Whether or not you're a Dr Seuss fan, these green eggs and ham are sure to appeal.

Sam Mannering

Whether or not you’re a Dr Seuss fan, these green eggs and ham are sure to appeal.

I grew up enduring endless tedious schoolyard jokes about whether I ate green eggs and ham. Sam did not eat green eggs and ham. Clearly I was a deeply laconic child with no time for doggerel.

The adult Sam has changed his tune. Adult Sam does eat green eggs and ham. Well, greens with eggs and prosciutto, but let’s not get too pedantic here. (And it’s more than perfectly clear from my prose that now I absolutely revel in doggerel.) 

I’m terribly fond of baked eggs. They make an impressive and deceptively easy breakfast dish for large numbers of people. Double or triple the recipe below as you see fit. The key is to not overdo the yolks; you want them to run everywhere and act as a bit of a sauce, to be mopped up with a bit of good bread. 

If you can get hold of some of that Clevedon Buffalo Curd, go for it. If I’m not careful I’ll demolish an entire jar in one sitting with absolutely no regrets whatsoever. 

Green eggs and ham

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 4

Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 leek, trimmed, finely sliced and washed
1 red onion, finely sliced
Bunch of asparagus, ends removed and halved
Handful of broccolini, halved
1 lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
8 slices of prosciutto
8 free-range eggs
100g soft cheese (goat, buffalo) or feta
Small handful of mint

In a large, deep pan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add a little olive oil, let it heat up and then add the garlic, leek and onion. Saute gently for 6-8 minutes until everything is soft, fragrant and translucent. Throw in the asparagus and broccolini and fold everything together. Zest in the lemon and add a squeeze of juice. Season everything well to taste. Scatter the prosciutto over the top and then crack the eggs over the top of everything. Give the pan a bit of a jiggle so that the egg settles out evenly, then pop a lid on and continue to cook at a low-ish heat for another 5-6 minutes, until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. Season again, drizzle over a little olive oil, dot the soft cheese over the top and tear up the mint and scatter over. Serve while still lovely and hot, perhaps with some good bread on the side to mop up the goodness. 

READ MORE:
Recipe: Sam Mannering’s breakfast salad
Recipe: Sam Mannering’s Omelette Arnold Bennett
Recipe: Sam Mannering’s asparagus frittata with feta, pine nuts and mint

They're not the prettiest fish, but monkfish are delicious, especially with parmesan and asparagus.

Sam Mannering

They’re not the prettiest fish, but monkfish are delicious, especially with parmesan and asparagus.

Spear+fish

I’m leaping on the asparagus bandwagon one more time. Often with larger asparagus one runs the danger of overcooking one end and undercooking the other. This is an excellent way of dodging that. If you exercise enough self control, use the leftover puree for breakfast the next morning as it is absolutely delicious on toast with a couple of poached eggs. Just saying. 

Poor old monkfish doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. Damn ugly things but boy are they delicious. Ask for the cheeks, if you can get them; they’re meltingly sweet. 

I love going down to the fish markets to get whole monkfish; it always creates a stir. Someone will always ask in horror: “Are you actually going to eat that thing?” To which I reply in the affirmative with the utmost relish. 

Also, who doesn’t love parmesan? 

Monkfish with parmesan and asparagus

Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

1 large bunch of asparagus
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Parmesan

For the fish
600g monkfish fillets
Sea salt and black pepper
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp grated parmesan, plus extra
Butter, for frying

Trim the ends off the asparagus. Halve them and pop the stem end halves into a saucepan full of simmering water. Cook until they are well tender. Drain and pop into a blender with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a generous seasoning of salt and pepper, and an even more generous grating of parmesan (you want to go for at least 3 tablespoons worth, but do it to taste). Blend until lovely and smooth, and then set aside. 

Quickly blanch the asparagus tips, and keep warm. 

Season the monkfish with salt and pepper, dredge through the beaten egg, dust very lightly with flour and roll in the grated parmesan. 

Set a frying pan over a reasonably high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a teaspoon of butter. Let it melt and bubble up before frying the fish on both sides until nicely golden brown, in batches if necessary. Grate a little more parmesan over the cooked fish, for good measure. 

To a warm platter or individual plates, dollop out the warmed asparagus puree, scatter over the asparagus, and arrange the fish on top. Serve immediately. 

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Categories: Diet

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