When it comes to eggs, there’s no denying how versatile they are. It’s impossible to count ways you could use an egg. But when it comes to breakfast, usually the simplest form suffice. I mean, who can resist a perfectly poached egg, that when you cut into it, gorgeous runny yolk flows out like nobody’s business? That, is what you call food ‘porn’! It never fails to excite me.
So it goes without saying that one of my favourite brunch food is the Eggs Benedict. Sinful Hollandaise sauce (consist entirely of egg yolks and butter flavoured with lemon, cayenne and sometimes parsley), eggs, ham, toasted English Muffin. Sometimes an episode chest pain comes attached with the meal. True, with my already elevated cholesterol level (familial, really not because of my love of all things buttery. And uh… Chicken skin.) it’s best to consume Hollandaise sparingly, or none at all. But that’s not to say I can’t have this dish ever again, with a few changes.
Which is what I’ve done exactly the last time I crave for Eggs Benedict. Swapped the Ham for Salmon (Omega 3!), Hollandaise sauce for a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of cayenne, and most importantly, the bread for oh-so-delicious Quinoa cakes (Yet another way to prepare this super healthy food and even the kids would love it). Sure, I sneaked in a little cheese in the Quinoa cakes, but let’s face it, it’s not as fun if I deprive myself completely!
First we shall start with the Quinoa cakes
Ingredients (Makes about 10)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cups water
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup flour (I used wholemeal)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 stalks Spring Onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoon of Milk or more if the mixture doesn’t look ‘wet’ enough
salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
oil for frying
Simmer the quinoa in water for about 15-20 mins, until the water is all absorbed. Set aside and let cool.
Mix the cooked quinoa with the rest of the ingredients except for the oil, adding more flour/milk if required.
Heat up the pan with small amount of olive oil, and place 1/4 cup of mixture to cook until both sides are brown. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.
Once the Quinoa cakes are done, we can start with the other components of the dish.
In a pot of boiling water, poach the egg (or eggs if you are serving more than one). I used the cling wrap method as shown previously on Masterchef Australia, but you could do it however you are most comfortable with. You’ll only need 3-4 minutes until the white is set. Do not over cook! Note that with the cling wrap method there’s no need for swirling the water or vinegar. Remove the egg with slotted spoons
Wilt the baby spinach in pan that you’ve just been frying the Quinoa cakes with, hopefully still a little bit of oil left so won’t need to add extra. Season with salt and pepper.
Get the Smoked Salmon ready (2 or 3 pieces each).
To plate, arrange 2 pieces of Quinoa cakes on a plate, place Smoked Salmon on top and then finish with a poached egg. Squeeze some lemon juice over, and if you like, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper would be lovely.
And what do you do next?
Tell me what doesn’t excite you!
The Quinoa cakes are perfect for this dish. Crispy outside, fluffy inside with the unique texture of the pseudo-grain. Take a bit of the egg white, the salmon, cut a small piece of the quinoa cake, smear with the egg yolk, occasionally adding the wilted spinach. A mouthful of deliciousness. Your day will be instantly better.