Sunday, 2 September 2007

Rosti with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Hollandaise

Last weekend we had the annual migration to Turtles Crossing. Turtles Crossing is a very big house just near Forster, about 3 hours drive north of Sydney. We are up to our fourth visit now, and the only thing that has changed is the number of children. The adults have now officially been overtaken. We had 11 adults and this year, 12 children! All in one house! (It's a very big house!) I think we were all a bit sceptical this year - we thought maybe there were just too many children and this year would be the last year, but it all worked out beautifully.

Every family has a turn at cooking either a dinner or a breakfast. This year, I volunteered us for a breakfast. GKGK doesn't get a say what we do, because he doesn't cook. I must must say though, this year he helped out quite a bit. I think he probably had an ulterior motive - but this is a family blog so I won't go there!

Anyway, I don't think I've ever cooked breakfast for a big group before, and I didn't want to do the standard bacon and eggs, so obviously I needed to get some more cookbooks!! Amazon helped me out as per usual, with two breakfast/brunch cookbooks to get my creative juices flowing. I finally decided on a variation of eggs benedict, along with some apple crumble and some spiced date pastries.

For the apple crumble, I used GKGK's standard family recipe that they have for breakfast every Christmas. It's out of the Australian Women's Weekly Barbecue cookbook, so I can't put it up here. (Yes, work that one out! Apple crumble, cooked in the oven, in a barbecue cookbook!) Initially, everyone struggled with the whole crumble-for-breakfast thing, but they were hungry and it was sweet and tasty so they got over it quick enough!

For the spiced date pastries, I used a recipe from donna hay magazine. I'm not sure I would call them pastries. They're really just a scone-ish dough, rolled out flat then sprinkled with mixed spice and sugar, then rolled up and sliced up into scrolls. The magazine said to cook them in baking paper in individual muffin tins, but that sounded like way too much work to cut up all that paper so I just threw them all in a baking dish together. And I have to say, they were excellent! Unfortunately though, I was unprepared for their excellentness and I didn't make enough. They were good in my trial run at home but they turned out much better the second time around. I can't believe I undercatered. I think I must be someone else masquerading as me.

The piece de resistance was the eggs. I can't have any meal without potatoes coming in somewhere, so I started off with some potato rosti. Nothing fancy, no eggs or flour or anything to take away from that perfect potato flavour. On top of that, some rocket for a bit of colour and bite. Then an option - smoked salmon for the snobs, ham for the knobs who don't like seafood. A poached egg came next - I used those little poaching doovalackies that stand up in a saucepan. For the hollandaise, I had my cheat's version ready to go (It's a holiday. I wasn't going to stand there for half an hour whisking butter in). I also bought a jar just in case my version didn't work, but I was really hoping mine would perform, because I thought the jar one was dodgy. And of course, we sprinkled some chives on top to make it pretty. Which of course, makes you ask - where are the photos??? I only took photos of the first two serves, and they don't really look that pretty at all, so they're not going up here! But here is the recipe. Make it yourself and take your own photos! (Unless it all gets scoffed before you get the chance for the photo!)

Rosti with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Cheats Hollandaise
Serves 1

Rosti
1 medium potato, peeled and grated
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

Hollandaise
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbs lemon juice
40g melted butter, hot

Smoked salmon or leg ham off the bone
Rocket
1 or 2 fresh eggs
Chives, chopped

For the hollandaise, blend the egg yolk and lemon juice in a blender. With the blender running, drizzle in the butter until sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

For the rosti, squeeze all the moisture out of the potato. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan to medium. Add the butter and oil. Squeeze handfuls of potato together and place in the pan. Flatten out with a spatula or egg flip. Cook until golden brown, then flip and repeat for other side. You should get 2 rosti from one medium potato. Drain on paper towel.

While the rosti are cooking, poach the egg. Put the poaching doovalacky (that's its technical name) in a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat so that there are no bubbles breaking the surface of the water. This is below a simmer. Break the egg into a teacup or small bowl first, then slip the egg into the poacher. If you crack it directly into the poacher, you are much more likely to get egg white all through the water rather than in the poacher. Gently lower the poacher into the water. Cook until soft or firm, as you like.

Construct your breakfast. Rosti, rocket, salmon/ham, egg, hollandaise, chives.

Eat!

Note: I just noticed there is a recipe almost exactly the same as this on taste.com.au. But this hollandaise is better than that one!!!

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