Saturday, October 29, 2011

Breakfast #48: Eggs in Anchovy-Butter

I have a cousin who needs to travel a lot for work.  Many times all around Europe.  He will try to make you think that it is tiring and oh-what-a-drudgery flying hither and thither is, but I know better.  The fantastic meals of which he partakes and the gastro-bounty he brings back tell another tale.  Since he is a grumbler by nature his bah-humbugs are a common refrain that is easy for me to ignore…especially when he drops little treasures my way (lardo, pancetta, and guanciale…oh my!).

One such wondrous dish he had (in Milan if you were wondering), whose photo is still emblazoned in my memory, was a small silver pot cradling eggs cooked in butter and bottarga.  Just three ingredients but the idea of it, especially for someone like me who already thinks eggs are sublime on their own, was making me lose sleep.

Bottarga here comes at quite a pretty price tag though, and I am never sure just how fresh those vacuum sealed packs are.  So, what is a girl to do?


Eggs in Anchovy-Butter
  • 1 ½ -2 tablespoons butter (this depends on how decadent you are feeling – I would err on the side of generous)
  • 1 – 1 ½ fillets of anchovy, chopped
  • 2 eggs, the best you can find and afford
- Melt the butter in a small non-stick skillet (ideally one that a good snug fit for the eggs).  Wait until the butter froths and the froth then subsides.
- Add the anchovy.  It will spit and sputter like mad so be ready and stand back!  Lift the pan off the fire for a bit if things get too wild.  Using a non-slotted, flat turner smash the anchovy up, smashing and swirling until the butter turns a rusty bronze.
- Add the egg to the anchovy butter.  As soon as the whites set a bit swirl the pan around and with the turner swish and flick the anchovy butter onto the top of the egg.
- As soon as the egg is done to your liking (I recommend a runny yolk…always) slide the egg and anchovy butter onto a shallow bowl.  Enjoy immediately!

Ok.  Bottarga-butter-eggs purist: don’t get your knickers in a knot.  I am not claiming that this has anywhere near the soul-transforming powers that the original dish has.  And it certainly isn't as pretty.  I'm proud of my little ghetto version nevertheless.  Though it may not be near the realm of the original bottarga + silver pot version, it has a gritty decadence all its own.  Everything you need can be bought in any supermarket…even the small cheapy non-stick skillet!

I like to eat this in a shallow bowl, immediately puncturing the egg yolks and eating the mess half-spooned, half-sopped up, with a good slice of bread.  If you live in the Philippines I have to add that this is amazing with a piece (or two) of hot pan de sal.  Use as much butter as you feel is decent to have in one meal…if that meal is breakfast then you are totally justified using as much as you want (you are starting your day after all).  I have indicated 1 – 1 ½ fillets of anchovy here but this really depends on your anchovies and your own taste…you can always add more if you’d like it to be saltier.

I must go pack now as we are off this weekend, leaving in an hour.  Not any place fancy, no silver pots or fancy meals, but good food nonetheless and even better company.  And the beach, and a boat – those are nice too :)  Wishing you a great weekend, a happy Halloween, and fabulous breakfasts - ghetto or otherwise!


Tangled Noodle said...

Leave it to the Spanish to turn mundane coddle eggs into a luxurious meal - bottarga, butter and eggs? Wantwantwant! Your version is fabulous and one that I will definitely try. I've been eyeing the bottarga at local stores as well, wondering if it's worth the 'investment'...

Have a wonderful getaway weekend! 8-)

kaoko said...

My breakfast was taho. I'm hungry again---perhaps it's time for second breakfast? We've butter, anchovies and eggs in the fridge.

Sara said...

Oh, I love the idea of anchovy butter (anchovy anything). I've never had bottarga (price tag, as you say) but it's great to know this is a substitute!

Chinkee said...

I think I know who The Grumbly Cousin is... Hahahaha!:-). Your ghetto version looks delicious... Would have loved to try it now if I had anchovies on hand. Soon:-)

betty said...

I love to eat them with toast too, but I wouldn't add much butter, I'm afraid it will taste fishy even though the photo looks delicious

Mieke Zamora-Mackay said...

Making this right now. *dust cloud*

jillian said...

This sounds just wonderful! I love the idea of the salty anchovies with the creamy, runny egg yolk.

Hello Balloon said...

OMG, as long as a dish involves anchovy, sign me up! Hahaha!

By the way, your description of your cousin made me laugh. He sounds like a character! :)

Midge said...

Oh, divine decadence! I remember how my late grandfather treated me, my grandmother, and one of my younger aunts to a similar breakfast treat when we were in Rome years and years ago! For little seven-year-old me, those gorgeous eggs with just a faintly fishy saltiness were heavenly on toast. (BTW, do you suppose fresh duck eggs would work as well instead of chicken eggs?)

ezzirah said...

Damn, it ain't breakfast again...oh wait, I am having this for dinner!


Perfect for Petites said...

I've only had anchovies with pasta - never had it with eggs, but this looks yummy and simple to make!

G said...

bottarga is light years away from zamboanga but we do have anchovies which i'd like to "swish and flick" over the eggs soon. i was going to say 'rustic' but i like your word 'ghetto' more. hahaha!

Shalum said...

Oooooh, this is good and bad at the same time. Thanks for sharing! I wish to try this for myself!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tracey! I'm sure this doesn't measure up to the original but it is not bad at all for a luxurious breakfast -- also very quick to make :)

Hi Kaoko! Hope you treated yourself to that second breakfast ;)

Hi Sara! I don't know how good a substitute it is but this is yummy nonetheless in my book :) I love anchovy anything too :)

Hi Chinkee! Hahaha! Oh yes, grumbly Italian Santa Claus! Heehee :)

Hi Betty! I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who didn't like anchovies although the "fishy" taste is quite muted in this :)

Hi Mieke! Hope you liked it! :)

Hi Jillian! That is exactly it! And don't forget the butter ;)

Hi Arlu! He is! :) Check out his blog if you want droll-worthy restaurant meals!

Hi Midge! What a lovely memory :) I'm sure duck eggs would make this even more decadent!

Hi Ezzirah! I would eat this any time of day :)

Hi Perfect for Petites! This is super simple...and a great way to use anchovies outside pasta and pizza :)

Hi G! Ghetto it is! ;) I am still debating a bottarga purchase here...

Hi Shalum! Most of the things I like are both good and bad simultaneously :) :)

G said...

can i also apply the same smash-swish-flick principle using spanish sardines? it is as ghetto as it gets. haha

love cooking said...

I love this, specially the egg with butter, it always taste and smell so nice. I can imagine how delicious this would be. I think substitute the fish fillet with ham, it will turn out very good also. :)

Kelly Senyei said...

Is there any other way to cook an egg than in butter?! Your photos are stunning!

Michigan Food Blog said...

anchovy butter! I'm intrigued!

ChichaJo said...

Hi G! I don’t see why not! :) You can certainly try it…the difference I think is that with anchovies you can smash it to almost a powder that “dissolves” into the butter. With sardines it will be chunkier, but I think it will still be yummy…and a more filling meal :)

Hi love cooking! The smell is definitely a great pick me up in the morning…love the smell of melting butter :)

Hi Kelly! Thanks so much!! Egg and butter is really a winning combination :)

Hi Michigan Food Blog! Try it :)

Stepford Mum said...

Yum. Yum, yum, yum!!! I was full, but my mouth watered looking at this photo!

BlondeBomber said...

YUM! I am partial to anchovies, but not many love them or include them in breakfast. My favorite brunch spot in Brooklyn makes incredible breakfast bread pudding with anchovies - its one of the best places to eat in New York - and it reminds me of this! delish! Thanks for sharing.

Katrina said...

I LOVE bottarga too! (Have you tried the bottarga pasta at Mamou? My only complaint is I wish it had much more bottarga.) I never would've thought to substitute anchovies for that -- brilliant! And anchovies are a staple in my cupboard! Plus, of course, I always have butter. So I could do this tomorrow, if I wanted to. :-D (Not right now, because I'd have to buy eggs.) I'm going to do this soon, for sure. Easy (except for the sputtering part...that's kinda scary for me), quick and delicious -- right up my alley!

Have you thought about substituting local fish roe (AKA bihod) for bottarga? When I had a jar of the stuff recently, I searched the net for recipes using either bottarga or fish roe but that DIDN'T involve pasta (that was my first idea, since it's most common, but I didn't want pasta), and the most common suggestion was to just mix it into scrambled eggs. So that's what I did. Bihod is much less salty than bottarga, but that should be easy to fix, so I think that might work with this dish, too. :-)

chef_d said...

Salivating as I read your post! This looks so delicious!! I love eggs and anchovies (separately) and now you put them together and I will definitely cook this for my breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

MySocialChef said...

Wow. Seriously! WOW. Yum

ChichaJo said...

Hi Iyor! It’s so simple to make too! :)

Hi Brooklyn Bomber! That sounds interesting! I guess now I know where I’ll be having brunch if I go to NY :)

Hi Katrina! Yes I’ve tried it…nom! I got the idea for anchovies after googling for a substitute. Very easy! Don’t worry about the sputtering, it’s not like Backdraft or anything ;) Never thought of using bihod…now that’s pretty brilliant too! I am sure it would work and I will definitely try it…thanks for the suggestion! :)

Hi Chef D! Hope you like it! :)

Hi Social Chef! Thank you!