Baked Eggs with Cavolo Nero & Chorizo and Fresh Bread Stick Soldiers

I was far from a fussy eater as a child but I despised eggs, well not the whole egg, I loved the gooey yellow part -but the white part...urrgh! Something about the texture ...and the smell of hard boiled eggs being peeled just put me right off from a young age. My little sister Emma was the opposite, she despised the yellow, so when we had boiled eggs on toast for dinner I would delve in and extract the yolk and pass the remainder on to her -sibling symbiosis! I think the turnaround was a few years ago when I was really sick and nothing would stay inside me, eventually I started to recover my appetite and mum made me scrambled eggs - I wolfed them down and I started to let go of my racism against the whites.

Sunday brunch has to be one of the most enjoyable meals of the week -it's a relaxed affair during which a crossword puzzle might be 're-reviewed' or a break is taken from some outdoor activity or it's simply brunch because you had a lie in and the clock says it's too late to call it breakfast. I had brought some beautiful earthy, smokey chorizo from Dublin and in my dads garden were long, dark stalks of cavolo nero begging to be pan fried with some butter...So I decided the brunch marriage had to be with a third member...the humble egg. Alas there wasn't any 'real' bread in the house so I knocked up some fresh bread sticks using Lorraine Pascales super easy recipe. And I mean it when I say 'knocked up' because this has to be the fastest yeasted recipe I've ever on!

What you need;

for the bread-                makes 12
  • 450g strong white flour/ 'oo' flour
  • 1&1/2 tsp of salt
  • 250-275 mls tepid water
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Cracked black pepper, sea salt, poppy seeds -whatever takes your fancy for sprinkling

for the baked eggs-          serves 4
  • 4 eggs
  • 300ml cream
  • 8-10 long leaves of cavolo nero or regular kale
  • A knob of butter
  • A good hunk of chorizo
  • Pepper & salt
What you need to do;

  • Start by putting your flour and salt in a large bowl
  • Lorraine says to add the yeast to the flour followed by the water -I prefer to add the yeast to the water with a bit of sugar and allow to activate -just in case the yeast is a bit off at least you'll know
  • Mix together the flour, water and yeast and kneed for 10 mins or until the dough is springy

  • Divide into 12 pieces and roll into fat lengths -twist some if you like by splitting the piece into two longer lengths and twisting together

  • Cover with oiled cling film and allow to rest and grow for 25-30 mins in a warm place
  • When almost ready turn oven on to 200'C / Gas 6
  • Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle on pepper & salt, poppy seeds, sesame etc...

  • Bake for 15-20 mins or until browned -for some reason I have problems getting things to brown in my own oven so I pop them under a hot grill for 2/3 mins afterwards
  • Cool on a wire wrack

  • Set oven to 180'C / Gas 4
  • Put a frying pan a medium high heat
  • Chop your chorizo into small pieces -fry on the pan until crispy
  • Put another frying pan on a medium heat

  • Slice the kale from its central stalk and chop roughly
  • Wilt down on a pan with butter and some olive oil, after a few mins add a splash water to aid the process
  • Drain the chorizo on kitchen paper to remove excess oil
  • Add crispy chorizo to the kale, season with pepper
  • Add 300mls of cream, allow to bubble for a minute or two
  • Divide into 4 ramekins, crack an egg into the center of each
  • Grate some Parmesan cheese or another hard cheese over the egg

  • Pop into the oven for 8-12 mins depending on how well done you like your eggs
  • Serve with your bread sticks or a nice thick slice of toast