“It really is worth going that extra mile for what’s often referred to as the most important meal of the day,” writes Australian pastry chef Darren Purchese in his recently published cookbook “Chefs Eat Breakfast Too.”
Purchese offers more than 50 recipes to take breakfast to cheffy heights. Some are classics-with-a-twist that the home cook can accomplish weekdays despite hustling kids out the door to school. Others, like Phyllo-wrapped Fried Egg, are a tad more involved and better reserved for lazy weekends.
In this recipe, two favorite breakfast nom-noms — pastries and fried eggs — are folded (literally) into one. It’s a pure delight to put a knife and fork into the flaky, fried phyllo pocket and watch yellow yolk run forth. And it’s oh so satisfying to bite into the center for an explosion of eggy, cheesy goodness seasoned with the smart, time-saving combination of two North African spice blends: harissa and dukkah. (Both can be found in the grocery story spice aisle under labels like McCormick and Manitou.)
Phyllo dough novices, take note: It’s important to unroll the sheets, lay them flat on a dry surface and cover them with plastic wrap followed by a damp towel. Otherwise, they will dry out and become brittle, making them difficult to handle.
Creative cooks, throw on your thinking cap: This recipe lends itself to experimentation. Don’t limit yourself to Gruyere and feta; try other melty cheese combos. Rethink seasonings, too. Japanese furikake was a fun one.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but this recipe is proof that it can also be the most memorable.
Phyllo-wrapped Fried Egg
This recipe calls for harissa, a hot chile pepper paste. The paste can be found in the ethnic aisle at supermarkets. Alternatively, use a powdered harissa spice blend. The paste will be slightly more assertive than the powdered version.
Recipe adapted from “Chefs Eat Breakfast Too” by Darren Purchese, published by Hardie Grant Books April 2019.
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