Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Breakfast # 7: Soft boiled egg with asparagus on toast

Penguin Books celebrated their 70th anniversary this year by publishing 70 adorable Pocket Penguins by a selection of some of their most well loved authors. Each book is unique, either especially written by the author for this auspicious occasion, or a selection of the author's past work. The authors ran the gamut from Albert Camus to Zadie Smith, George Orwell to Roald Dahl, Sigmund Freud to Anne Frank, Anton Chekov to India Knight. When the shipment arrived at the book store where I used to work, I razed the shelves and got around a dozen of the 70 books...one being a lovely little piece called Something for the Weekend by Jamie Oliver.

The book is a small collection of some of his favorite recipes for "the weekend", a time spent with family and friends. This meal is taken from his "Brekkie" section (don't you just love that word?) and combines two of my favorite (not only for) breakfast foods: Bacon and Eggs...and not just any eggs...runny, soft boiled wonders! Runny is the only way for me with eggs...I get ornery if even the slightest bit of yolk starts to harden. The recipe also includes one of my favorite veggies: Asparagus. So I knew I was definitely having this for "brekkie".

I changed it slightly from the original to serve just one person (me!). The original recipe serves four.

Here we go:

Soft boiled egg with asparagus on toast
(adapted from Something for the Weekend by Jamie Oliver)

- 1 ripe tomato
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3 slices of bacon (Jamie suggests pancetta as well...sadly, I didn't have any on hand)
- 1 large egg (in the Philippines I always use extra large because the eggs here seem smaller)
- a bunch of asparagus spears (enough for you to eat in one serving, be generous, this is breakfast remember?)
- 1 slice of rustic bread (I used sourdough because, well, I like it, and it's what I had)
- a knob of butter

Here's what you do:

- Cut your tomato in half and place on a pan or roasting tray, cut side up. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Grill.
- When the tomato starts to color, lay your bacon slices beside it and continue grilling until the bacon is crisp and remove.
- While you are doing the above steps, you can start boiling some water for the egg. Place the egg and the asparagus in the boiling water for four minutes (check on the asparagus though, they may be ready before that if they are thin) then remove.
- Toast your bread.
- Toss the asparagus with butter to coat.
- Peel the egg (this was tricky...I felt the soft boiled egg was going to break apart in my hand! Cup it gently in your palm and speak kind words to it and everything should be fine).
- Get one half of the tomato and squash it into your toast.
- Arrange asparagus on toast that has been smothered with mushed tomato.
- Lay your bacon on top of the asparagus.
- Top the whole thing carefully with the egg.
- When you feel the egg is anchored somewhat securely, cut it open and let the luscious, runny yolk dribble down.
- Drizzle with some olive oil.

Then comes my favorite part of Jamie's recipes...the part where you "tuck in"! This was truly a woderfully hearty breakfast. The crispness and smokiness of the bacon was fantastic against the bright asparagus flavor, and the soft richness of the egg. The tomato on the bread also added a great touch (something like pan con tomate, a favorite of mine from Barcelona). I used the other tomato half as a garnish. I think it's enough to say that my plate was sparkling clean when I was done eating.

I like Jamie Oliver because he looks so endearingly rumpled and his dishes always sound so homey and nourishing. And, as I don't live in the UK, I still find words and phrases like, "brekkie", "tuck in", "puds", and "sarnie my stylie" quite adorable.

Note: You can also find Jamie's recipe here.


Niki said...

Brekkie is an Aussie word as well. Always used down here! This brekkie is just the sort of thing I would love on a weekend morning.

Kai said...

I love how you plate your food, Joey. I hope you go on to one thousand and one breakfasts. Lunches and dinners, as well. ;-)

I don't like runny eggs. Can I "tuck in" my hard-boiled egg inside the bacon?

Melissa said...

mmmmm, that egg is perfectly cooked!
I spied your osso bucco in the post below.....I just bought some veal to cook that same recipe tomorrow night!
like minds!
Great site!

Paz said...

I just had breakfast, but this looks sooo good. I'd rather have eaten this soft boiled egg with asparagus on toast. Yum!

I enjoy watching Jamie Oliver's cooking shows on t.v.


dexiejane said...

asparagus for breakfast.. YUM :)

violet said...

ohhh that looks lovely. i want a little mini jamie oliver book! gah. i LOVE asparagus.

Mila Tan said...

Great photo! And a wonderful combination.
There was a movie last year where the guy was cooking a fried egg sandwish and he cut it in the middle and the yoke had that perfect spill shot. Wow, made me hungry just thinking about it. Nothing like the bright orange of egg yolk to make you hungry.

Cate said...

Mmmm, I'm a sucker for soft-boiled eggs and am supremely jealous you got this fun little Jamie Oliver cookbook we can't get here ... sigh...

wysgal said...

I abolutely adore Jamie Oliver --- his cookbooks are my bedside reading because they're so entertaining.

I was dying to eat in his restaurant 15 when I was in London last year but I couldn't find a dining companion willing to shell out 50 pounds for a meal.

plum said...

They've brought that series out in Australia but I don't remember ever seeing Jamie's book! I must go back and have a look for it!

Midge said...

Hi, Joey. Always loved Jamie O's breakfast stuff. You should also try Nigella's take on that: lightly steamed asparagus spears dipped into the yolk of a soft-boiled egg. Simple and seriously satisfying!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Niki! I have cousins in Australia...now I can impress them with my Aussie words :)

Hi Kai! Thanks for your nice words(blush)! I'm sure you can "tuck in" your hard boiled eggs in this dish too :)

Hi Melissa! Thanks for your kind comments! Hope you enjoy your Osso Buco :)

Hi Paz! Try it out for one of your breakfasts...it's a yummy way to start the day! :)

Hi Dexie! What better way to start your day than with a little veggies (and bacon and eggs, woohoo!) :)

Hi Violet! I love asparagus too! The little books are great...and cheap to boot ;)

Hi Mila! I agree about the wonders of the egg yolk...what movie was that? I made a poached egg sanwich once, but instead of cutting it I squooshed it down...and the yolk squirted straight at me! Smart! :)

Hi Sweetnicks! Soft boiled egg is great indeed! Why can't you get the book over there?

Hi Wysgal! Very entertaining...I definitely agree. No one willing to part with 50GBP for Jamie?! Wish I could have been there with you!

Hi Plum! Glad the series got to your shores :) Since I was working in the book store then, I got the whole list and ticked of everything I wanted in advance :) Hope you find it!

Hi Midge! That sound's great! In which book does she mention it? In any case...must try! Sounds heavenly! :)

tattum said...

wow! i've just popped in your blog, I love it! this recipe is very similar to one I did this weekend, "pan tumaca (you know this one) con jamon serrano y huevo de codorniz". I'll post the recipe in my blog this afternoon, though the photo is not the best one I've made...

Oliver said...

Hi ChichaJo
The soft boiled egg over the green asparagus looks delicious!! And it is cooked exactly the way I prefer it, the yolk not firm (or too firm), the egg white not runny...perfect. Bookmarked for our next Sunday brunch!

Ruth said...

The brekkie looks so tasty. Soft boiled eggs and soft poached are two of my favorite ways to eat eggs.

I definitely have to try to find the little cookbook. Thanks for sharing

mare said...

Thanks you've just inspired my lunch!

angelika said...

Hi Joey, that looks delicious ! You know I am also such a brekkie lover indeed - and your breakfasts are a treat ! Please DO NOT stop on no. 80....best, angelika

Barbara said...

Brekkie is also used in NZ. Love the breakfast. Thanks for introducing me to the Long Trip Home. Great site.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tattum! Thanks for stopping by! That's sounds good and will be checking the post out soon :)

Hi Oliver! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post :) Hope you have a great Sunday brunch :)

Hi Ruth! Thanks...I love anything with a runny yolk involved :) Hope you find the book!

Hi Mare! Glad I could help! :)

Hi Angelika! Thanks for such a nice comment :) I'll definitely try to post more than 80...

Hi Barbara! Brekkie in NZ? Cool! Glad you like The Long Trip Home...a friend of mine is one of the writers :)

Lori said...

Ay-yay-yay, Joey. Soft-boiled eggs! You know how much I love my soft-boiled eggs! :)

ChichaJo said...

Yup Lori! That's something we have in common :) Soft boiled rocks!

wysgal said...

I don't know if anyone's asked you before ... and this is a serious question ... what happens when you've posted 80 breakfasts? Do you change the name of your blog?

Gia-Gina said...

I always eat leftover dinners for breakfast, this looks great. As I kid I had fried egg sandwiches and rice porriage in the mornings.

Mona said...

Wow Joey, that looks so good. What an awesome picture...the egg yolk oozing over the side of the bread and bacon is making my mouth water...God I sound like a broken record today...i've stumbled upon some great pictures today. I'm having a blast at work, hoping that not too many people are looking over my shoulder thinking..what is Mona up to?!?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Wysgal! Good question! And perhaps one which I didn't think through quite so thoroughly when I made this blog. What will happen when I reach 80? Maybe a little party, some champagne, caviar, dancing, who knows? The blog's name will remain the same though, even past my 80th breakfast. I've kinda gotten used to it :) (The original name for this blog was Around the World in 80 Breakfasts, but I shortened it)

Hi Gia-gina! Thanks! I also like to cleverly turn dinner's leftovers into a fab breakfast :) Suggestions are welcome!

Hi Mona! Thanks, thanks! Glad to hear you are entertained :) We all need a break from the grind, no?

augustusgloop said...

That's a great photo! And it sounds delicious too! Mmm...

thess said...

how lovely it would be to wake up in your home and have your breakfast, this is yummy, joey..especially that running yolk :-)

purplegirl said...

omg, i'm salivating... that is sooooo yummy looking. i sooooo love breakfasts. i can eat breakfast for dinner and lunch. actually, most of the times, i do.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Augustusgloop! Thanks! :)

Hi Thess! Thanks! It's always good to wake up to a nice breakfast :)

Hi Purplegirl! I am so with you on that :)

fiordizucca said...

lovely picture

Patrice said...

Looks delicious! Malas, I'm allergic to soft-boiled egg :(

ChichaJo said...

Hi Fiordizucca! Thanks :)

Hi Patrice! Are you allergic to eggs in general, or just soft-boiled ones? Coz I'm sure you can make this with other egg variations :)