* Paprika aioli
* Chocolate Swiss Roll
* Smoked haddock with potatoes and a poached egg
* Spinach and egg bake with tomatoes
An egg is a neat little package that contains lots of health giving properties: vitamins, phosphorous, iron, zinc and a quite a few more.
I do not keep mine in the fridge as we use them almost as soon as they are bought, they are always lovely and warm and smooth to the touch.
If you do store your eggs in the fridge it is advisable to bring them to room temperature before baking with them.
Eggs are used in almost all baking and help, not only the flavour but the texture of cakes as well.
Sometimes a baking recipe will state the size of the eggs required; if it does not then use a medium egg.
In Ireland we generally eat hen’s eggs but there are many other birds eggs available if you seek them out.
Quail’s eggs are tasty and nutritious but a bit fiddly to work with.
Duck eggs, if you are lucky enough to get them, make the most beautiful omlettes, they are richer than a hen’s egg.
The only drawback of a duck egg omelette is that you do not get to see the beautiful blue hue of the shell; for this you need to resort to good old fashioned egg and soldiers and sit the pale blue egg upright on the table.
Flavoured salts such as toasted cumin seeds and lemon zest stirred through some crushed sea salt, makes for a tasty addition to any boiled egg.
Aioli is a Spanish sauce that has many uses.
It is often served as a precursor to dinner with some crunchy bread or as a dip for chips or fried fish.
The recipe I have included here has the smoky addition of paprika.
It adds a lovely taste and hue to the pale aioli and is wonderful used as a spread in a sandwich or just as a dip mentioned above.
When making aioli it is very important to pour the oil in a very thin steady stream.
I often use a water bottle that has a lid.
I punch a hole in the centre of the lid with a needle and then this allows for a very steady thin stream.
Making aioli takes a little time but I think it is a great sauce to have in your repertoire.
This method with a heavy pestle and mortar I find works the well. You can also use a whisk or a very slow setting on a mixer.
I have found over the years the slow pace of the pestle works best for me and does not result in splitting.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
½ small clove garlic, peeled
1 egg yolk
½ tsp of smoked paprika
285 mls of sunflower oil
285 mls of olive or rapeseed oil
lemon juice, to taste
Crush the garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in a large pestle and mortar. Add the egg yolk and paprika and combine it with the garlic.
Start to add the oil in a very slow steady stream. Add slowly and the continuous movement will create an emulsion. Add a little lemon juice and some cracked black pepper to taste at the end.
Serve with chips, fish or use instead of mayonsise in a sandwich.
The sauce has many uses and you can substitute the smoked paprika for another flavour if you like, mustard works well or a little pinch of saffron.
Chocolate Swiss Roll
150g of caster sugar
110g of self raising flour, sieved with the coco
25g of coco powder
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Line a swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
Beat the eggs and the sugar until they are white, thick and creamy.
Fold in sieved flour and coco, with a large spoon and scoop the mixture into the tin. Spread around evenly.
Bake for about 12 minutes until baked through.
To allow the sponge to cool. Sieve some caster sugar onto a clean tea towel. Turn the cooled Swiss roll onto the towel and put small slit crossways at each end (do not cut right through). Roll it up in the tea towel and leave to cool.
Unroll gently and cut off the edges. Fill the chocolate sponge with jam and cream. Roll up again and sprinkle with some icing sugar.
QUICK MID-WEEK MEALS
Smoked haddock with potatoes and a poached egg
Potatoes for four
4 fillets of un-dyed smoked haddock
200 mls of milk
80g of butter and an extra bit for the potatoes
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp of wholegrain mustard
White wine vinegar
Boil potatoes in lightly salted water and drain when cooked. Stir through a knob of butter and seasoning just before serving.
In a wide saucepan heat the milk and butter until simmering. Add the haddock and cook for approximately two minutes. It cooks very quickly so keep a eye on it. Take it out when it is starting to go opaque. Keep the cooking juices to one side.
In a separate saucepan heat some water for poaching the egg. Add a generous dash of vinegar and crack your first egg onto a saucer. Stir the water gently and pour the egg into the centre of the saucepan. Poach for three minutes so that the yolk is still soft.
Gently reheat the cooking juice and add the lemon zest, mustard and vinegar. Taste and season.
Place your haddock on a plate, place the egg on top and pour over your sauce. Place the potatoes on the side and serve.
Spinach and egg bake with tomatoes
A dash of rapeseed oil
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 potatoes, boiled and thinly sliced
8 eggs, lightly whisked and seasoned
2 tbs of basil pesto
2 handfuls of baby spinach
A handful of basil leaves
2 tomatoes, quartered
Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over a low heat. Sauté the garlic until it is starting to give an aroma. Lay the potato slices into the pan and pour the egg mixture over them.
Stir the pesto into the eggs almost immediately, creating a ripple affect. Then add the spinach and allow to wilt into the egg as it is beginning to cook.
Cook for five minutes over a gently heat. Sprinkle with seasoning, the basil and tomato then place under a medium grill for a minute or so, to firm up the top of the egg mixture.
Serve in the pan with some crunchy bread and butter on the side.
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