About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010
Egg Parmigiana

I recently spent some time in the country and ate at a local hotel, The Royal Mail in Birregurra, on a couple of occasions. The first time, on a Saturday night was an altogether elaborate menu, featuring some mighty fine dishes.

Our second visit couldn't have been more in contrast. It was the Saturday's chef night off and the menu was more typical country fare, mixed grill with all the cliches sort of thing, though still very well cooked.

One item that caught my eye was the chicken parmigiana, ubiquitous throughout the land, very often featured as a pot and parma kind of special for slack Monday nights.

Now as much as I like a good parma, why is it that someone hasn't dallied around with the concept? You know, have a bit of fun with it. A play on the old chicken and egg, who came first theme.

The more I thought about it, the more possible it seemed to have a genuine egg parmigiana. The ham and cheese were easy as was the tomato sauce. But what makes a parma just that?

The coating of breadcrumbs of course.

Why not fry up the breadcrumbs in some butter and sprinkle them on top to give that vital crunch and texture?

Egg Parmigiana

For each serving
1 or 2 slices of best quality smoked ham - see note
2 or 3 slices buffalo mozzarella
1 poached egg
2 tablespoons tomato & basil sauce - recipe follows
2 teaspoons breadcrumbs, fried in butter till nicely browned - see tip

Let the ham and buffalo mozzarella come to room temperature. Lay 1 or 2 slices of ham attractively on a plate and top with slices of buffalo mozzarella. Lay a freshly poached egg on top and drizzle over the tomato and basil sauce. Sprinkle with the fried breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Tomato & Basil Sauce

1 tin Italian plum tomatoes
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a few leaves of fresh basil, shredded
salt & fresh ground pepper

Take a tin of whole tomatoes and crush them with your hands. Put them in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the garlic, shredded basil leaves and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Simmer until just thickened.

Note: I was talking about this dish with Steve Kirk from Kirkfood who supplies me with the freshest Italian buffalo mozzarella when I can't make it to La Latteria for the best local stuff. He suggested using Italian prosciutto as a variation, or if you wanted to splurge, some Iberico jamon wouldn't go astray either.

tip - when you've fried the breadcrumbs, don't leave them in the frypan as they will continue to cook and darken.
  posted at 10:08 pm

At 8:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kind of food Neil.
You have naming rights-a Neilagiana perhaps?

At 8:02 pm, Blogger Joanie said...

It's delectable :) The egg or the chicken theme looks yummy :P

At 7:08 am, Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

Man - that looks good.

At 9:00 pm, Anonymous jo said...

Hi Neil,
Your food looks really authentic!
Would you like to enter the recipes you have to a dish challenge and you might win an iPad or be judge by a mystery celebrity chef! You already have the recipes and great photos anyway. Upload them to enter the challenge and you never know!

Good luck for the challenge! remember to get the votes! ;-)

At 12:07 pm, Anonymous Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

Neil this is such a quirky and delicious idea - I agree with Steve that I believe this would be a unique dish that you could name! You should shop it around to the more forward looking pubs :)

At 6:54 pm, Anonymous kitchen hand said...

I thought it was an egg crumble when I looked at the picture. You could develop that as a follow-up dessert for people who really like eggs, like me. I'd order both.

At 2:57 am, Anonymous Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

Oh I am in love... Inspired and decadent - a double-whammy!!

At 12:51 am, Anonymous Christine @ 65main-bnb with TLC said...

The most stylish and tasty crumbed egg can be found at the Lake House in Daylesford. Just order the Ceasar Salad - the crumbed poached egg is amazing..


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