Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon

Egg Florentine 2

One of my favourite all time breakfast is a really good Eggs Benedict. Though widely available in many restaurants and countries not all serve it well. A very good eggs benedict for me constitute runny egg yolk, eggs poached to perfection and a freshly made hollandaise sauce that has a smooth and silky texture with a good balance sweet and salty flavour without the vinegar over powering the overall taste. As an alternative to my ham based eggs benedict I also like to use   smoked salmon and in some cases have both. A lovely breakfast to have on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Salmon Egg Florentine

Eggs Benedict Salmon

KITCHEN KIT: Balloon whisk, sauce pan and a bowl

Ingredients:
1.  2 eggs
2.  Some water for poaching the egg
3.  3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar
4.  4 slices of good quality smoked salmon
5.  2 English muffins, sliced in halves
6.  Some butter to spread over the muffins (optional)
7.  Dill, chopped for garnish (optional)

For the hollandaise sauce:
8.  2 tsp lemon juice
9.  2 tsp white wine vinegar
10. 3 large egg yolks
11. 130g cold unsalted butter, diced
12. Pinch of Salt and pepper (optional)

The Muffin and Salmon:
1.  Preheat grill to highest temperature, place your English muffin on the grill for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown and crisp. Plate, butter and add 2 slices of salmon on top of the muffins.
Poaching the eggs:
2.  On a medium sauce pan over a high heat, bring water to the boil and stir in the white wine vinegar.  Lower the heat and simmer gently. Stir the water and vinegar a few times and slowly slide in the eggs one by one. Cook each eggs for about 3-4 mins. Once cooked remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the English muffins with ham.

Poached Eggs

The Hollandaise Sauce:
4.  On a sauce pan, over very low heat, whisk your lemon juice and white wine vinegar, add the egg yolks whisking constantly until light and frothy. (the pan should never be too hot for you to touch the sides of it)
5.  Gradually add the butter, whisk constantly until butter has melted.
6.  When the butter has completely melted, turn up the heat to medium-low, whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened.  (If it looks like it might be splitting and the mixture starts to steam, turn off the heat and whisk continuously for a few mins. It is important to keep whisking to prevent it from splitting and to thicken the mixture.)
7.  When the mixture has thickened and is smooth, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour over the top of the salmon. Garnish with some chopped dill.

Serve immediately.

Extra Tip: Hollandaise Sauce-to make sure that your sauce does not split, don’t stop whisking until the sauce has thickened. Keep the sauce under very, very low heat. If it is not easy to control the heat, put your mixture on a bowl, place the bowl on a simmering sauce pan with water also under low heat.

Eggs Benedict

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Quiche Lorraine Part 2

Quiche 5

I was sitting at a café in Arras and I immediately felt so excited to be back in France again. I’ve always been fond of French patisseries, macaroons and amazing cakes.
Although, I am very adventurous with my food and will happily try anything and experiment on recipes. I do have certain favourites that I just can’t help having so much of. A trip in France is never complete without my usual quiche, croque monsieur and French patisserie for lunch. This is one of my all-time favourite lunch dishes at home and in France.

I do like my quiche warm though and I must admit that I have experimented on over 30 or so different Quiche Lorraine recipes to get to this version. I am sure that in a few years’ time this experimentation will go on. I called this my Quiche Lorraine Part 2 since this is an adaptation of my Quiche Lorraine Part 1 which is also on this blog.

After my bloated quiche disaster, an eggy wobbly quiche that just collapse when you slice them that’s really more of a scrambled egg than a quiche and a burnt pastry quiche that almost went alight. Well, this one finally works without collapsing, setting the smoke alarm in the kitchen off or burning the house down.  I know that I should expand my horizons and learn more about other dishes and experiment on other recipes but having so many failed attempts on a quiche, I am now determined to try and make so many variations of this wonderful quiche that works. I hope you enjoy this one.

Quiche 4

KITCHEN KIT:
A pan, a knife, a wooden spoon, a rolling pin, a pastry brush, a 23cm pastry tin/silicone mold about 3.5cm deep, baking beans, baking parchment and a whisk.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1. 500g of shop bought short crust pastry at room temperature. You can also follow my short-crust pastry recipe on this blog to make one.
2. 400ml  crème fraiche
3. 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
4. ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
5. ¼ tsp. salt
6. 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
7. 1 large banana shallot, peeled and finely diced.
8. 5 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
9. 200g. Gruyere cheese, grated

Process:
1. Lightly flour your rolling pin and your work surface. Roll out the pastry until it is to a thickness of a£1 coin and then lift into a tin/silicone mold. Gently press the insides of the pastry and trim excess pastry with a knife. Cut a large piece of baking parchment, place this in your pastry case and then add the baking beans.

2. Heat the oven to 200C fan, bake the pastry case blind for 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and set. Remove from oven and carefully lift the paper and beans out. Return pastry to the oven and cook for another 5 mins or until the base and sides are golden and crisp.

Quiche1 Quiche 5
3. Meanwhile beat the crème fraiche, eggs, ground black pepper and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Next, place a pan on a medium heat, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and fry the shallot until translucent. Then, add the cooked shallots into your crème fraiche and egg mixture.

4. Using the same pan to cook your shallots,  add your diced bacon until golden and crisp (you do not need to add oil into the pan as the bacon will release its’ own fats).

5. Once cooked, scatter your bacon on your pastry and pour your crème fraiche and egg mixture over. Sprinkle the top with Gruyere cheese and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Change the setting of your oven to grill and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. This will give your quiche a nice golden colour on top. (if your quiche is still wobbly, put it back for another 5 minutes to bake).

6. Once baked leave the quiche to cool for 10 minutes, this will make sure that the quiche doesn’t fall apart when you sliced them. Serve with a nice rocket salad with French dressing. Bon appetite!

 

Note: The pastry needs to be at room temperature if its too cold the pastry will crack when you roll it out. Baking beans as I’ve found out in my early days of baking is a necessity, without them baking a pastry blind will give you a dome instead! I also learnt that it’s best to be patient and let your quiche bake for the time it needs to bake, taking the quiche out too soon because of the urgent need to snack will give you scrambled egg instead. Thus my tip will be to be patient with the quiche, it’s worth waiting for.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Chocolate Soufflé:

IMG_3253

KITCHEN KIT:
A sauce pan, a silicone baking spatula, a whisk and 4 oven proof ramekins

Ingredients Serves 4:

For the pastry cream:
1.  180ml full fat milk
2.  1 tsp vanilla extract or half a vanilla pod seeds
3.  25g caster sugar
4.  25g plain flour
5.  4 tbsp. cocoa powder (for a more intense chocolate flavour add more, I sometimes put more but on this occasion I put less) 
6.  4 large eggs, (yolks only)

For the soufflé:
7.  4 large eggs, (whites only)
8.  55g sugar
9.  ½ tsp. lemon juice
For the ramekins:
10.  1 tbsp butter
11.  1 tbsp golden caster sugar

 

For the pastry cream:
1.  In a medium size pan, bring the milk and vanilla extract/seeds to a simmer.
2.  Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cocoa powder in a bowl until well combined. Slowly add the warm milk mixture into this whisking continuously until well combined.
3.  Return the milk and creamy egg mixture into the saucepan, over a low heat, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously, until thick and smooth.

IMG_3229
For the soufflé:
4.  Preheat the oven to 170C. Brush your ramekins with butter and dust all sides with golden caster sugar.

IMG_3231

IMG_3232
5.  In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar, until stiff peaks form.

IMG_3234
6.  Spoon over a quarter of the pastry cream into the egg white mixture. Gently fold and once well combined add the rest of the pastry cream. It is important to do this gently to keep the air on the egg whites. Using a pallete knife smooth over the top of the soufflé, and then run a knife around the edge of the insides of the ramekins to allow the soufflé to rise.

IMG_3238

IMG_3239

IMG_3242

IMG_3245

IMG_3243

IMG_3246

IMG_3244
7.  Finally spoon this over the buttered ramekins, dust the top with some icing sugar and place in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes.

IMG_3248

IMG_3250
8.  Dust the top with some more cocoa powder and serve immediately.

 IMG_3252

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Peach Tarts

KITCHEN KIT:
Muffin Tin/mould, rolling pin, pastry brush, cookie/pastry cutter, balloon whisk, large bowl and a sauce pan.

Ingredients:
For the Peach and Custard Mixture:
1.  4 eggs, yolks only
2.  80ml whipped cream
3.  80ml full fat milk
4.  65g golden caster sugar
5.  1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod.
6.  Waitrose tinned Peach halves in syrup, drained and slice into small pieces

For the Pastry:
7.  2x 320g ready rolled shop-bought, all butter puff pastry if you are in hurry or just feeling lazy. Otherwise you can also make your own puff pastry by following “All Butter Puff Pastry” instructions on the pastry section of this site.
8.  100g unsalted butter, softened (for pastry and for greasing muffin tin)
9.  25g icing sugar

For Glazing:
10. 3 tbsp. milk
11. 10g icing sugar

 

For the Custard Mixture:
1.  On a bowl whisk your egg yolks and sugar until all ingredients are well incorporated.
2.  On a small sauce pan over a very low heat, gently simmer your milk, cream and vanilla pods/extract for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and then pour this into your egg and sugar mixture.
3.  Whisk all the ingredients together. Cover with a cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

 

For the Pastry, baking and glazing process:
4.  Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Butter your muffin tin/mould.
5.  On a flour dusted work surface, roll both of your puff pastry, approx. 3mm in thickness, wide and long enough to cover the entire baking tin, brush the pastry with butter on one side, then sprinkle over some icing sugar on top.

6.  Using a cookie cutter, cut the pastry into discs.


7.  Place 3 pastry discs overlapping each other. Just lightly press them together so that they stick together. We’d like the pastry to puff so best not to roll them together or press them too firmly together, a light touch would do.
8.  Place pastry discs on your muffin tin/mould; gently press the pastry at the bottom and around the edges of the tin/mould.


9.  Pour your egg custard mixture, top with the peach slices and bake in the oven for approx. 15-18 minutes or until the mixture has set with a slight wobble when gently shaken. Remove from the oven once baked and set aside.


10. Switch oven setting to grill, brush the egg tarts with some milk and sprinkle over some more icing sugar on top. Return your egg tarts into the oven and grill just to slightly brown the top of the custard for approx. 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Serve Immediately.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel Hazelnut

KITCHEN KIT
Electric whisk, sauce pan, wooden spoon, 2 bowls and 8 small glasses/liqueur glasses

Ingredients Serves 8:
1.   6 eggs, whites only
2.   ¼ tsp. lemon juice
3.   160g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), broken into small equal size pieces
4.   2 tsp. cocoa powder
5.   ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
6.   5 tsp. golden caster sugar
7.   2 tbsp. roasted chopped hazelnuts (optional)
8.   1½ tbsp. salted caramel spread (optional)
9.   a pinch of chilli flakes
10. a handful of raspberries

 

The Chocolate Mousse:

1.  Add your chocolate pieces in a bowl resting over a sauce pan of simmering water. (Make sure that the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water). When the chocolate starts to melt, stir in vanilla extract and cocoa powder, then turn off the heat.


2.  In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice into soft peaks, then add the sugar, and whisk briefly just until firm peaks form. It is important not to over whisk and lose the air. The lemon juice should help to preventing it from being over whisked.


3.  Vigorously whisk in a third of the egg whites into the melted chocolate. This needs to be done very quickly otherwise the chocolate’s temperature will drop and it will solidify.


4.  Fold the rest of the egg whites very gently into the mixture, just until the ingredients are combined. (It is important not to over fold/mix to keep the air from the mixture).


5.  Spoon the chocolate mousse mixture into small glasses and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or until its sets.


6.  This bit is optional: In a small sauce pan over a medium heat, dry-fry the chopped hazelnuts for 1 minute, then stir in the salted caramel. When the caramel starts to melt remove from the heat and leave aside to cool slightly for 1-2 minutes until the caramel hazelnut mixture sets. Sprinkle a couple of tiny chilli flakes over the top of the chocolate mousse, then spoon over the salted caramel hazelnuts, finish with a rasberry on the top.  Alternatively simply sprinkle over some grated lemon, fresh raspberries or grated chocolates on top of the mousse before serving.

(NB: For this recipe I used a ready-made salted caramel spread, from Vannes in France which I got as a present. If you are unable to find salted caramel spread in your local supermarket you can also make this easily at home using basic ingredients. Below is a recipe I have written for making salted caramel spread.)

Ingredients for the Salted Caramel Hazelnut:

1.  2 tsp. of chopped hazelnut
2.  Pinch of rock salt
3.  40g salted butter
4.  70g brown sugar
5.  150ml double cream

Making the Salted Caramel Hazelnut:
1.  In a sauce pan, dry-fry the chopped hazelnuts for 1 minute. Add the salt, butter and sugar.
2.  When the butter has melted and it’s golden-brown in colour, pour in the cream and bring to the boil.
3.  Remove the pan from heat and set aside. When slightly cooled, spoon the salted caramel over the chocolate mousse

Serve cold.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Spinach and Feta Cheese Quiche

Spinach and Feta Cheese Quiche

KITCHEN KIT
23cm fluted flan dish or tin about 3.5cm deep and a frying pan

Ingredients Serves 6:
For the Pastry, egg and cheese filling:
1.  1 pack ready rolled shop-bought short crust pastry if you are in a hurry or just feeling lazy, otherwise you can also make your own pastry by following “Savoury Shortcrust Pastry” instructions on the pastry section of this site.
2.  100g feta cheese, torn into pieces
3.  50g Gruyère cheese, grated
4.  450g crème fraîche
5.  4 eggs, lightly beaten
6.  Pinch of Salt
7.  Pinch of ground black pepper
8.  A handful of thyme, leaves only
For the Spinach:
9.  15g butter
10. 1 clove of garlic, grated or crushed
11. 200g baby spinach leaves
12. ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
13. Pinch of Salt
14. Pinch of Ground black pepper

The Pastry:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Roll out pastry into a greased tin. Line it with baking paper so that the baking beans don’t get stuck onto the pastry.
3. Fill the lined pastry with the baking beans- ‘blind bake’ in the oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are light brown and dry. Remove the baking beans and baking paper, set the cooked pastry aside.

Quiche-Bake Blind

The Egg and Cheese filling:
4. Whisk 4 eggs, gruyère cheese and crème fraîche on a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt, ground black pepper and thyme leaves. Set aside.
For the Spinach:
5. On a large frying pan over medium heat, add 15g butter, just when the butter starts to melt add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, add spinach and cover with a lid. Cook until the spinach has just wilted.
6. Season the spinach with grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper.

 

The Baking:
7. Lay cooked spinach at the bottom of your pastry; add the feta cheese, pour the egg and cheese mixture over and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until quiche mixture has set with just a slight wobble when lightly shaken.


8. After baking leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach and Feta Cheese Quiche

Serve warm.

 

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is my all time favourite breakfast dish.Probably the only breakfast dish that can get me out of bed earlier than usual, just so I can have more time with my eggs benedict and not rush the enjoyment of eating it.
The last time I made a Bernaise Sauce I had some left over tarragon leaves, I added this into my hollandaise sauce, which made a nice change to the basic recipe below; if you do have some left over tarragon leaves please do try it and hope you enjoyed it too.
KITCHEN KIT:
Baloon whisk, sauce pan and a bowl

Ingredients:
1.  2 eggs
2.  Some water for poaching the egg
3.  3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar
4.  4 slices of good quality honey roast ham
5.  2 English muffins, sliced in half
6.  Some butter to spread over the muffins
7.  Flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)

 

For the hollandaise sauce:
8.  2 tsp lemon juice
9.  2 tsp white wine vinegar
10. 3 large egg yolks
11. 130g cold unsalted butter, diced
12. Pinch of Salt and pepper (optional)

 

The Muffin and Ham:
1.  Preheat grill to highest temperature, place your English muffin on the grill for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden brown and crisp. Plate, butter and add 2 slices of ham on top of the muffins.
Poaching the eggs:
2.  On a medium sauce pan over a high heat, bring water to the boil and stir in the white wine vinegar.  Lower the heat and simmer gently. Stir the water and vinegar a few times and slowly slide in the eggs one by one. Cook each eggs for about 3-4 mins. Once cooked remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the English muffins with ham.

The Hollandaise Sauce:
4.  On a sauce pan, over very low heat, whisk your lemon juice and white wine vinegar, add the egg yolks whisking constantly until light and frothy. (the pan should never be too hot for you to touch the sides of it)
5.  Gradually add the butter, whisk constantly until butter has melted.
6.  When the butter has completely melted, turn up the heat to medium-low, whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened.  (If it looks like it might be splitting and the mixture starts to steam, turn off the heat and whisk continuously for a few mins. It is important to keep whisking to prevent it from splitting and to thicken the mixture.)
7.  When the mixture has thickened and is smooth, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour over the top of the ham. Garnish with some chopped parsley.


Serve immediately.

Extra Tip:
Hollandaise Sauce-to make sure that your sauce does not split, don’t stop whisking until the sauce has thickened. Keep the sauce under very, very low heat. If it is not easy to control the heat, put your mixture on a bowl, place the bowl on a simmering sauce pan with water also under low heat.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS