My Saturday morning normally starts something like this: I wake up at 6am to Kitty mewing at the window. I’ll stumble out of bed, panda-eyed and stinky-breathed, let her in and climb back under the covers to return to a peaceful slumber. That slumber never eventuates because I’m too busy deciding which café to visit for breakfast.
Matty’s Saturday morning? Sleep. When it’s a reasonable time to wake up, sleep some more. Ignore your girlfriend’s subtle elbows in the side. Instead, continue sleeping your mouth open and breathe all over her face until she’s forced to roll over. Once it hits 12pm, start reading the news online in bed. Reject any suggestions for breakfast at a local café.
Sometimes my whinging wears him down and we head out to a local haunt and linger over coffees for a good 5 minutes before he decides it’s hometime. I feel like he’s Paula Abdul and I’m that creepy cat from Opposites Attract – we just don't see eye to eye on our Saturday morning activities.
When we do get to venture out of the house for breakfast, inevitably we’ll find baked eggs on the menu. They’re normally slathered in some kind of tomato-based sauce, accompanied by a bean or chorizo concoction. Don’t get me wrong – they’re tasty, but I’m kinda getting to the end of my baked egg tether. The exception to this rule is Small Victories on Rathdown St – their eggs are next level, I’m not even kidding.
Last Saturday, I let Matty win the battle of Breakfast In Vs Breakfast Out. But I had a secret weapon up my sleeve to win the war. I decided to revamp baked eggs – take those little critters to the next level.
The eggs need some kind of liquid to remain soft, but should be thick enough to keep the egg intact. I knew I couldn’t go tomato based – that’s so last season, dahlings. I wanted to embrace the end of winter and showcase some of the season’s finest: pumpkin, kale and cauliflower. It’s also hard for me to go past a meaty addition, and after endless to-ing and fro-ing, I narrowed it down to some sautéed fennel and garlic sausage.
These were the cat’s pyjama’s of baked eggs. The pumpkin was smooth, with ample grindings of pepper kicking the excitement up a notch. Fried cauliflower never fails to impress and the sausage killed it in the savoury stakes. An all-round baked egg winner if I’ve ever eaten one.
2 cups chicken stock
¼ butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed.
1 fennel and garlic sausage, casing removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 cup kale, finely sliced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180 C. Bring chicken stock to the boil and add the pumpkin, cooking until soft (around 10-15 minutes). Blend in a food processor until smooth (you may need to add some of the chicken stock to loosen up the mixture).
Meanwhile, sauté the sausage meat in olive oil until browned and remove from the pan. Heat the grapeseed oil over a medium heat and add the cauliflower florets, cooking until golden.
Stir the pumpkin, sausage, cauliflower and kale together and season appropriately. Add to two small baking dishes and crack the egg over the top. Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until the whites are just set.