You get people who are perpetually cheery. I’m not one of them.

I truly am not something you want to be near until at least two cups of morning coffee have gone down the gullet. After that I can face the day, and manage a passable Little Miss Sunshine to boot – most of the time.

Mondays? Hmmm, no, not so much.

My loathing of this completely innocent day dates back to high school. A double helping of German grammar lay in wait 8am every Monday. Invariably my weekend homework had not been touched. It wasn’t pretty.

Years later, my ‘die, der und das’ torture long forgotten, an inexplicable gloom somehow still settles over on me on Sunday afternoons. The only cure is comfort food. Top of my list is boiled eggs and soldiers. It doesn’t get any better. Unless…

…I grab a scary-large duck egg instead of the normal hen’s egg. And instead of toast, I fry gigantic croutons in bacon fat. Round it all off with some micro leaves, dressed with a sharp Dijon vinaigrette to cut through all that richness. Bliss.

I pour a glass off buttery Chardonnay (mindful to keep the bottle close – just in case). I grab Merlot and put her on my lap, hoping that she’ll humour me for once and decide to stay. Then I tuck into my fancy bacon and eggs in front of the 8pm MNet movie. Suddenly Sunday night is a mighty fine thing. And Monday? Bring it on.

All you need is…

For the vinaigrette
3 tbs red wine vinegar
7 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs Dijon mustard
½ clove of garlic, finely mashed
salt (salt is flavour, don’t be shy)
grinding of black pepper

For the bacon and egg salad
4 duck eggs (If the thought of this makes you want to run screaming for the hills, use hens’ eggs instead. They’re much smaller, so you’d probably need two per person.)
250g smoked streaky bacon
packet of mixed salad leaves
baguette or ciabatta, stale is better than fresh

Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette (leftovers can be kept in a bottle in the fridge). It needs time for the flavours to blend, so make it at least an hour beforehand. Fry the bacon until crispy and drain on kitchen towel. Slice the bread and fry off in the bacon fat. Drain on kitchen towel. Now poach the eggs. (Don’t freak! See GOOD TO KNOW for my easy cheat’s way to poach an egg.) Arrange the eggs with the bacon, croutons and salad. Dress the leaves and tuck in.

serves

4

prep

5 min

cook

20 min

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good to know

Poaching eggs, the cheat’s way

The correct way of poaching an egg, is to drop it in boiling water with a dash of vinegar. I can usually manage this just fine, if I am making only one. Ask me to deliver four perfectly poached eggs at the same time and things get nasty. So I cheat.

Line a tea cup with a bit of cling film. Brush it liberally with sunflower or olive oil. Break an egg into the cup. Twist it closed and secure it with a piece of string. Place the little plastic pouch in boiling water until the egg is done to your liking. You can poach as many as your saucepan will take in one go – and you can prod the parcels to see if the eggs are done! Poaching made easy. My kind of cooking.

enjoy with

It is one of the more expensive varietals but, true to my Queen of Cheap title, I have hunted down a bargain for you. Try Bellingham Douglas Green’s 2012 Chardonnay. It’s awesome value at under R40.

Chardonnay

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