Thursday, 7 April 2011

I'll make you a Breakfast you can't refuse...

Sicilian-styled Coddled Eggs
(Like they never made in the Old Country)

Ok- this little baby is one of my signature dishes- so pay attention and prepare your taste buds for a trip to Sicily.

The idea for these breakfast eggs came from something my mother used to make when I was growing up. Basically, she used to prepare, what I suppose can only be described as a "Savoury French-Toast". But rather than dipping a couple of thick slices of stale bread into milk or cream to soften them up, then into egg... and frying them in a pan and sprinkling them with sugar and cinnamon, she would press mint and sun-dried tomato paste into the bread and fry it in an egg batter. This may sound strange to you- but trust me- the combination of egg, mint and sun-dried tomatoes is incredible, aromatic and flavorful in the extreme. And very typically Sicilian.

I wanted to create an alternative to scrambled eggs originally. Everyone loves scrambled eggs and bacon- but I wanted to do something less greasy, less ordinary, a lot more tasty and way more... cool.

So this was my idea...

I mixed together in a bowl the following ingredients:
Egg, milk, chopped bacon or ham, a little finely-diced sun-dried tomato, coarsely grated salted ricotta cheese, parsley, chives, mint and a little nutmeg and salt and pepper for seasoning. I found that I didn't need much salt at all because of the salty bacon, tomatoes and cheese- so be careful of that when you try this out. There are so many wonderful, natural flavours in this with all those herbs and the freshly grated nutmeg, that you really only need a little pepper to "up" what you already have going on. Beat this mixture together until everything is nicely mixed and pour it into your egg coddler. I found that with these added ingredients and a splash of milk, one egg really is enough for each serving, as it puffs-up a little like a soufflé as it cooks. At the same time... they end up being so delicious that you may just want to eat two... or three...

Seal the coddler and set it in a saucepan of boiling water- they only need to be covered 3/4 of the way up. Now the length of time you cook them for is a matter of taste. How do you like your breakfast eggs? A little runny in the middle? Creamy? Firm? Hard-boiled? It's of course up to you- but a time of 10-15 minutes is my preference for this particular dish... after which time you will be rewarded with something a little like this:

The freshness of the mint, the tanginess of the salty ricotta cheese and the sun-dried tomato, the mildness of the egg and milk... look- it's just very, very good- okay?

If you're reading this- you're one of the family. And we take care of each other. You do what I tell you to do and you won't go far wrong.

Ok- now mangia!
Buon appetito!

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