Spicy sausage, aubergine and egg

Spicy sausage, aubergine and eggs. And yoghurt. And coriander. And sumac. And ALL THE GOOD THINGS.Soutsaki sausages and sumac yoghurt and poached eggleThis recipe was inspired by one on the brilliant The Editer blog.

Ingredients for 2 people, with some aubergine dip left over:

2 large aubergines  (the softer the riper, squishy is too far)

3/4/5 big meaty sausages (as many as you can eat). If you can get Soutsaki sausages or chorizo, then do them. Alternatively, get normal sausages (high-percentage pork), and sprinkle a bugger load of smoked paprika, chilli flakes and cayenne on the sausages, and smoosh it all over with some olive oil.

1 large/2 small cloves garlic

1 lemon

50g tahini

40ml olive oil (good quality – Locatelli’s is the best I’ve found)

100g Greek yoghurt

Half a bunch of coriander

4 eggs (2 each)

2 tsp sumac

Toast – sourdough, or any other fancy loaf

Oodles of butter

  1. Prick the aubergines and put them in a hot oven – 220degrees – for about half an hour until they go soft all the way through and collapse (stab a knife through to check)

  2. When you’ve put the aubergines in, do the sausages. Put a load of smoked paprika, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper and olive oil over the sausages in a baking tray, roll them all around in it, and put in the oven for 30 mins-ish until cooked.

  3. Meanwhile, put the tahini paste, lemon zest, olive oil, half of the Greek yoghurt and some sea salt and ground black pepper, and 1 tsp of sumac into a bowl and mix well.

  4. When the aubergines are done, take them out of the oven, cut in half, scrape out the cooked flesh and put it on a board/bowl and leave to cool. When it’s cool, put it in the bowl with the tahini, lemon, oil, yoghurt etc. Plates in the oven.

  5. If you’re  hungry and can’t wait, sprinkle some sea salt on the aubergine skins and gobble up.

  6. Sausages should be ready. Turn the oven off and leave to rest.

  7. Poach your eggs. Boil water in a pan to a rolling boil, then turn it down to really, really low. Make a mega-whirlpool, then drop the first egg into the middle. Quick sharp, drop the others in as close to the middle of the whirlpool as possible – you should be able to do 4 in a pan.

  8. If the whirlpool doesn’t work for you, do the magic trick. Put all the eggs, in their shells, into a pan of water on a rolling boil (BIG bubbles). Count to 20 quick seconds, not mississippis. Take them out, put them onto a teatowel for a second while you turn the heat down to very very low. The lowest. Carefully crack the egg in from a low height just above the water line – the shape of the white should have set in the eggshell just enough to be retained when it flops into the water, making perfect eggs.

  9. Put the bread in the toaster, and slather in butter when its out.

  10. Take the eggs out. Chop coriander.

  11. Build it. A base of yoghurty aubergine mix, then the sausages, then two eggs on top, then a big spoonful of Greek yoghurt (I’m all for the low-fat but not here. Here you need the good stuff), then liberally sprinkle on cayenne pepper, sumac, coriander.

  12. Cut into the eggs and see the yolk go whooooshhhh all over everything. At this stage, I like to throw a bit more cayenne, sumac, coriander, sea salt etc on into the yolky bit, just for good measure…

  13. Stick the buttery bread in wherever needs mopping.

  14. Oh just LOOK at it. So good that I’m going to have to put the picture up again, just to encourage you to go away and make it.

Soutsaki sausages and sumac yoghurt and poached eggle


Huevos rancheros for a brunch party

It all began with Huevos Rancheros. Everything begins with Rancheros. Friendships, love affairs, relationships, and Saturday mornings.
We (me and my former flatmate Seil, in our little EX-council flat in Bethnal Green, with deck chairs in the sitting room, a rocking dinosaur, and a garden overgrown with weeds no matter how many hours we spent trying to conquer it) first discovered it in the Sunday Times Style, a Jamie Oliver recipe from Jamie’s American Road Trip. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/style/food/Eating_In/article183451.ece. Since then it has evolved, and this is the result.This is for two or three, with some mix left over to put in the freezer so that you can impress people at a minute’s notice. Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll just whip you up a Ranchero/Enchilada/amazing pasta sauce/on toast with melted cheese/on a bed of spinach with a poached egg on top for a carb-free mid-week supper, and look like a Domestic Goddess. I have a log of biscuit mix in my freezer too, so that I can have freshly baked biscuits on the table in 10 minutes. Makes you look fancy even when you don’t feel it.Ingredients

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 packet mature cheddar cheese

1 bunch coriander

1 packet of the big tortillas

6 eggs

2 red peppers

1 red onion

1 clove garlic

Chilli flakes or 1 fresh red chilli (or one from the freezer if you’ve been clever and done that, in a jam jar, next to the jam jar of breadcrumbs)

Seasoning – some Herbes de Provence, sugar, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A frying pan with a lid


1 Slice the red peppers, start softening them in a big frying pan – it’ll take about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the red onion, then add that, and cook until they’re both softened. Add a hefty sprinkling of chilli flakes (just under a heaped teaspoonful if you’re feeling brave) or the 1 red chilli.

2 Crush the garlic (get one of these, I hate stinky fingers http://amzn.to/11kz8sb), add that, and be careful not to let it burn. Cook for just a couple of minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes. Turn it up, and bubble bubble bubble. At some point, add a teaspoon or so of sugar until it loses that harsh tinned tomato taste, plenty of sea salt and ground pepper, and a shake of Herbes de Provence/Mixed Herbs/Oregano/Whatever you have that’s dried and green, within reason. Thyme won’t work, nor will Rosemary).

3 While it’s bubbling, make Bloody Marys/coffee/tea/shandies.

4 Grate the cheese, chop the coriander, warm the tortillas in the microwave or in foil in the oven at 180 for about 5 mins (1 tortilla each)

5 When the red pepper sauce has all bubbled down to a thick consistency, YOU NEED TO PUT ASIDE ALL DISTRACTIONS, GRAB A FRIEND, AND CONCENTRATE.

6 Make egg-sized wells in the red sauce – 1 for each egg. Get the lid ready. Get the eggs ready. Turn the heat to medium.

7 Crack an egg into each hole, then salt from a height. This is very important but I don’t know why, so just do it.  Jamie says so. QUICKLY, put the lid on, step back, say Phew, and then hover near it for 2 minutes.

8 After 2-3 minutes, when the eggs have finished poaching in the red spicy juices, they will be ready. Quickly lift the lid up to check after 1 minute. If they’re cooked too much on the bottom, and none on the top, the heat is too high. If they’re still completely clear, it’s too low. They are ready when just cooked, maybe even a tiny bit still wobbly as they’ll carry on cooking while you’re building the wrap.

9 Tortilla on the plate. Spicy sauce with red peppers on top. Then the egg. Then an absolute crap-load of cheese (see picture). Then the coriander. Fold the bottom over first, then the sides – it is imperative to get the bottom folded over (for some reason men are really bad at remembering – maybe they’re too excited) so that the egg doesn’t spill out of the bottom.



10 At some point while eating your Ranchero, your perfectly cooked yolk will suddenly go ppppffffffffssshhhwwwwwww and dribble all over the cheese, which will have slightly melted. I sometimes keep stuffing more cheese on top as I go.

11 If you have a ripe avocado in your fridge, or any sour cream, they are also delicious additions.

12 Holy crap, I love Mexico.

Picture caption: on the left is Philly, on the right is Pascoe. 

Brunch parties

We did best brunch recipes in Times Weekend this Saturday just gone, which are all easily scale-upable. I love having brunch parties – but they’re a dangerous business, as they can easily turn into an all-day and all-night booze-up. Fine on a Saturday, less fine on a Sunday…

I shall put them all up one by one but in the meantime, here are the recipes online (£)

Baked eggs with chorizo, mushrooms and lemon creme fraiche


baked eggs Shelagh Ryan


Slow braised beans with ham hock



Corn fritters with roast tomatoes and smashed avocados


corn fritters shelagh ryan


Sauteed mixed mushrooms with lemon herbed feta