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Scrambled eggs on toast with garden herbs

Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is.  I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.

Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself.  We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.

Picking chives in the garden

This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk).  Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up.  This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.

I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.

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Last night’s dinner was something I dreamt up and I’m so delighted with the results I had to share it with you.  The amounts are largely guessed as I do a lot of “made-up” cooking by looking and tasting, rather than measuring.  I’m sure – should you wish to make it yourself – that you will be able make it your own and just as yummy.

I couldn’t resist using lots of chives – my plants are full and healthy at the moment and are treating us to another display of pretty purple flowers.

Warning – these photos are taken with my camera that is broken…the screen is broken but it turns out it still takes pictures…I just can’t see what I’m photographing – as a result my photos are not very well composed or focused!

Baked potatoes with honey roast smoked salmon, cream cheese, wholegrain mustard and chives

Feeds 2

2 large baking potatoes
approx 135g hot smoked roast salmon
200g cream cheese
couple of generous spoonfuls of wholegrain mustard
bunch of chives
sea salt
black pepper
olive oil
splash of milk
purple chive flowers (optional)

First of all bake your potatoes – my favourite way to cook baked potatoes is to rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before baking them on skewers – the end result is gorgeous slightly chewy and crispy skins.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese with a splash of milk to loosen it.  Stir in the wholegrain mustard and snip in lots of chives.  Leave some chives to decorate at the end.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.  Finally, gently stir through about two thirds of the flaked salmon – don’t overmix as you don’t want the salmon to break down to mush.

When your potatoes are baked, remove from the oven and cut them in half.  Scoop out all the hot potato into a mixing bowl and pop the empty skins onto plates.

Mix most of the cream cheese mixture into the hot potato – leave a little if you want to dollop on top at the end.

Once the potato is mixed into the cream cheese mixture, spoon it into the potato skins.  Dollop on the remaining cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining flakes of salmon.

Snip over some chives and top with chive flowers – just pull the tiny purple flowers away from the green bit.  Eat with a crisp green salad (we’re loving red-tinged Little Gem lettuces and Lambs Lettuce at the moment) – I squeezed over a little lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.

The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday.  I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along. 

We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy.  Every mouthful felt good for you.  It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.

Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend.  Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.

Smoked trout pate

Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter

Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
Chive flowers

In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard.  Blitz.  Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise.  Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper. 

Blitz and then taste.  You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering.  And a nice fresh lemony background taste.  I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.

Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture.  Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.

Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad.  This would also make an excellent canapé – a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.

Dinner last night – scrambled eggs my way with a generous amount of garden grown herbs (chives, mint, parsley, oregano, and chive flowers) on a fresh bagel with lettuce, homegrown rainbow radishes and a mustard vinaigrette. 

Bliss.

Mr Rigg rustled up some homemade pizzas last night to enjoy in the garden for dinner.  This incredible heatwave we’re experiencing in England this weekend has rendered us useless – the heat is just too heavy to do much of anything.

We used our tried and tested Jamie Oliver pizza dough recipe which can be found here.   I made a simple tomato sauce: some sliced garlic cooked gently in olive oil, a sprinkle of dried wild oregano, add a tin of blitzed up cherry tomatoes, and season with salt, pepper and Agave syrup or honey if a little extra sweetness wanted/needed.

After the pizzas were cooked in a hot oven topped with the homemade tomato sauce and grated mozzarella we wandered down to the bottom of the garden in search of some extras.

We garnished our pizzas with some baby salad leaves, a sprinkle of chive flowers and some shreds of proscuitto.  Sliced into wedges on a wooden board to share – no cutlery needed. 

I wish the weekend would never end.

A busy day of gardening both at home and the allotment. 

We planted out some pea seedlings that Buddy had tried to destroy previously – fingers-crossed they will survive.  They are supported with some chicken wire and bamboo canes.

I went to Kenyon Hall Farm and spent large amounts of money on beautiful herbs, more pea and broad bean plants, two Delphiniums and some asparagus for tea.

At the allotment I planted out six types of thyme:

Common

Lemon

Golden

Doone Valley

Redstart

and Vey

As you can tell I love thyme!

Next followed two chive and two heartsease plants. 

These are added to the lavender, tarragon and sage plants already dug into my new herb beds.

Happy digging!

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Who could image that just two ingredients – egg and butter – could create such a delicious, moreish meal?  N was anti-scrambled egg when I first met him.   After finally managing to get him to try a mouthful of my scrambled egg, he can now be heard asking for it without any prompting at all! 

Scrambled egg on toast, made with love and care, and not cooked to within an inch of its life, should not be dismissed purely as a side to a fried breakfast.  Scrambled egg on toast can make a scrumptious and filling meal all by itself – at least in my opinion.

Using high quality eggs is essential for producing the tastiest scrambled egg possible.  Organic, free range, rare breed/heritage or woodland eggs are your best bet.  Or if you’re lucky enough to have your own chickens, home produced.  We used free range organic eggs from Abbey Leys Farm.

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Now I never really understood why recipes call for a ‘heavy based’ pan, but for scrambled egg it really makes a difference.  If you use one that has a thin base (like my cheapo supermarket milk pan that I still have from university) then the egg at the bottom cooks too quickly and can burn and stick to the pan.  A pan with a thicker base will cook the egg slower and more gently.

So, to make my scrambled egg I melt a good sized knob of butter in a heavy based saucepan.  When the butter has melted and starts to gently bubble I crack in my eggs.  Please note, I do not whisk up my eggs and pour them into the pan.  I simply crack the whole eggs directly into the pan.

Now, the important bit – allow the eggs to cook everso slightly.  You can burst the yolks if you like, but try and let the white, well turn white – like when you fry and egg.  Now, give it a gentle mix (I used a metal spoon).  Then let it cook some more.  Then another gentle mix. 

By adding the eggs whole to the pan, and gently breaking them up as they cook results in a chunky scrambled egg where some bits are white, some bits are golden, and some are milky yellow combination of the two.  I think it makes for a much more interesting scrambled egg rather than one uniform taste and texture.

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Have the heat on about a medium, but if the egg starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat briefly and continue mixing.  I do this back and forward, on and off the heat until it reaches the texture I like. 

I like my scrambled eggs moist but not too runny, and certainly not dried out.  The egg should slide off the spoon, not plop off like lumps of jelly.  I know everyone has their own preferences, but if you usually cook your scrambled egg a bit longer, just try it more moist, just once.  When I first tried cooking scrambled egg like this I couldn’t believe how different it tasted.

Once the egg is cooked, stir in a good grinding of black pepper and salt to taste.  As with most food, I tend to be a purist and refuse to add too many embellishments, but yesterday I added some freshly snipped chives from the garden.  Chives are an ideal paring for egg and provided an interesting taste addition to our scrambled egg.

Butter some slithers of toast and spoon the scrambled egg over the top.

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My perfect scrambled egg

Serves 2 for lunch

6 eggs
A knob of butter
Salt
Black pepper
Chives (optional)

Buttered toast

In a heavy based saucepan melt a good sized knob of butter over a medium heat.  When it starts to bubble crack the eggs into the pan.

Allow the eggs to cook a little before bursting the yolks and giving them a gentle mix.  Leave again to cook a little, and then mix gently.  If the egg starts to stick to the bottom, remove from the heat and mix.  Keep the egg mixture moving, but do so gently until it reaches a moist sloppy consistency.

Stir in some ground black pepper and salt to taste.  If you are using chives, snip into the egg and mix.

Spoon the scrambled egg over a couple of slices of buttered toast.

Eat immediately!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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