Ed Smith’s twist on a brunch time favourite
This is not so different to scrambled eggs and bacon—a dish so tried and tested it probably doesn’t merit a recipe. However, the eggs should be relatively sloppy, so there’s a nod to a method for that, and as eel may be new to many so instructions for warming pre-prepared eel fillets are also included. Ultimately, though, this is really a prompt to put four great things on the same plate. It will be most successful if the eggs are free range with bright yolks, the red frills (or other peppery leaf) feisty, and the tomatoes at their peak.
For more on easy, experimental dishes, read Ed’s latest blog
100g smoked eel
2 excellent tomatoes, at room temperature
Sea salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
A knob of butter
6 large eggs
2 handfuls of red mustard frills
Preheat the oven to 150C. Prepare all your elements first, as this will come together quickly once the eggs begin to cook. Check you have 2 handfuls of clean and fresh red mustard frills nearby.
Carefully transfer the eel fillets to a small baking sheet or tray. Slice the tomatoes, set them on a plate and season generously with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.
Place a medium-large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat. Add a knob of butter and wait as it slowly melts—if it foams and browns, the pan is too hot.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Season with heavy pinches of salt and pepper and whisk furiously. Tip into the saucepan and cook very, very slowly, stirring continuously—they should take longer than 4 mins, and easily up to 8. Try to avoid the eggs catching and cooking quickly, removing the pan from the heat from time to time if firming too quickly.
Meanwhile, put the eel in the oven for 5 mins, during which time it will warm and expand a little. Try to avoid letting it colour or break apart.
Don’t neglect the eggs. As soon as they’re done, divide between 2 plates. Add the warm eel fillets, tomatoes and a handful of red mustard frills.
Recipe and image: Ed Smith