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Thursday, 26 March 2015

ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH LABNEH, SALMON AND POACHED EGG

Good Morning to you,


Isn't it amazing how quickly Easter seems to be creeping up on us and like me, I feel sure your thoughts are turning towards your Easter traditions. 

I was thinking last night about how we used to celebrate Easter, when Natasha and Danielle were little girls.

Like many families, one of our traditions, was the visit from the Easter Bunny. This always excited the girls, because they never knew where they would be looking for the Easter eggs. If the weather at Easter time was warm, then the eggs would be hidden in the garden, but if it was cold, the chocolate eggs would be hidden around the house.  Armed with a wicker basket each, Natasha and Danielle had great fun looking for the chocolate eggs.... and as an added bonus they would often find the odd fluffy bunny or chick as well.

I remember one year, deciding it would be a good idea to make the Easter eggs myself. So I wrote to a company requesting the moulds.... remember this was way before the Internet, and after about a month or so, I received a box with the moulds and instructions on how to make the Easter eggs.

When the girls were at school, out came the moulds and so began the task of making the Easter eggs.  I brushed layer upon layer of melted chocolate into the moulds, waiting for each layer to dry before applying the next layer.

I have to tell you, even using a brush I managed to get chocolate all over my hands... now I wonder if that was intentional, because thinking back, there was no reason to get in such a mess.... but you know me and my love of chocolate.

When the eggs were ready, I carefully released them from their moulds.... the first time I did it, half of the egg broke into pieces, so I had to repeat the layering of the chocolate again.

Finally, with great care, I managed to remove the chocolate halves from their moulds and placed a handful of Chocolate Drops and Smarties into the centre of each of the eggs. Then came the sealing of the two halves with a little melted chocolate.

The final flourish was to decorate the eggs with yellow ribbon and little yellow chicks, then I placed the eggs into two boxes filled with shredded green tissue paper.

I was really pleased with the end result and we hid the eggs for Natasha and Danielle to find. When they found the eggs, they came running into the house so excited. They quickly removed the ribbons and the chicks and proceeded to smash the eggs and started eating pieces of the chocolate.

If you could have seen the look on my face, obviously, I was thrilled Natasha and Danielle loved their eggs, but I had hoped they would last a little longer than they did.... rather silly of me, I know, but I had hoped to admire my handiwork for a little longer. 

..... and did I make any more chocolate eggs?

Well, I could say yes, I made them year after year, but I would be lying to you. I never made chocolate Easter eggs ever again. I did what most parents did, I resorted to buying them.... and if I am honest, I really don't think the girls noticed, they were just happy to receive Easter eggs.

..... and the moulds, well I kept them for years and it wasn't until we left Cyprus that I gave the moulds away to a friend who had young children.... I wonder if she ever used them, I will have to ask her.

So with Easter still on my mind.  George and I have an Easter tradition which we enjoy and that is,


a brunch of English muffins, with Labneh, smoked salmon and topped with a poached egg. This is not so much a recipe as the gathering of a few ingredients, but the end result makes for a very nice brunch.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,


the fabulous Edmundo Ros.  I was trying to think of the first time I heard Edmundo's music, but for the life of me I cannot remember, but a couple of years ago I saw the film 'A Good Year' with Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard and Edmundo's music was featured in the film.... and it reminded me of how much I loved Edmundo's music.

This album so reminds me of the time we all went to 'Eclipse di Luna' in Dunwoody, Atlanta, for New Year. We had the most wonderful evening.  The band played Latin music all night long and George, who doesn't particularly enjoy dancing anymore, grabbed my hand, and to my astonishment lead me to the dance floor. I was so surprised to see we were the first couple on the dance floor. So if this music can make George want to 'shake his hips', then I feel sure, once you hear Edmundo's music, you will not be able to help yourself, your feet will start moving, your hips will be shaking and you will be in a little world of your own.

Listen to,

'No Can Do'
'Sorta on the Border'
'Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White'

So whilst 'I Talk to the Trees' is playing, yes it is the song from 'Paint Your Wagon' but sung so differently, I am dancing around my kitchen gathering my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS
YOU WILL
NEED TO MAKE
ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH LABNEH,
SMOKED SALMON AND A POACHED EGG 

Serves 2

1 English Muffin
2 large eggs
4 strips of smoked salmon
1 - 2 tablespoons of labneh
or cream cheese

HOW TO MAKE
ENGLISH MUFFINS WITH LABNEH,
SMOKED SALMON AND A POACHED EGG


Cut the English muffin
in half.


Place the smoked salmon
on a plate,
ready to place on the muffin.


Toast the 2 halves
of the English muffin
and 
place in a warm oven
until ready to use.

Boil a kettle of water
and pour the hot water
into a wide pan.
Make sure it is deep enough to cover the eggs
with water.

Place the pan on the heat and
bring the water to a rolling boil.


Whilst the water is coming to the boil.
Remove the English muffins
from the oven
and
spread each half with labneh
or if you prefer
cream cheese.


Divide the smoked salmon
between the halved English muffins.


Crack the eggs into
a cup
and


gently place into the 
pan of boiling water.

Return the water to a rolling boil
and
allow the eggs to cook for  three minutes.
Then
using a slotted spoon,
remove the eggs from the water,
making sure you drain away the excess water.


Place
 the poached egg on top of the salmon.

All there is left to do
is,
take your brunch straight to the table
and 
enjoy.


As you can see, my poached egg cracked when I placed it on the salmon. Why does that happen, I poach eggs all the time with no problem, but I have to say, I was a little disappointed as I bought the eggs on Wednesday morning, so they should have been fresh, but I felt the egg white spread too much.

It did not spoil the flavour, but I was a little disappointed with the final photograph.

If you would like step by step instructions on how to poach an egg I wrote about it here.

I was just thinking, you probably know what Labneh is, but just in case you don't, it is a spread which is made using yoghurt.  I will show you how it is made after Easter, it really is easy, but next week I want to make a Simnel Cake for the Easter weekend.

.....Oh just a thought, do you remember at the beginning I told you that my first attempt at removing the chocolate egg from its mould was a disaster as the chocolate broke into pieces.  Just in case you were wondering what happened to the broken chocolate pieces.

Why, I ate them of course..... I know you are not surprised.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,













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