An Irish Brunch For Erica (Potato Egg Bake & Sticky Toffee Pudding)

March 2013

St. Patrick’s Day had already passed, but with the gray blanket of cold still stifling the impending spring, there was a tremendous need for more green!

Irish Inspired Table

Erica grew up in a green house. It wasn’t just any green house, but the green house next to my family’s brick house. That makes us longtime childhood friends. With her auburn locks, our distant Irish roots, and our overlapping memories of our mothers decorating our homes in festive greens, brunch with Erica was the perfect occasion to focus on greens, growth, the good ol’ days and sunnier futures.

Irish Brunch With Erica

Green Mimosas

Add a little nutrition and color boost to balance your morning mimosa.

Sticky Toffee Brunch

When a cake is comprised of coffee-soaked dates, it quite easily becomes an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. Don’t let the name fool you (I guess this is just another case of American English versus the Queen’s English), this Irish inspired Sticky Toffee Pudding is just that- an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. (Recipe follows in a subsequent post)

Leeks and Potatoes

Irish Potato Egg Bake

Potato & Leek Egg Bake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

1 pound small round potatoes
10 organic, large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
2 small leeks (white and pale-green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise and washed well (about 1 cup)
1 cup sliced green onion
1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in upper third.

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, let cool, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 teaspoon salt and1/4 teaspoon pepper until thoroughly combined.

Melt butter in an oven-safe 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek, green onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and cook, stirring gently, 30 seconds.

Reduce heat to medium. Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir once; cook, undisturbed, until edge is set, about 2 minutes. Scatter potatoes evenly over egg mixture. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake until edge is puffed and golden brown in places and center is set, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Suggestions for Improvement

Though I was pleased with this dish overall, there are a few tweaks I made and a few more I’d make in the future. Since my skillet is no stranger to bacon, I used a small amount of grease from a high quality, local bacon for sautéing the onions and leeks and consequently for baking the eggs. It added a subtle flavor. The boiled potatoes should be soft enough to eat on the spot. I left mine a little too firm, and they didn’t soften enough with the baking. Additionally, the potatoes were what gave the dish an overall blandness. Next time, I would sauté the potatoes with the leeks and onions and add a bit more salt. This would increase their flavor and add a crisp texture. Play with the recipe, have fun and bon appétite!    

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