The poached egg revolution is taking over London and it’s totally revamping this brunch-time favourite
Before now, eggs owed their popularity to brunch, but new restaurant openings in the capital this year prove that they're finally breaking (sorry) out on their own, and this summer, the foodie scene loves them. The egg game has officially been upped.
Soho House’s new Notting Hill restaurant Egg Break is serving them with braised brisket, horseradish and brioche. At pop-up turned restaurant The Good Egg (opening in Stoke Newington next month), they’ve got Middle East-inspired Iraqi stuffed egg pittas. And cool cafe Foxcroft and Ginger has just opened a new ‘poached egg bar’ in Dalston, serving them with chorizo and chermoula sauce, plus these guys cook their eggs using a ‘sous vide’ technique (that’s vacuum-packed and boiled, people), which takes an hour at 63 degrees. In fact, more and more restaurants are ditching their industrial-sized saucepans in favour of this method.
Sound like a bit of a faff? Here are 10 easy swaps to pimp up your eggs at home.
Swap butter for truffle oil
How do you make eggs taste expensive? Add truffle oil. Before you spend your weekly food shop on lottery tickets, remember that a) truffle oil is rich in taste, so a little goes a long way, and b) most big supermarkets sell it for a really reasonable price. This bottle in Sainsbury’s is only £2.50 and will totally transform your eggs. Add creme fraiche, a dash of milk, salt and pepper to cracked eggs and whisk before cooking scrambled style in the oil for a really rich, silky result that tastes great on English muffins. Alternatively, drizzle the oil over toasted sourdough after rubbing the sliced side with a garlic clove, and top with parmesan.
Swap a breakfast omelette for mini frittatas
The Hemsley sisters do a great version of this, but if you haven't got their cookbook, you can follow this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything instead and add whatever filling you fancy. Frittatas taste similar to an omelette but are baked, which creates a fluffier texture that tricks you into thinking you’re eating a savoury cake. Always ideal. Cook a big batch in a muffin tray – these little fellas taste great hot or cold and work for pretty much any time of day, from healthy lunch salads to sides at a barbecue.
Swap hollandaise for caramelised cheese sauce
This one’s inspired by our favourite dish from the new egg bar at Foxcroft and Ginger in Dalston. These guys are serving eggs with a caramelised cheese sauce, which sounds so good we’re almost afraid of eating it in case we never stop. To make it, get a pot and melt 25g of butter and 25g of plain flour, and mix until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for a minute or two. Slowly pour in warm milk, whisking it as you do so, then bring to a gentle boil and cook for 4-5 minutes. It’s important you keep stirring it for a few minutes, with whisk or spoon, to prevent lumps forming. Stir in anything from 50-100g cheese and let it melt through; we add half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard then season to taste. Add more cheese on top, and use a blowtorch or a grill to give it that caramelised look and taste.
Swap bubble and squeak for bacon quinoa
If you’re looking for a healthy bubble and squeak swap that still soaks up all the gooey orange yolk from your eggs, then you’ve absolutely got to try this one. Gluten Free Rosie’s bacon quinoa is a fantastic swap if you want a satisfying, filling breakfast that won’t make you feel sluggish. She adds hers to a bowl of fried egg, truffle eggs, avocado mash and caramelised onions. Serve with a green tea and you’re basically a health guru.
Swap spinach for mixed greens
Vegetarians: bored of Florentine’s spinach? Instead, add loads of mixed greens such as rocket, peas, loose lettuce and fresh mint leaves, all of which provide tonnes of nutrients and the different textures, combined with the silky egg are perfection (carnivores can add bacon or prosciutto, too). Serve up this wholesome combo on toasted soda bread to finish. If you’re ready to say goodbye to Hollandaise, turn this recipe up a notch and add poached eggs to a bed of steamed Asian greens such as bok choy, Asian broccoli and choy sum. Drizzle with a combination of crushed garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce and you’ll be beating spinach at its own brunch game.
Swap fast-food breakfast for freezer-egg muffins
This recipe is a true gem, and we can’t thank food blogger Jess Fuel enough for making our Monday mornings easier. These egg muffins taste just like the fast-food (McTasty) equivalent, except you won’t want to beat yourself to death with a bottle of green juice before 8am. All you have to do is cook eggs in ramekin dishes and add them with a slice of ham and cheese to your muffins, pack each one individually and whack them in the freezer. In the morning, zap one in the microwave for a minute, grab a napkin and you’re all set.
Swap sausage and egg for scotch eggs
It looks like the egg revival is taking all it’s brothers and sisters with it, including the retro and picnic basket regular the scotch egg. The famous scotch eggs at Yolk pop up in London are making the dish sexy again, and although admittedly this is another not-so-healthy option, the breaded meaty goodness makes a great little (OK, large) breakfast snack if you’re running late and need to scoff on the go. This is a really simple recipe to get you going – before long you’ll be making them with chorizo and duck eggs and chilli. When that happens, call us.