Hands down, my favorite breakfast is two soft boiled eggs, a touch of butter, a piece or two of good ham or salami, a nice warm crusty roll or some dense wheat bread, and a cup of strong coffee with real cream. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life. It’s a typical German breakfast, though I started enjoying it far before I moved here a few months ago. Pancakes, french toast, waffles… these are all good too, but nothing is as filling, satisfying, or simple as my beloved german breakfast.
I even have a bit of a breakfast ritual. Two eggs get poked with a pin to prevent breakage, then cooked in barely boiling water for exactly six minutes, then run under cold water for about 20 seconds before being placed in their individual eggs cups, narrow side down. While the eggs are cooking I arrange about 1/2 – 1T of butter, a little pile of salt, the salami, and the roll (a broetchen in German) on the plate, making it look nice so that I start the day off in the right manner.
With such a ritual, why ever change it?
Well, because you might be a sort-of cookbook addict, and you come across a recipe for something so simple but classic that you decide you must try it immediately. Such was Fergus Henderson’s Celery Salt with Boiled Eggs in Nose to Tail Eating (I know, celery salt isn’t so “nose-to-tail”, but it does epitomize one idea of that book — that it can be easy to make products that we typically purchase at the store without a second thought… this celery salt is more fresh, more pure, more tasty than what you buy at the supermarket!)
And the result? I love it! It adds an earthy complexity to the otherwise clean and bright flavors of egg yolk, salami, and good bread.
If you’re a sweet breakfast type of person, and eggs with celery salt sounds like your anti-breakfast, I’d recommend using this mixture on things like steamed buttered vegetables, as a rub for a piece of poultry or other meat, mixed in to ground beef for hamburgers, or even mixed into eggs for a savory quiche or tart.
Do you have any breakfast rituals? or any food rituals for that matter?
Homemade Celery Salt
Adapted from The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson
makes about 2 cups
1 1/2 c. sea salt
1 lb peeled celery root (celeriac)
Grate the celery root on the large holes of a box grater, then mix with the salt in a large bowl or ziploc bag. Mix until the salt and celery root are well mingled. Place in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to blend for about three days.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, then spread the celery/salt mixture on a large baking tray. Dry in the oven for between 2 and 3 hours, until the celery root is very dry and crisp, but not singed. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes
Grind the mixture in batches in a spice grinder or all at once in a food processor. Stored in an airtight jar, the mixture will keep indefinitely.
Enjoy with soft boiled eggs, sprinkled over vegetables, rubbed on a steak, or however you please!