“Green eggs and ham” (gluten free)
I have never read Dr Seuss, but I don’t need to have grown up with it to know the term “green eggs and ham”. In Sydney today it is currently 18 degrees C and a time to grab the jumpers, pull out the heaters and eat comfort food. I have been working away at home all day looking outside at a gloomy scene. No sun glistens off the river, no birds are chirping and I could not be further from wanting to be out there. I would much prefer to stay inside, in my pajamas and have breakfast for lunch as you would on the weekend.
I have been craving baked eggs for a while now but it wasn’t until last weekend when I purchased my first packet of gluten free puff pastry from Harris Farm Market that I decided, this week is the week I will do it. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a plate of pastry without worrying that my stomach will hurt afterwards. Of course I have the occasional nibble but to sit down and know this will not make me sick is something I am looking forward to tremendously!
So this is a chance I decided to pay my dues to Dr Suess and make my own “green eggs and ham”. My green was the salsa verde I made last week as a topping on some steak and my ham will be some Calabrian nduja which is hard to come by in Australia. I got this one from Pino’s* in Kogarah. Pino is the king of curing in Sydney and his nduja will not let those die hard fans down. It is spicy, smoked in house and available in a sausage or in a paste.
The one thing I hate when I used to bake eggs in pastry is that the pastry on the bottom was always soggy, not matter if I baked it for a little first or in a water bath it never crisped up so I was not going to be disappointed by this GF pastry even before I started. The base of my ramekin would be juicy, sweet vibrant red capsicum topped with my salsa verde then some nduja. The pastry will go around the inside of the ramekin and then the eggs will sit inside. Finally it will be topped with some marinated feta and more salsa verde.
The result? Only a little sogginess on the base of the pastry but the rest was absolutely delicious. The capsicum had softened but still had some crunch to it and the feta had softened all over the top. What about the pastry you ask? Look I will not sugar coat it for you, gluten free tastes nowhere near the real thing, EVER. I don’t care who says they can make a product that you would not know as you will. The flavour of rice flour is so strong in every combination you can think of and the texture was thick and more like a shortcrust than a puff, but did I enjoy it? I enjoyed it enough to satisfy my curiosity and add some diverse textures to my green eggs and ham.
Green eggs and ham
1/2 sheet gluten free puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup salsa verde
3 slices nduja, broken up
1 capsicum cheek
2 tbsp marinated feta
1.Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
2. Spray the ramekin with EVOO.
3. Break the pastry into thirds and fit around the inside of the ramekin. Slice the capsicum in the shape of a circle to fit on the base of the ramekin inside the pastry.
4. Top the capsicum with some salsa verde and the nduja. Crack the eggs inside then top with the feta.
5. Bake for 17 minutes or until the egg just sets.
6. Remove from oven and put a few dollops of salsa verde on top. Serve.
7. Use the pastry to scoop up the filling!
* Pino’s Fine Foods
45 President Ave
Kogarah NSW 2217
(02) 9587 4818