Saturday, April 20, 2019

James McNair: Egyptian Twice-Cooked Eggs and Yotam Ottolenghi: Dukkah

When I was first flipping through James McNair's breakfast book years ago and came across this recipe, I was intrigued, but a little put off.  I mean, eggs are great for breakfast, but what is this seasoning blend?  And eggs that are fried after being boiled?  I put the recipe aside, and sure enough, I remembered the interesting concoction when I got a large carton of eggs from my sister and brother-in-law's busy hens.  I decided it was time to give the twice-cooked eggs a try, but I used a much more involved version of the dukkah, one that seemed a little more authentic.  I am so glad I overlooked my initial hesitation.  These eggs are delicious, and if you leave off the bread for serving, you have a pretty spectacular low-carb breakfast.  Definitely worth the wait.

Egyptian Twice-Cooked Eggs
Adapted from James McNair's Breakfast

6 tablespoons salted butter
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and havled lengthwise
4 tablespoons dukkah (see below)
6 slices toast or pita bread, if desired

Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat until frothy.  Add the eggs, cut side down, and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Turn the eggs, baste, and continue cooking, turning and basting occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes more.  When the eggs are almost done, turn them cut side up and sprinkle with the dukkah, making sure some of the seasoning gets into the butter as well.

Place two slices of toast on each plate.  Top each slice with two egg halves.  Drizzle with the melted butter from the skillet.  Serve immediately.

Serves 3

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

1½ ounces raw hazelnuts, with their skins
1 ounce raw pistachios, shelled
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dry green peppercorns (or white, as an alternative)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1½ tablespoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon nigella seeds
½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Heat the oven to 285°F. Spread the hazelnuts and pistachios on a baking tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the sunflower seeds to the tray halfway through, keeping them separate from the nuts. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you toast the seeds.

Put a cast-iron pan on medium heat and leave for five minutes to heat up well. Spread the fennel seeds inside and dry-roast them for 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds and cook for another 30 seconds, or until they start to pop, then tip both into a little bowl. With the pan back on the heat, roast the peppercorns until they start to pop, about 30 seconds, then transfer to a separate bowl. Cook the coriander seeds for up to a minute, until they start to pop, and tip into a third bowl. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sesame and nigella seeds together, stirring occasionally, until the sesame turns light brown, then remove from the pan.

Rub the hazelnuts between the palms of your hands to discard some of the skin. Use a pestle and mortar to chop them and the pistachios coarsely, then transfer to a medium bowl. Lightly crush the cumin and fennel seeds, and add to the hazelnuts. Repeat with the coriander seeds, followed by the peppercorns and then the sunflower seeds. Add these to the nut bowl, along with the sesame and nigella seeds, add salt and paprika, and mix well.

Makes about ½ cup, enough for two recipes of the eggs above

No comments: