sauce and add a grinding of black pepper to serve.