“FORGET EGGS BENEDICT… THERE’S A
NEW BRUNCH CRAZE IN TOWN”
The sleep-bugs are hitting me like a brick today…
Maybe because I fought to stay up last night after Jason pulled a long work-night, and prepared him this as a very inappropriate thing to eat at 2 AM. I can be a very irresponsible wife sometimes. Lighting looks weird but hey, that’s the best midnight can do.
But the more pressing matter, besides the fact that I’m slowly murdering my husband (who helplessly squeezed out these words, “Is yogurt… fattening?” through his feeding mumbles…), is have you heard about this?
Although without any timeframe, I had my mind set on making it when I saw it on a TV-program a few days ago featuring unique brunches, a Turkish dish where two poached eggs are put on top of a bed of garlicky yogurt then bathed with Aleppo chili butter (hear that? butter. butteeerrr!). And then like destiny, boom! there it was on the latest issue of Saveur. The kitchen universe was sending me messages and it’d be rude to ignore. So the next day, it went into production.
Well, I knew it was gonna be good. But I didn’t expect it being this good.
Maybe the original movement between just poached eggs, thick garlicky yogurt and Aleppo butter in an old school Turkish dance could’ve been enough. I don’t know. Yeah actually I wouldn’t know because I just couldn’t leave the original unsoiled (ironically). I couldn’t help but feeling that it wanted something herby… minty… something sharp like say, pickled green chili chimichurri to wake it up. In fact, it did more than waking it up. The refreshing acidity and herbs in the green sauce parted the red sea of butter and took the party to the promised land. Almost biblical songs written on a mopped-clean plate. Listen, this is your next entertaining idea. Your effortless hostess-ticket. Because best of all, most of the stuff can be done hours or a day ahead (you don’t think I did all this at 2 AM, did you? oh you flatter…), in fact, they may prefer it that way as the flavours get happy with time.
Forget eggs benedict. There’s a new brunch craze in town, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for late nights either.
Oh here it goes… adrenaline withdrawal. Now if I may, I must go sink my head into a pillow…
Then again, maybe it isn’t sleep-bugs. It’s post-Manger-blues… Is there anything, seriously, more depressing than reading Mimi Thorisson? I feel like a hairless goat in a bad dress who has mistaken herself as a human…
Oh I must leave….
Serves: 2 brunch-servings
You can buy thick Greek-style yogurt, or make your own from plain yogurt. I strained doubled-amount plain yogurt (if your plain yogurt is very thin, you’ll need more) wrapped inside a large cheesecloth, placed over a sieve and placed something heavy on top for 2 hours. You’d be surprised how much water can come out this thing. And I’m using the Aleppo chili flakes I still have from our trip to Istanbul, but nowadays, it’s widely available online or spice-shops.
The pickled green chili gives an old chimichurri some nice acidity and heat. A tbsp is first pureed into the sauce, then another tbsp chopped is mixed in the end, so there are random bursts of pickled chili throughout. The amount listed in the recipe is quite mild, so don’t hesitate to add more for desired heat. I made the sauce in a traditional mortar, and the ingredients are listed in the order that they go in. You can of course make this in a blender/food-processor, where you can probably add all the herbs at once and drizzle the oil in with the machine running. If I were to make this sauce a day before hand, I would add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar to help keep the color vibrant.
- 9 oz (254 grams) of Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp of finely chopped dill
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1/3 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- Aleppo chili butter:
- 1/2 stick (57 grams) of unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp of Aleppo chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 1/8 tsp of ground cumin
- Pickled green chili chimichurri:
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 fillets of anchovies soaked in olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp (15 grams) of pickled green chili (pickled jalapeño or other types of pickled green hot chilis)
- 1 good handful (14 grams) of fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 handful (7 grams) of fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup (71 grams) of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp of pickling juice
- 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 more tbsp (15 grams) of pickled green chili, diced
- Salt to taste
- 4 large eggs for poaching
- 1 loaf of rustic bread
- Sea salt for sprinkling
To make the herbed Greek yogurt: Evenly mix Greek yogurt, chopped dill, grated garlic, salt and ground black pepper together. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
To make the Aleppo chili butter: Combine unsalted butter, Aleppo chili flakes, paprika and ground cumin in a sauce pot. Heat over medium heat, and once the butter has melted, let cook for another min. Turn off the heat and set aside. Warm up over low heat before using.
To make the pickled green chili chimichurri: In a mortar, grind the garlic and anchovy fillets together until paste-like. Then add the fresh thyme leaves and 1 tbsp of pickled green chili, and grind again until they almost disappear into the paste. Add the fresh parsley leaves and fresh mint leaves, grind again until very finely broken down. If using a blender/food-processor, you can do all this at once. Now, add the the extra virgin olive oil, pickling juice, freshly ground black pepper and diced pickled green chili. Swirl the sauce to combine the ingredients together. Adjust the seasoning with some salt. Set aside.
All of the above can be made the day before.
To serve: Preheat the top-broiler on high. Slice the bread and place it on a baking sheet, then generously drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle ground black pepper on both sides. Toast under the broiler until the first side is golden browned, then flip and toast the other side as well. Careful, this will happen fast under the broiler. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring a deep pot of water (about 6″ deep) to a very gentle simmer (some say add vinegar but I don’t find the result different…). Crack the egg into a small dish and slowly slide it into the pot (some say make a “whirlpool” but I don’t find it necessary), then circle the water around the egg with the back of a spoon to remove excess egg whites. Once the egg turns slightly opaque (but before the shape is set), gently turn it over with a spoon (this’ll give the poached egg a “rounder” shape). Gently move it to the side of the pot and repeat with another egg. Do not crowd the pot. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and dab the bottom with a clean towel to remove excess water.
Divide the herbed Greek yogurt in two plates, and place two poached eggs on each. Give a generous amount of Aleppo chili butter and pickled green chili chimichurri. Sprinkle some sea salts on top and serve with crusty breads.