The faithful classic

Egg sandwich with creme fraiche and horseradish
Egg sandwich with avocado
The omelette sandwich
Ahhh… the almighty egg sarnie. Some things are so quintessentially English that just a single bite of a perfectly luscious, velvety egg mayo filling topped with crisp watercress on brown bread transports me back to the Motherland of tea and scones. Except in my opinion, some of the most memorable egg and bread concoctions were best served at simple builders’ cafes rather than posh tea houses. The classic egg sandwich has kept me company on numerous occassions – during rushed work lunches (Pret how I miss you), the dreaded penny pinching days at the end of the month before payday (a loaf of brown bread, a carton of eggs, and jar of mayo go a long way), and aplenty morning after sessions following a big night out. Let’s face it, an omelette sandwich is pretty much the veggie alternate to the bacon buttie when it comes to alcohol quenching properties. 

I know certain schools of cooking that believe the egg sarnie is so classically sacred one must never mess around with the ingredient combination – perfectly boiled eggs (not overdone with the yolk still moist and orange), salt, pepper, butter, and mayonnaise. I for one do not abide by this. I absolutely love the fact that using a set of basic and familiar fridge staples, one can experiment with a whole world of textures and flavours. Most people will have bread, eggs, mayo and salt & pepper in the kitchen. Such simple, honest ingredients that complement each other perfectly, you can never go wrong with the trusted combination of eggs and bread provided you stick to sane, rational kitchen rules. 

So here it is, my list of favourite egg and bread combinations in no particular order:

The classic – eggs with creme fraiche & horseradish

The Ingredients
2 eggs, 3-4 tbsp creme fraiche (you can use mayo but I prefer the lighter texture of creme fraiche, plus it has less calories than mayo!), 1 tbsp horseradish, chopped capers, chopped spring onions, salt & pepper.

The Preparation
1. Boil egg for 5-7 minutes
2. Smash cooked eggs with all ingredients. Season with salt & pepper. 
3. Serve in-between wholemeal bread with lettuce or watercress.  

Egg sandwich with avocado

The Ingredients
2 eggs, 1 ripe avocado, salt & pepper. 

The Preparation
1. Boil egg for 5-7 minutes
2. Smash cooked eggs with avocado. Note: you don’t even need to use mayo with this due to the already creamy richness of the avocado.  Season with salt & pepper. 
3. Serve in-between wholemeal pita with side salad.   

The omelette sandwich

The Ingredients
2 eggs, half an onion, splash of milk, tomato sauce, salt & pepper, any other ingredients you may want to add to your omelette – i.e. mushrooms, spring onions, peppers, etc, cheddar cheese, and olive oil.

The Preparation
1. Beat eggs and add milk. Season with salt & pepper.
2. Heat pan with olive oil, at this stage sauté any of the additional vegetables. Once cooked pour in egg mixture and let this settle.
3. Top with cheddar cheese.
4. Once omelette has complete formed served on top of brown bread with lettuce or rocket and a smearing of tomato sauce.


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In pursuit of happiness

Orzo with chicken, asparagus, and red pepper
And so it’s finally June. Halfway through the year. The month has been off to a bit of an emotional start for me due to a number of reasons. There’s the dreaded date of turning another year older looming round the corner. June also marks one year of my move back to KL. What an adventure is has been so far from surrendering myself to work and its chaos, reconnecting with old friends, swearing off men forever, to discovering a renewed passion for cooking. I’m trying my best to focus on the positive rather than drowning in the depressing, existential thoughts of whether I achieved what I had set out to do with my move back home from KL. Was it worth it all?

Despite certain setbacks, KL is still one big journey of discovery, so I’m choosing to practice positive thinking. Focus on the good side of things and everything becomes an exciting opportunity or blessing. Wallow on the negative and defeat takes over in an instant. Happiness is a state of mind. It’s all about the little joyful moments of enlightenment that make it all worth it. I’m applying this philosophy to food as well. It’s a known scientific fact that certain foods act as natural anti-depressants and have the ability to alter moods. The dish below contains two key ingredients that have been proven to raise the spirits and banish the blues. Asparagus has high levels of folate and tryptophan. Tryptophan is used by the brain to make serotonin, which is one of the brain’s main mood-stabilising neurotransmitters. At the same time, asparagus replenishes the body’s levels of folate – low levels of folate have been linked to depression. The bold red hues of ripe red peppers instantly brings images of warm sunshine-filled days. Guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. 

So move over June blues, I banking on good, happy food and positive thinking to get me through the month. 

Orzo with chicken, asparagus, and red pepper (inspired by BevCooks)

Basic Ingredients
Orzo, 1 onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, olive oil, chicken breast, asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces), sliced red peppers, chicken stock, chopped spring onions, parmesan cheese, 1 lemon, salt & pepper.

The Preparation
1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. Either pan fry or grill until cooked.
2. Blanche asparagus. Drain and set aside. 
3. Sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. 
4. Add orzo and cook for about 3 minutes to toast.
5. Add a ladle of chicken stock and stir until this has absorbed into the orzo. Keep repeating this technique of adding stock and stirring, as if you were making a risotto. 
6. When orzo is three quarters cooked add asparagus, peppers, and spring onion. Keep stirring.
7. When orzo is al dente, add parmesan cheese, juice of 1 lemon and zest of lemon.
8. Season and serve