Eggs Royale Recipe

Recently I published a recipe for Salmon Gravlax and promised I would follow this up with a recipe for Eggs Royale, so here it it. Normally for this dish one would use smoked salmon but I couldn’t resist using the salmon gravlax instead to give this classic dish a different taste.

I’ve also been really craving Hollandaise sauce for a really long time but with my pregnancy I couldn’t touch it. Now I finally have a healthy, happy and cute baby it’s time for me to have some of those forbidden foods for pregnant ladies, such as Hollandaise sauce, home made caesar salad dressing, rare steaks, swordfish, tuna, this kind of ocean fish etc etc. So here is my version of Hollandaise sauce and Eggs Royale.

For this blog post I also drew a step-by-step tutorial image for the hollandaise sauce. I’ve been thinking about illustrating some of my recipes for a long time and while the drawing does take up quite a lot of time, I’ve finally started it. It was fun to draw and I’m personally happy with the way everything has turned out. My illustrations could do with some refinement but this is something I will do more of in the future.

Also some updates about Amelia. Amelia is now 11 weeks and 5 days old. Just like everyone says, babies grow up so quick and when I look at her now and photos of her when she was just born, she looks completely different. Amelia is now also communicating with us a lot more. She will talk back (in baby talk of course) if we talk to her, she smiles all the time and she’s now laughing a lot. Whenever she talks to us we will talk back to her in the same language she uses and she absolutely loves it. Chris is also the master of belly raspberries which she absolutely loves.

There’s nothing happier in life than seeing your own baby happy.

So below the photo of the Eggs Royale and procedure image below, there are some new photos of Amelia. Being a parent is an extremely tiring job but as you can see she now has a really cute smile so every time I/we feel tired, frustrated, one little smile and everything is perfectly happy again. We’ve also had some really amazing weather here in Scotland recently (at least by Scottish standards) so we’ve been travelling around a little bit. In my next blog post I’ll share some of these photos.

eggs royale

 

Eggs Royale Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Hollandaise Sauce

  • 1/2 shallot chop finely
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 200 g butter

Ingredients for Eggs Royale

  • 2 duck eggs
  • 2 slices salmon gravlax a few slices
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 tbsp hollandaise sauce

Instructions

  1. Toast the English muffins and poach 2 duck eggs
  2. Put a few slices of Salmon Gravlax on top of the English muffin and place a poached duck egg on top of it
  3. Place one tablespoon of Hollandaise sauce on top of the poached egg. This dish is now ready to serve.

 

eggs royale procedure illustration

Salmon Gravlax Recipe

salmon gravlax recipe

Recently for both this blog and at home, I’ve been making a lot of Eastern dishes but now I really fancy eating something a little different. Also, there are so many really delicious and beautiful western dishes that I love to make, both professionally at work and at home, but haven’t had the opportunity to share. So, for this particular blog post, I decided to make salmon gravlax.

Salmon gravlax is a dish which originates from Norway during the Middle Ages. Fishermen used to salt the salmon then lightly ferment it by burying it in the sand. Gravlax’s literal translation is “grave”. Thanks to Wikipedia for this information and also inspiring me to draw a couple Vikings for this recipe.

Now this is probably going to sound really strange but even though I have made salmon gravlax many times professionally, I’ve never actually eaten it. I know this sounds really bizarre but probably because I’ve prepared it so many times I’ve kind of been put off it but my husband absolutely loves salmon gravlax so when I asked him if he fancies eating it, of course he said YES (with capital letters)!

I first learned how to make salon gravlax when I worked in a fine dining restaurant in Birmingham but after moving to Edinburgh I made it a few times while working in a hotel that I used to work in. Again I know it must sound strange that I haven’t tasted it before but as anyone who works as a chef knows, you barely even have time to have a glass of water or go to the toilet (this is one of the many reasons chef smoke – so they can have a cigarette break).

With this dish I combined two different recipes.

So what do I think? Interesting! It has a really unique mild herb and spice flavour with a little bit of a citrus taste. I have to say I like it very much and Chris gave me the big thumbs up. I liked it so much I used some of this salmon gravlax to make eggs royale (I’ve been absolutely crazy lusting after hollandaise sauce for nearly a year but couldn’t eat it because of the raw eggs which is obviously bad for unborn babies).

So I hope you enjoy my salmon gravlax recipe. It’s great to try a new dish and tick off one of the many hundreds of dishes out there that I want to try.

As there a really large number of preparation photos with this post, I haven’t included any new pictures of my daughter or any updates about her (she’s doing fine btw, she’s absolutely awesome) but in a few days I’ll post my recipe for eggs royale along with an update about her and some new photos.

salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax

 

 

Salmon Gravlax Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 450 g fresh salmon with skin on
  • 1 bunch fresh dill chopped
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorn toasted and crushed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander or fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp vodka

Instructions

  1. Rinse salmon under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen napkins.
  2. Mix the sea salt, sugar, crashed peppercorn and ground coriander in a bowl evenly.
  3. Mix vodka and lemon juice together
  4. Lay couple sheets of cling film on a tray as procedure photo shown. Put salmon on the middle of tray.
  5. Pour vodka and lemon juice on salmon.
  6. Sprinkle lemon zest on the salmon first then sprinkle step 2 seasalt and spice mixture evenly on the salmon.
  7. Sprinkle chopped dill on the salmon and wrap salmon nice and tight with the cling film.
  8. Try to find something heavy put on top of salmon. I used 2 wooden boards on both side of salmon and wrap really tight to give it a bit of pressure to help it totally marinade.
  9. Leave it in the fridge for 3 days and take it out. Wash away the seasalt and herb. Slice very(!) thin to serve (you’ll need a really sharp knife for this)

 

Oriental Pork Chop

It has now been six weeks since I became a “mum”. Every day my little girl grows healthier but also happier. She occasionally has a little colic, especially at night, but apart from that she is healthy and happy. She’s also growing in size and strength. When she was born she was immediately too long for newborn baby clothes but 0-3 months clothes were a little big. Now she’s six weeks, seven this Saturday, she has to wear 3-6 months clothes but she’s not a fat baby at all.

Whenever she holds my finger, I can really feel her growing strength and while I love being a mother, my sincere advice is to try to take as much rest as you can whenever you can, even if it’s just a nap for an hour or two. If your partner gives you a chance, sleep for 12 hours if you can and really don’t feel any guilt if you do manage to sleep that long.

Just before I gave birth I had a really big college project to complete, which really tired me out, then literally a couple days after the project had been completed I started having contractions which lasted 3 days, so I had absolutely no rest! In the first two weeks we (meaning me, Chris could sleep through a war!) found it was completely impossible to sleep for more than 2-3 hours. Now several weeks along we’re able to sleep for up to 4 hours without any distraction but only because we’ve made some big changes in our lifestyle. We basically now follow a routine which goes as follows.

8am:           Baby wakes for feed. Feed baby, change nappy, baby goes back to sleep for 2 hours.

10am:         Feed baby again and check nappy. Change her into day clothes. Clean her face etc

Afternoon: This is the most important. Take her out! The longer you take her outside, whether it’s to the supermarket, to the park or even a walk around the block, the more tired she will be and the better you will sleep at night. Typically we will take her to the shops then take her to the Botanical Gardens/seaside or wherever, every day. Also note, even if your baby sleeps while you are out, she will still become tired from all of the sounds, sights and smells.

8.30pm:            Give her a bath. Babies are incredibly cute but they’re extremely dirty. They pee a lot, have giant poos, they dribble, they puke milk sometimes. They’re dirty! A bath also hopes the wee one relax and feel sleepy. Feed her, change her nappy, swaddle her as normal then she will sleep. Takes about an hour to put her to sleep at this time.

1-3am:          Amelia wakes up for a feed and change of nappy somewhere between 1 and 3am. Usually she will wake for about 30 minutes, maybe a little longer.

7.30am:            Usually just a really quick feed, nappy change and after a quick cuddle she’ll pass out almost immediately afterwards

10am:            Starts all over again

So, seriously if you’re a mother to be who is reading my blog at moment, turn off your computer now and take a nap or have a good sleep. Book a massage for yourself, because you will need all your energy for giving birth and look after baby!

One other piece of advice I have is don’t be too harsh on yourself when it comes to breastfeeding, especially if you’re a first time mum. In the first couple of days, I followed the strict rule of “you’re not allow to feed your baby with a bottle and you can only feed your baby breast milk or formula, but not both!”. But just like many new mums, at first (and still now to an extent) I simply was unable to provide enough breast milk (I found this out after two days when I hand expressed my breasts and found very little milk coming out), so for the first two days at home Amelia was practically starving. Because of this Amelia basically latched onto my breast for two days which gave me really sore cracked nipples and meant neither of us could get any rest at all.

After two days at home, one of our favourite midwives, Nelly, came round (Nelly is awesome) and she advised it’s ok to give babies both breast milk and formula. This was the perfect news so Chris ran over to the supermarket and bought a big tub of SMA Gold, came home and made up a bottle and Amelia drank the whole lot (about 50ml if I remember correctly). Since then, Amelia has been an absolute sweet little angel and she is a really happy baby. So now, what I do is express milk every 3-4 hours and then give Amelia the breast milk first and then top up her, so to speak, with formula. This ensures she gets all of the nutrients from the breast milk but also ensures she doesn’t starve. I’m still unable to provide Amelia with enough breast milk to last her a day but I can now easily provide enough for 2-3 big feeds per day.

Another thing I’ve found is green papaya with pork ribs soup really helps me to produce breast milk. Remember I mentioned in a previous post this dish gives you big breasts? Well, it also helps to produce a LOT of breast milk. I can’t guarantee this will work for everyone, but for me it really does.

So this is how my motherhood journey is going so far. Amelia will be four weeks old this coming Saturday but so far the experience has had it’s challenges but I absolutely love being a mother. I hope my little experiences will help other mums.

Back to food! The recipe today is oriental pork chop. When I started this blog, one of the very first recipes I did was oriental pork chop. At that time we were learning about food photography as well and the resulting photos were (in Chris’s words) horrendous! So I decided to remake it. As before, this recipe is really easy to make (perfect for a new mum!) and it’s also really delicious. I’ve also shared a couple new photos of Amelia as well.

oriental pork chop

 

Oriental Pork Chop

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Oriental Pork Chop

  • 4 pork chops

Seasonings for Oriental Pork Chop

  • 2 spring onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch

Instructions

  1. Use meat hammer to beat the pork chop and make the pork chop bigger and more tender.
  2. Marinade pork chops with all the seasonings for 1 hour at less and massage the pork chops with seasonings for around 30 seconds. This procedure can help the pork chops marinade better and tastier.
  3. Heat up 3 cups of oil in a wok or deep frying pan to 150c around medium gas power and fry the pork chops to medium well done. Place it onto a plate aside.
  4. Heat up the oil by full gas power to 180c degree and fry the pork chops until well done, then it’s ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

You can also put ½ teaspoon baking soda to make the pork chop texture more tender.

 

Amelia Honey Radley

The last time I updated this blog was on the 26th of February and since then my life has gone through a massive change. On the 10th March, at 21:12 I gave birth to Amelia Honey Radley.

When I was younger I never dreamt of getting married and even just six years ago I never even thought about children, but both lives and priorities change. Just like my birth plan, you plan everything for months and then as soon as you go into labour, everything goes out of the window.

I started feeling my first contractions on Wednesday and the same evening I lost my mucus plug. I had been experiencing braxton hicks contractions prior to this but Wednesday night was the first night I thought I might give birth on my due date, which I absolutely did. Giving birth took way longer than I expected. Granted I didn’t really know what to expect but I thought I would have contractions for maybe 24 hours and give birth shortly afterwards. Real birth is also nothing like the TV show “One Born Every Minute”. I absolutely love that show but of course they don’t follow women through their full labour.

By Friday my contractions were really frequent and increasingly painful and after I thought I had gone into labour we called the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh to see if I could be admitted. No! They were full! So what was planned to be a 10 minute trip to the hospital ended up with a 50 minute drive to St Johns Hospital in Livingston. Before I say anything about the labour, the staff and midwives at St Johns were really awesome. Everyone was really friendly and we really couldn’t have asked for any better service.

So on Friday night/Saturday morning, shortly before 1am, we arrived at St Johns Hospital and they performed some tests on me. The first thing they said were my waters were still intact, which was a surprise, and my cervix was only 2cm dilated. If I had gone to the Royal Infirmary I probably would have been sent out but with St Johns being some distance away they decided to keep me in. THANK GOD! This meant I could stay and use the absolutely wonderful gas and air which up until the point where I hit real labour was amazing.

At 6.30am on Saturday I was informed my cervix had dilated to 4cm at which point I was properly admitted. The gas and air was still wonderful but I really couldn’t imagine being sent home and trying to cope with the pain.

Early labour spent all of my energy so by this time my blood pressure had shot through the roof. I believe from what Chris said my average blood pressure was something like 160/110, really high. I was informed afterwards they tried nearly all of the medications they could think of to lower my blood pressure but the epidural I had was rendered almost useless because of the blood pressure medicine.

About the Epidural, effing painful! Maybe it was my anesthesiologist but on a scale of 1 being not painful and 10 being agony, it was a 12. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but it was really horrendous. As mentioned before the blood pressure medicine made the epidural useless so after the pain of having it done, it was pointless. Annoying!

Around 6pm the midwives checked my cervix again and I was still just 6cm dilated (sorry, should have mentioned I was induced in the morning before the epidural which I was given around lunchtime). They gave me some medicine to speed up the contractions which for them was a nightmare as they were trying to get me to give birth but also trying not to give me a stroke (during the pushing stage Chris saw the highest blood pressure rating of 217/115).

The last time my dilation was checked was at 8.30pm and when I was told I was at 10cm I really broke down. I had gone through so much discomfort but that was nothing compared to giving birth. I had a natural birth but remember the epidural didn’t work. I’m also a really small person so for 30 minutes I was in absolute pure agony.

At 9.12pm, after about 30 minutes pushing, Amelia Honey Radley was born. I surprisingly didn’t cry but both Chris and my step-mum broke down, they were balling their eyes out. They did some medical checks on her and she was perfectly fine. She weighed 7lbs and 4ounces at birth.

I had to stay in hospital for 2 days after giving birth because of the blood pressure. Once again the staff and midwives at St Johns were really excellent, can’t fault them at all, but St Johns is a bit dated and the rooms were ridiculously hot.

 

ADJUSTING TO MOTHERHOOD

I’ll admit, the first 24 hours at home were really hard. Amelia was constantly crying and I was absolutely exhausted. I realised after about 24 hours I wasn’t able to produce enough breast milk, which really upset me, it really made me feel like a failure as a mother. So after Nelly, one of the midwives visited our home, we bought some formula and since then Amelia has been the happiest baby ever. She occasionally cries when we change her clothes but otherwise nothing, she just makes loads of cute baby noises. She also drinks a LOT of milk.

Apparently babies lose roughly 10% of the body weight following giving birth. Amelia had lost around 12% so we were ordered to give her at least 55ml of milk every 3 hours. She’s now driving about 50mls every 2 hours. Her largest feed she had around 60ml’s, which was perfect.

 

BACK TO (A DIFFERENT) HOSPITAL

Nelly visited my home for the second time on Thursday to do another checkup and discovered my blood pressure had risen again. We went to triage at the Royal Infirmary where we waited for around 4 hours before I was admitted to the wards. I have no problem with waiting but I was really angry firstly because the staff were standing around chatting but secondly because we were given very little information. I was told around 9.30pm about the admission at which point Amelia needed a change of clothes, fresh nappies and more milk. I also hadn’t eaten that evening and only had my jeans and tops to wear. I was furious.

I gave Chris a list of things to bring to hospital, so he had to drive home and drive back. He brought more than expected though and was good enough to bring my glasses but also my laptop so I could at least entertain myself.

The wards at the Royal Infirmary are certainly more modern than St Johns and also cooler. The triage staff were fairly clinical but the midwives were lovely. Also today, Nelly was doing the rounds in the ward and we absolutely love her.

 

AMELIA

So that’s my story just recently. I’m now back at home, Amelia has been fed, bathed and she’s fast asleep at the time of publishing this post. Below are some photos from St Johns Hospital but also photos taken at home when she was just 5 days old.

New Year Pork Fried Rice

I’m now 38 weeks pregnant and both my mother and grandmother arrived in Edinburgh this last Wednesday. It’s a huge relief for me as they’ve both come to Edinburgh partly to do some sight seeing (they’ve never been to Europe before) but most importantly to give me support during and after I give birth to Millie.

In my culture, one’s mother or mother-in-law will cook lots of Chinese medicine and some dishes that we believe can enrich one self and are good for helping women recover from giving birth. We call this tradition [做月子] (in Pingyin: Zuo Yue Zi). Yue Zi means “month of time” which starts from the time you give birth.

During this month the mother/mother-in-law will cook loads of food for the daughter who has given birth to help them recover. They will also help with cleaning one’s home and everything else that needs to be done. This isn’t an excuse for the new mother’s husband to take it easy / go down the pub (or whatever he does) but any additional support is good).

Today’s recipe contains one of my favourite foods on the planet; New Year Pork. In Taipei there is a shop that opens for just one month every year and they only cured pork. New Year Pork is the Taiwanese/Chinese equivalent of Pancetta and one of our traditional ways of preparing New Year Pork is to steam cook it with rice. This allows the juices that come out of the pork to be soaked up by the rice, making everything super delicious.

The other way I like to cook New Year Pork is as an ingredient for fried rice. This is my recipe for New Year Pork Fried Rice, which incidentally Chris said is the tastiest fried rice he’s ever eaten, which I hope you like.

For me to explain the taste of Chinese/Taiwanese New Year Pork is quite difficult as it’s something I’ve literally forever but Chris described it as “much stronger than bacon/pancetta/parma etc. New Year Pork has a really strong smoked flavour and in the case of the sausages some of them are really spicy”. As a note about the sausages below there are three kinds of sausages. One is just a pork sausage with a strong Chinese alcohol flavour. Another sausage is really hot and spicy (makes your nose run!) while the last kind is a pork and tofu sausage.

new year pork fried rice
chinese new year pork
chinese new year pork
chinese new year pork

 

 

New Year Pork Fried Rice

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 small bows rice use cold or leftover rice
  • 1 bowl peas
  • 3 small carrots finely diced
  • 2 spring onions chop finely
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g new year pork cut into small dices

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 pinch white pepper powder

Instructions

  1. Boil a pot of water to cook the carrots and peas separately (due to the carrots taking longer to cook). Refresh each in cold water after they have cooked.
  2. Beat the eggs with one teaspoon of soy sauce and half a teaspoon of sugar. Heat up the wok with a little bit of oil to first of all scramble the eggs. Leave the eggs aside for later.
  3. Heat up a little bit of oil in a wok and add the New Year Pork to fry it for 3-5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked. Add the rice into the wok and stir fry both evenly until cooked. Make sure as with all fried rice dishes there are no lumps in the rice.
  4. Add the eggs, spring onions, garlic and the vegetables into the fried rice and stir fry evenly until cooked. Add the seasonings, mix evenly and taste the fried rice. Note I didn’t use a lot of soy sauce or salt as the New Year Pork can have a really strong taste which can sometimes be quite salty.
  5. Note: If you can’t find New Year Pork in your local Chinese supermarket (only a Chinese supermarket will sell this) you can use as alternative; pancetta or bacon lardons. They won’t be as strong but has the same principle.