PUT AN EGG ON IT Eggy recipes from the upcoming cookbook of Nikau Cafe’s Kelda Hains
GINNY GRANT MAKES EXCELLENT EGG RECIPES FROM NIKAU CAFE'S FORTHCOMING COOKBOOK.
BREAKFAST SHIFTS are a killer – and I speak from experience here. For a couple of years in the early 2000s I worked at Nikau Gallery Cafe in Wellington; known for the absolute deliciousness of its breakfasts and especially its egg dishes. Chef and co-owner Kelda Hains says eggs are an illustration of the cafe’s ethos of making simple, ethically sourced food, but to cook them well is challenging as they require a delicate hand with temperature control. And because the food is pared back, it means there's nothing to hide behind, so the quality of the ingredients has to be paramount. Here Kelda has generously shared a few of her recipes that are going to feature in the new Nikau cookbook.
Nikau Cafe is due out mid-October and will, I believe, have a legion of waiting fans who have been flocking to their doorstep for the last 19 years. And who wouldn’t be excited, when there is a whole chapter devoted to the deliciousness of eggs…
EIGHT-MINUTE BOILED EGG SALAD
A boiled egg is powerful – all by itself, it can transform a salad into a meal. Try blanched, room temperature asparagus or green beans; cauliflower in vinaigrette; or roasted red peppers. This boiled egg salad is another step along the path to a satisfying meal. With the addition of herbs and a dressing, and perhaps some well toasted sourdough and some bitter greens, lunch is at hand. The dressing for this salad is made by adding vinegar to cream. The acidity thickens the cream to a perfect consistency. I find it a lighter and more interesting alternative to mayonnaise. Any vinegar will work but I do find myself reaching for my bottle of chardonnay vinegar more often than not. Acidulated cream is also really good on a cucumber salad, or with the crisp leaves of cos lettuce.
1 teaspoon vinegar or shallot vinegar ¼ cup cream 1 tablespoon salted capers 1 tablespoon chives, dill, tarragon, or parsley 4 x eight-minute boiled eggs toast and rocket to serve (optional)
Stir the vinegar and a pinch of ground black pepper into the cream, and set aside for 10 minutes. The vinegar will thicken the cream as it sits.
Rinse the capers, and soak them in cold water to remove the salt. Drain, chop and add to the cream with any herbs you would like.
Peel and chop the eggs. Cut each in quarters, then across each quarter. Place in the bowl, on top of the dressing. Turn them gently, once or twice, trying to avoid breaking up the eggs too much. Serve on toast with rocket, if desired.