6 November 2013



'Look me that!' ;-) November already!? So, time for Bonfire night: friends of Ye Old UK Times gathering around the bonfire (the old deck this year then, Al?); fireworks accompanied by a keen crowd's AAAAAHHHHHHHs and OOOOOHHHHHs; sparklers painting circles into the darkness; chicken-sweetcorn soup, beef curry, hot dogs; Speckled Hen, wines of all sorts and countries; sweets, chocolates, grilled marshmallows; and most important of all: the familiar chatter, fun and laughter of old friends; music and singing (and more laughter) as the night goes on; and a couple of hang-overs for the next day... would you like a drizzle of rain with that? :-)


And for 'the morning after': hash brown, eggs and bacon. I saw Gordon Ramsay make this just recently on his new program and it looked like a great autumn breakfast. It takes a little time to prepare with all the grating and squeezing of the potatoes and onion, and the potatoes do take some time to cook, but the result is all worth it: the hash brown, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, topped with creamy egg yolks, and caramelised sweet and spicy smoked bacon - breakfast heaven... :-) 

Original Recipe: 'Eggs baked in hash brown with candied bacon', Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking, Channel 4 Scrapbook; also available on youtube; or 4oD (UK only)

Serves 6 for breakfast (I'd make a bigger portion if served as brunch)

For the hash brown: 
850g–1kg waxy potatoes
1 onion
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
olive oil
4 knobs of butter
6 free-range eggs

For the candied bacon:
1 tsp soft brown sugar
knob of butter
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (or make 12 and serve some on the side)

1) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. 

2) Grate, dry and season the potatoes and onion: Peel and grate the potatoes and onion with a coarse box grater. Put them into a large sieve, then squeeze out any liquid with your hands - the potatoes should be as dry as possible. Season with salt, freshly milled black pepper, olive oil and cayenne pepper and mix well. Leave to stand for a bit then squeeze out once more to remove any remaining liquid. 

3) Cook the Hash Brown: Heat an oven-proof pan over medium heat. Add a dash of olive oil, then add the potato mixture to the pan. Press down and compact with a wooden spoon to an equally thick layer. Break the butter into smaller pieces then dot them at equal distances around the edges of the pan. Continue frying until the bottom of the hash brown is golden brown and crisp. Invert the hash brown with the aid of a large plate: to do this, place the plate on top of the pan, then, using oven gloves, quickly invert the pan together with the plate. Slide the potato off the plate back into the pan so that the uncooked side is now on the bottom of the pan. Dot the remaining butter in little pieces around the edge of the pan and continue to fry until the bottom of the hash brow is golden brown. 

4) Crack the eggs on top: Crack the eggs one by one on top of the hash brown, then season them with Cayenne pepper and a little salt. 

5) Bake: Bake in the pre-heated oven for 6-8 Minutes until the egg white is set but the egg yolks are still runny. 

6) Fry the bacon: In the meantime fry the bacon: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, season with a little freshly milled black pepper, then add the butter. When the sugar starts to caramelize, add the bacon and fry for 3-4 minutes on both sides until golden brown and crisp. 

7) Serve: To serve, transfer the hash brown eggs to a warm platter and top with the fried bacon.

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