Not for champions, but of champions. My champion in this dish is humble celery. It gets included in so many dishes, but why? Celery has a delicately peppery taste to it, but a sweetness that changes as you go up the stalk. It adds this dynamic to everything it combines with, leaving behind a subtle, but unmistakable footprint. This dish, I tried to utilize it to that effect, having the celery echo notes from its more aggressive partners, the sweetness of beetroot and caramelized onion, the spiciness of pepper and my hot sauce, and playing off the umami of the rosti and mushrooms.
Ingredients (For 1)
1 Button Mushroom, halved
1/2 Stalk of Celery Finely Diced, plus celery leaves roughly chopped
1 Red Onion, Peeled and finely sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 Bulb Fresh Fennel
A small handful of curly parlsey
1 Small beetroot, peeled and grated
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Large Floury Potato (Agria)
Hot Sauce (Optional)
Skin on, grate your coarsely grate your potato. Gather all the potato into a ball and squeeze the living crap out of it. You want to get as much juice out of it as you can.
Melt a tablespoon of butter into a non-stick or cast iron frying pan on a medium heat. Press the ball of wrung out potato into the butter. Use a spatula to coax it into a nice round shape, then leave it. It usually cooks itself off the bottom of the pan; but you'll want to flip it when it's a nice golden brown, with darker bits around the edges, so keep an eye on it!
Next to the rosti, place your mushrooms cut-side down in some of the melted butter and let them saute away.
In a separate frying pan (stainless or non-stick) on a medium-high heat, pour a lug of olive oil. To that, add the celery and it's leaves, onion, garlic, beetroot, oregano and parsley. With a wooden spoon, move it around so it caramelizes evenly. The aim here is to try and make it jam-like. Add the lemon juice to it and stir it through. Keep going until the consistency is thick and sticky and the onions and celery and nice and tender. Add a nudge of salt and big hit of pepper, then taste. Should be tangy, with sweet notes of celery, beetroot and onion, the pop of salt you just added, all grounded by the hit of oregano.
Flip your potato rosti if you haven't already, and flip the mushrooms so they soften on the other side.
In a separate shallow pan or pot, heat up some water until it's at a rolling boil, then take it off the heat. If your eggs aren't crazy fresh splash a bit of vinegar into the water. Poach your egg for 3 minutes.
Keep everything cooking until the egg is done. Serve the whole lot up as you please, but with the poached egg on top so you can run the yolk over everything. Sprinkle with seeds and some more oregano leaves if you've got them!
I had mine with my homemade 21 chilli hot sauce.