The run up to Christmas always means we order much more food than we actually need. Result. A mountain of food prime for leftovers. If I’m absolutely honest I prefer the Christmas leftover meals to the heaving table on the 25th. Personal favourites include sprout, ham, and chestnut soup, turkey curry and of course turkey fricassee, this year made and sent up in a “Red Cross” parcel to our rather ill house by our darling sister-in-law Ginny and expedited so wonderfully by my rather fabulous Brother-In-Law David.
serves 4, prep 15 mins, cook 15 mins (not including the potato/sprouts cooking)
The easiest way to cook lots of poached eggs is to cook them one by one, then transfer them when cooked into a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking. You can reheat them gently in hot water before serving.
- 1 large leek or 1 large onion, finely sliced
- butter or oil for frying
- 400g floury potatoes, cooked & mashed (leftover potatoes if you like)
- 200g brussels sprouts, cooked & thinly sliced (leftover sprouts if you like)
- 4 eggs
- white wine vinegar
- 4 slices ham
for the hollandaise:
- splash of white wine vinegar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 250g melted unsalted butter
- 1 lemon
Cook the leek on a low heat in a knob of butter or splash of oil, stirring now and then, until softened. Mix with the potatoes and sprouts, season well, then form into 8 balls and flatten slightly into small patty/burger shapes. Melt a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan. Fry until golden on both sides (in batches if you need to). Keep them warm in a low oven while you poach the eggs and make the hollandaise. Bring a large pan of water to a gentle rolling boil, add a splash of white wine vinegar and swirl into a whirlpool with a spoon. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then tip it into the pan. Cook for 2½ mins (see tip above for poaching more than one egg). Keep the water in the pan hot for reheating the eggs. To make the hollandaise, put the egg yolks and a splash of white wine vinegar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Whisk constantly until voluminous. Gradually pour in the melted butter, whisking constantly, to make a smooth sauce (you may not need all the butter). Stir in the mustard, a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste. Reheat the eggs in the hot water, then serve 2 cakes each with a slice of ham and a poached egg. Drizzle over some hollandaise.