Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Poached Eggs Over Tattie Scones

Hi friends.  We're going to get right down to business today.  We need to talk about this breakfast, a breakfast so superb it's replaced this old favorite as the current reigning champion.  I suggest making it on a Sunday.  You'll want to slow down and savor it.  It's a breakfast consisting of farm fresh poached eggs cascading over tattie scones as they're called in Scotland, or potato scones.  They're like a potato pancake if you will, creamy, yet dense, with a crispy exterior, dutifully sopping up the oozing, yellow yolk.  It's homey comfort food, requiring only a little know how and minimal ingredients.

I was introduced to tattie scones at a Bed and Breakfast in Edinburgh, called 23 Mayfield, where I had a memorable, knock-your-socks-off, kind of breakfast.  It was easily the best I had during the trip.  I had a vegetarian version of a full Scottish breakfast, including poached eggs over tattie scones, vegetarian haggis, and grilled tomatoes with thyme.  One pot of tea down, with my belly gloriously full, I asked the proprietor Ross about his scones.  He told me they're made from a simple dough of mashed potatoes, butter, flour, and salt.  The dough gets rolled out into thin pancakes, then cut into triangles and pan-fried.  Traditionally, I believe it's dry fried, but I like to fry mine in a little olive oil.  He mentioned they could be formed into circles or any shape you like, really.  I would imagine you could use a cookie cutter if you wanted to get creative.

I started tinkering with a tattie scone recipe as soon as I got home, playing around with the consistency of the dough, getting the right ratio of mashed potato to flour.  It's dough you really get a feel for, not unlike making homemade pasta.  Your hands tell you when it feels right.  Fortunately, it's very forgivable and pliable dough.  I'm confident you can replicate it.  As far as the preparation goes, I choose to boil my potatoes the night before.  Once cooked and drained, I mash them with a potato masher and set them aside to cool.  It's one less step to do in the morning.  With the coffee pot dribbling and the teakettle hissing, I tackle the tattie scones while Donny tackles the poached eggs.  

I'm a sucker for poached eggs and my husband makes the absolute best.  I would take his poached eggs over chocolates or flowers any day.  A perfect poached egg easily woos me.  When I asked him if he had any egg poaching secrets he told me with confidence, "I just cook them."  But I've been watching him over the years and he doesn't just cook them, there's a technique involved.  I've included some notes for you in the recipe down below.  After breakfast, I keep telling myself I should save any leftover scones for the following morning, but I inevitably find myself unwrapping them from their tinfoil, eating them straight from the fridge later in the day.  I could happily go on eating tattie scones for eternity, or at least most Sunday mornings in the near foreseeable future.  

~This just so happens to be my 100th post!  Thank you for following along and bringing your appetite.  It's been a great journey so far.~

~Poached Eggs Over Tattie Scones Recipe~

Potato Scones:
2 cups mashed potatoes, cooled to room temperature
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, for frying

In a large bowl, add butter and sea salt to mashed potatoes.  Use the back of a fork to incorporate, getting any remaining lumps out of the mixture.  Slowly add in flour, using the back of the fork, mixing as you go, until all the flour as been incorporated.  At this point, you can also use your hands.

With floured hands, shape mixture into a large ball.  Divide into two equal portions, yielding two smaller balls of dough.  Turn the first ball onto a well-floured work surface.  Roll the dough with a floured rolling pin into a flat pancake, 1/4" thick.  Cut the dough into 4 equal portions with a knife, making a cross, yielding four triangles.  

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with a little extra virgin olive oil.  I like to brush a little of the olive oil right onto the pan.  You don't want too much or it will saturate your scones.  Fry on each side for about 3 minutes until dark and golden brown.  Repeat with the second dough.  Makes 8 scones. 

Poached Eggs:
8 organic/farm fresh eggs
fresh snipped chives, sea salt, and pepper for serving

Bring water in a medium saucepan almost up to a boil.  Create a whirlpool by stirring the water.  If your water has started boiling too hard, dial it back a bit.  Crack each egg, one at a time into a small bowl or ramekin.  Slide the egg gently from the bowl into the whirlpool.  Don't mess with it.  Just breathe.  The egg will set itself up but still remain a little wobbly.  Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until they're the consistency you like.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Continue until all of your eggs are cooked.  Serve each egg on top of a tattie scone.  Serves 4 (2 eggs and 2 scones per person).


Amy said...

Okay, first I have to say: wow!! 100 posts! I'm still in the 80's... haha. I'm proud to say I've followed almost ever single one of them. ;) (some of the first few probably slipped by me).

And moving on to this breakfast-- it looks so, so good. Especially right now, when I'm trying to decided what to eat for breakfast. I've never heard of tattie scones, but they sound delicious! Especially with those poached eggs. And good gosh, your husband knows how to poach a BEAUTIFUL egg! Those are perfect! I need to work on that. Have yet to follow the whirlpool thing, definitely doing that next time I make them.

Sue/the view from great island said...

This sounds amazing, I can't wait to try it for myself and pretend I'm at a cozy Scottish B&B! Congrats on your 100th post!

Eileen said...

This does sound like a perfect weekend breakfast! I've never heard of tattie scones before--I was picturing the ordinary baked & risen scone--but I can definitely get behind a pan-fried potato version! That plus runny egg yolks sounds like breakfast heaven. :)

Stephanie said...

Amy, when you get there, I'm hoping there will be cake involved! I'll be looking forward to it. And you, my loyal follower, have been around for just about every single one! We go waaay back now ;)

He does make a perfect poached. I'm coming along in mine. The whirlpool thing makes all the difference for me, I swear. That-and just leaving them alone.

Sue, thanks! Let me know if you try it out. Thanks for the congrats!

Eileen, it is breakfast heaven! :) I'm liking these more than the bake and rise ones at the moment. Although I did have this amazing molasses scone over there I wouldn't mind right about now with a cup of tea!

Margie Larrazabal said...

Hey Stephanie!I am almost on my 100th too! Today was my 98th post... could hardly believe it! I have never heard of tattie scones but they look so delicious! And oh yes, I love poached eggs too... they are so delicate and takes cooking eggs to a whole new level!

Colleen @ Culinary Colleen said...

This looks like a great alternative to eggs benedict, my go-to brunch!

Stephanie said...

Hi Margie, I'll be looking forward to your 100th too! ;) So close. You're right. It does. Colleen, I didn't think of it as an eggs benedict replacement, but you're right!

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! Best of luck on your 100th post. That's a lot of work. Hang in there.