Jamie’s in Germany. He’s eating his own body-weight in meat. Apparently they eat pork tartare there. I’m sure you’re not supposed to eat raw pork, but it does sound intriguing. Anyway, often when he’s away I like to experiment with vegetarian suppers. He will suffer the odd one here or there, but generally there has to be some kind of animal in it. So tonight, I’m trying out two new ideas – eggs baked in field mushrooms along with fennel and potato rosti. It’s not breakfast, but it could be; I was just unashamedly lured by the pun.
Firstly, the mushrooms. This idea is based on a Nigel Slater recipe involving beef tomatoes, which I love. I think I’ve been cooking it since I was a teenager. Anyway, I suddenly thought mushrooms would work equally well, the only downside being that you can’t fill them with as much cream.
As for the rosti, beforehand I imagined the juices of the egg, cream and mushroom running down into the crispy rosti, and the reality did not let me down. I ate this dish fast and defensively, even though it was just me, I couldn’t chance even the cats eyeing it up.
The rosti also worked well for Molly’s lunch the next day; I just heated them up in a hot pan with a tiny amount of oil.
Eggs Baked in Mushrooms on Fennel and Potato Rosti – Serves 1
The Rosti – Makes 4, so 2 are for leftovers
500g potatoes, peeled
½ fennel bulb
1 onion, peeled
1 tblsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tblsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten
In a large bowl, grate the potatoes, fennel and onion. Then press the vegetables through a colander, first with a spoon and then with your hands to get out any excess moisture. Lay down a couple of sheets of kitchen paper on work surface, spread the vegetables and press down two more layers of paper to remove any remaining liquid. I then left the vegetables for about an hour (whilst I put Molly to bed).
Next add all the remaining ingredients, and mix together with the vegetables in a large bowl. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan, and once at a medium – hot heat, start frying the rosti (roll a ball of the mixture and plop into pan, pressing down with a spatula to flatten). It’s a good idea to carry on the cooking process once the rosti are golden, by placing them in the oven along with the mushrooms. Underdone rosti are not tasty.
Eggs Baked in Mushrooms
2 large field mushrooms, stalk removed
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp mixed herbs, chopped (I used tarragon, thyme, savoury and chervil)
½ clove of garlic, crushed
Lots and lots of seasoning
A few grates of parmesan
Firstly, set the oven to about 160c. Then brush the mushrooms with seasoned olive oil, lay on a baking tray and bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven, season and sprinkle on the garlic, then carefully lay one yolk per mushroom where the stalk used to be. Season. Carefully dollop a teaspoon of crème fraîche on top of each yolk (I used my fingers to spread the cream out, rather than dropping a heavy spoonful that risks breaking the yolk). Then add the herbs and season. Lastly grate some parmesan, and season once more. Seasoning is key. It can take it. Then bake in the oven for about fifteen minutes (just before the yolk sets basically).
Allow one mushroom per rosti and serve with homemade tomato chutney. Absolutely delicious. A real single supper treat.