Poached Egg over Crispy Quinoa Cake
When the lovely people over at Bedface contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in contributing a recipe to their Breakfast in #Bedface challenge, I didn’t hesitate, not even for one second! In fact, just reading the words “Breakfast in Bed” immediately brought visions of this Poached Egg over Crispy Quinoa Cake to my mind.
Truth is, I’d sort of been toying with the idea of revisiting an old breakfast favorite of mine, only this time, wanted to make it more “breakfast” friendly. More specifically, breakfast in bed friendly. This was the perfect occasion!
The main thing that I felt needed to change about the original recipe is that it had to be much quicker and easier to prepare. I mean, if you’re gonna have breakfast in bed (or prepare it for someone you love, rather, because hey, if you’re gonna get out of bed and prepare all that for yourself, there’s not much point in going back to bed to eat it, is there?) you don’t want to be spending hours slaving in the kitchen. And you don’t want to be making a whole bunch of noise either.
Also, I wanted it to look even more elegant than the previous version. Because let’s face it, breakfast in bed has to be perfect in every possible way: it needs to look just as good as it tastes. Smiles and sunshine all around!
This beautiful, delicious, elegant AND nutritious recipe is ready in just about the same time that it takes to poach a couple of eggs, providing that you have leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge. With that in mind, you might want to whip up a batch the previous day. And if you wanted that breakfast in bed to be a surprise, you’d only need put quinoa on the menu the night before and whoops, make too much.
Then it’s only a matter of mixing your leftover quinoa with a handful of grated cheese, a pinch of chopped pistachio, an egg, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook this mixture into 2 crispy disks, all this while your water is coming to a simmer. By the time your water has reached the right temperature, your crispy quinoa disks will be ready and waiting for you.
Then it’s egg poaching time and voilà — you’re ready to serve…
Like I said, this recipe comes together in just about as much time as it takes to poach a couple of eggs. So the first thing you want to do is, in a saute pan, bring some water, to which you will have added a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt, to a slow simmer.
Then, while you are waiting for that water to simmer, simply combine the leftover cooked quinoa, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped pistachios, egg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
Heat a little bit of olive oil (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a non-stick pan set over medium heat. Place two 3¼” to 3½” cookie cutters in the pan and divide the quinoa mixture equally between the 2 rings. Press the mixture down firmly with a flat object (I used a small flat based drinking glass) and cook until a crispy brown crust forms, about 2 minutes.
If you didn’t have 2 cookie cutters of the exact same size, don’t sweat it. I used both a 3¼” and a 3½” and seriously, when all is said and done, the difference in size is barely noticeable…
Carefully flip the cakes with the rings still around them (press the cakes down so they make full contact with the pan if you have to) and continue cooking until a nice crispy crust forms on that side as well, about 1 or 2 minutes.
Set these aside while you poach the eggs — your water must be simmering by now!
To poach the eggs, first make sure that your water is just barely hot enough to simmer. You don’t want that water to be moving too much; excess movement will destroy your eggs!
Crack one egg into a small bowl and carefully slip it into the simmering water while holding the bowl as close as possible to the surface of the water.
Then, with a spoon, push the egg white close to the yolk for a few seconds to help the egg stay together and keep a nice round shape. Repeat that same process with your second egg.
Once both eggs are in the water, cover the pan and let your eggs sit in the simmering water for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how runny you want that yolk to be.
When the eggs are done to your liking, carefully remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess water.
If you feel you need a little more help with the egg poaching thing, watch the above video before you get started. It may very well change your life! I know it did mine…
Alright, so now that all the components are ready, all that’s left to do is assemble our beautiful breakfast.
Remove the rings from around the quinoa cakes and place them in individual plates. Okay, the above picture probably wasn’t necessary, but I really wanted you to see how beautiful and crispy and golden those quinoa cakes turn out.
Almost makes you want to grab them in one hand and eat them just like that…
Top your quinoa cakes with a handful of micro-greens. I used a combination of arugula, red cabbage and beet, mostly because I can’t get enough of their gorgeous purple color and zesty flavor. Of course, you can use any variety that you prefer.
Watercress, which I’d used in the original version, also works perfectly great!
Finally, crown each cake with a poached egg, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and a little bit more of that grated Parmesan cheese and chopped pistachios, if desired.
All that’s left to do now is load your precious cargo on a tray, and surprise the love of your life with a breakfast they won’t soon forget!
For sure, they’ll think you spent hours slaving in the kitchen; only you and I both know that it’s totally not the case.
I promise to keep that our little secret!
Poached Egg over Crispy Quinoa Cake
For the Crispy Quinoa Cakes
- 1 cup leftover cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 2 tbsp chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 large egg
For the poached eggs
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp salt, I use Himalayan salt
- 2 large eggs
- About 1/2 cup micro-greens of your choice
- Grated fresh parmesan
- Chopped pistachios
- In a saute pan, bring water, vinegar and salt to a slow simmer to poach the eggs
- While you are waiting for that water to simmer, combine the ingredients for the quinoa cakes in a mixing bowl.
- Heat a little bit of olive oil (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a non-stick pan set over medium heat. Place 2- 3¼" to 3½" cookie cutters in the pan and divide the quinoa mixture equally between the 2 rings. Press firmly with a flat object (I used a small flat based drinking glass) and cook until a crispy brown crust forms, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the cakes with the rings still around them (press them down so they make full contact with the pan if you have to) and continue cooking until a nice crispy crust forms on that side as well, about 1-2 minutes.
- Set aside while you poach the eggs (your water must be simmering by now)
- Crack one egg into a small bowl and carefully slip it into the simmering water while holding the bowl as close as possible to the surface of the water. With a spoon, push the egg white close to the yolk for a few seconds to help the egg stay together and keep a nice round shape. Repeat with your second egg.
- Cover the pan and let your eggs sit in the simmering water for 2-4 minutes, depending on how runny you want that yolk to be.
- Carefully remove the eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess water.
- Remove the rings from around the quinoa cakes and place them in individual plates. Top with a handful of micro-greens and crown with a poached egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a little bit more of that cheese and chopped pistachio, if desired.
- Serve without delay!