Smoked Cod and Poached Eggs for Breakfast

17 Jan

two4six8!

Although the idea of eating fish for breakfast may repulse some people, I’m with the Scots and their kippers, the Chinese and their salty fish congee, Eskimos and raw fish. All the cool people eat fish for breakfast. It’s protein, healthy oils and salty goodness to get your taste buds humming for the day.  But this recipe is not stinky, slimy sardines heads and all, but a nice, firm, flaky white cod with not too much fishy smell. Ok, so I used to call it ‘stinky fish’ when I was a kid, but it only smells when it’s raw. Straight out of the packet and into the water and trust me, your nose won’t notice a thing. Mum used to serve it up for dinner with mash, steamed veg and smothered in creamy white parsley sauce. We all loved it!

My dish is kind of like a breakfast salad. Totally not suitable for hungover people or children under 15 (nor my dear friend Amber who’d probably rather go a deep fried tarantula than this for breakfast – sorry Amby) . For me it evokes; 1) Poverty – What nutritious meal can I cook for less than $5? (Yeah I’m back there again). 2) Dieting – What maximum protein breakfast can I eat that doesn’t involve pork fat in all its glorious and fattening manifestations? 3) Nostalgia – I think I ate this about twice a week for all of my twenties (remark – as those of you who know me would know, I was most definitely NOT on a diet for most of that time, I was just poor most of the time).

As for the fish, I had a terrible moment of moral incertitude when I recently asked myself the question “Oh crap, is this stuff sustainable? Or I have I been supporting some far-away over-exploitation of some poor, endangered species of obscure fish all this time, paying no mind to the potential ethical and environmental wrong I am committing regularly for the sake of my $2.80 Stinky Fish fillet”? Could I blame it on Woolworths? But PHEW! It’s all good. And in the process of finding out that the fish is in fact Hake, not Cod at all (it’s only marketed in Australia as Cod) and both the fish and the South African fisheries it comes from have the ‘Marine Stewardship Council’ tick of approval, I found this webpage – http://www.msc.org/. It provides quite a comprehensive list of the availability of their certified ‘sustainable’ fish products in Australia. Click on ‘Where to Buy’. There is also lots of information on fisheries and species and the whole shebang.

Truth be told, this dish is awesome for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

To serve 2 people

Here’s what you’ll need…

2 handfuls rocket/roquette (however you want to spell it) and baby spinach – or any other lettuce you like, really

2-4 eggs (one or two each)

1 fillet smoked cod

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

squeeze lemon

some dill or parsley or basil, finely chopped

2 small potatoes

Four simple steps…

1. Boil or microwave the spuds until soft and tender. Slice, dice or smash.

2. Poach the fish fillet in simmering water for about 4-5 minutes (or less if it’s a small one). Remove to a plate and flake with two forks. It should slide off the skin really easily. Discard skin.

3. Poach your eggs. If this thought infuriates you – poaching eggs can be a b*#ch of a process if you haven’t nailed it yet, listen up. Medium pot of water, bring to the boil. Once boiled, reduce to simmer (with only little bubbles), add 3 tablespoons white vinegar. Crack the egg in as close to the surface as you can. Do nothing for 3 minutes. Remove egg with a slotted spoon.

4. Mix the yoghurt, herbs and a squeeze of lemon.

Serve – Put down a bed of greens, place the potato on top, then the fish, then the eggs. Tuck in!

two4six8!

Hollandaise is nice instead of yoghurt. Sour cream is an ok substitute for yoghurt. Or don’t have any sauce at all, just a good crack of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

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4 Responses to “Smoked Cod and Poached Eggs for Breakfast”

  1. Meredith January 18, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Yummy – how clever is that? (As I eat my boring muesli). Your Nanna Merle used to serve smoked fish with parsley sauce, too. I was just doing what she did. Never thought I’d see the day when you became an advocate for “stinky fish” 🙂 Mum X

  2. Renee January 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Love the blog & the recipe. Thank you!!

    • Claire January 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

      No worries Renee, glad you like it! If you subscribe you’ll get an alert when I post a recipe. Thanks.

  3. cookinginsens January 30, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Wow! I’ve never had smoked cod, but I know where to get some! Fabulous pictures.

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