Friday, 15 February 2013

Love~egg~bread ♥

I have wanted to perfect this recipe for a while, after having a few failed attempts at it a while back but not finding the excuse to get the method right until today. Today, being Valentines day, the day we are supposed to show how much we love our dearest in some physical form. Which is all a bit nonsense that we need a specific day to remind  us to do this but hey, it gave me the nudge I needed to get this dish right and the attention it needs on this love day. So now I shall make it on any occasion, whenever I want to give some extra love on a plate, or give myself some self love, its all good!
Basically, my love bread comes from the idea that you can make a sunny-side-up egg encased inside the border of a piece of bread. Make that shape in the bread a heart, and you have love-egg- bread! Its actually very simple, but having had less visually stunning tries at this before, I thought I'd share with you my method at getting your heart and egg to look as pretty as possible.
 Before I get into the recipe, I'd like to share some thoughts on eggs with you, as I mainly eat a vegan diet, though eggs have become a much more regular part of what I eat since my pregnancy. When I first started eating eggs again after many years of being a strict vegan, I felt their wonderfully grounding and nourishing goodness, and they left me feeling sustained and energised like I hadn't felt in a long time. I knew I wanted to keep eating eggs from happy, 'real-free-range' chooks. I found that a house in my village sold eggs from their chickens which I went to see running around their garden. They fed them their organic scraps, let them forage around their small woodland and knew them all by name. I buy all my eggs from them now, or other friends who have chickens. It feels good to source the most locally available protein possible, without consuming in battery-farmed chicken which is ultimate cruelty. I'd rather go without than put my money into that kind of business.  Local, loving, happy eggs are a special thing to me and I am so grateful to have them year round here. I hope one day that we will have our own chooks in our garden, our first pets for the baby!
All you need for this recipe is a heart shaped cookie cutter ( or a pair of scissors and a steady hand!) and a frying pan. We used bread that we had made ourselves in a bread maker, though any decent sized loaf will work (needs to be fairly square).
Love~egg~bread (serves 2)
2 thick slices good quality whole-grain bread ( I used homemade spelt)
2 free-range eggs
butter/oil for frying
2 handfuls spinach/chard/salad leaves
Pink crystal salt
crushed pink peppercorns

Firstly, slice your bread into even slices of about 1.5cm thick. If you slice your bread to thin, the egg will run over the top of the bread and will spoil the look of the dish. Using a cookie cutter or pair of scissors, cut out a heart shape from the center of the bread. It needs to be big enough so that a whole egg will fit inside without running over. My heart shaped cutter was quite small, so I made it bigger using scissors.
 Crack the eggs into a bowl being careful not to split the yolk. Place the bowl near your cooker and heat up a large frying pan with some butter of oil. When the pan is hot, place the slices of bread into the pan and toast for a minute before flipping over. Using a dessert spoon, spoon out the yolks carefully and place one in each heart. Gradually add the rest of the white until you have filled the whole. Do not pour it directly in or it will all fall in one go and go over your bread! You want the egg to just come up to the top of the hole you have made. Any higher and you will loose the heart effect you are looking for.
Leave on a medium heat until the egg is white and solid. If it seems done on the bottom but the top is still under cooked  you can pop the pan under a hot grill for a minute to set the top. Be careful to keep an eye on it so that you don't burn the top of the toast. When your Love egg bread is ready, slide a spatula under the bread and put onto plates. Garnish with some salad or wilted spinach, and sprinkle with crushed pink crystal salt and pepper. Serve to your loved one and start the day with some love on a plate!

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