Hummus and Eggs with Alaska Salmon Roe
- Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight for chickpea soaking
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour, with most cooking done during the hour of cooking
- Servings: 4
- Yield: Hummus yield: approximately 2 cups
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight (cooked for one hour)
- Pinch baking soda
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- ½ cup organic tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 4 large eggs, cracked into small separate bowls
- 4 tablespoons sheep’s milk yogurt
- 4 tablespoons Alaska salmon roe
- 2 teaspoons Sumac
- 2 teaspoons Black Urfa chili
- 4 sprigs of Italian parsley, leaves picked and washed
- 4 large leaves of mint, washed and hand torn
Step 1 Read the chef's notes
“Several years ago, my wife Kimberly and I traveled to Istanbul. It is six thousand, two hundred and three miles away from Portland OR, so Google says. Kimberly and I felt every one of them over our 28 hours of travel only to arrive to gargantuan lines at passport control and a traffic jam NYC could not rival. Alas, it is a small price to pay to be in this exotic, stunningly beautiful and perpetually moving hive of life and we could not wait to explore its beauty.
The very next morning our adventures began when we met our guide Gonca for Breakfast at Mustafa’s tea shop in Sirkeci Train Station. This was once the last stop on the Orient Express and the majestic train itself was resting peacefully, enjoying its well-deserved break.
Now back to breakfast. After a quick walk through the station, we arrived at the awkwardly low, covered with newspapers table. We were invited to sit in these equally low benches. We followed Gonca’s lead and folded our legs in lotus position. As uncomfortable as it seemed, we quickly understood why: the sweeping views of Istanbul through etched glass windows were unparalleled. As if by design, morning sun rays shined directly on our table to provide ample light for Gonca’s endless parade of food to unfold. We began with cheese, three kinds, then came olives, some filled with almonds some with walnuts. There was clotted cream with honey, pressed meats with herbs, smoked fish of all kinds, fig jam from male fig tree, rose petal jam from Damascus, sesame bagel called simit, another savory bread called Acme, spicy pepper spread, sweet grape molasses, baklava, baby pickled okra, and then, if all that was not enough, came eggs, then hummus. Gonca invited us to tear of a piece of bread and drag one end through hummus then through eggs then top it with whatever other riches we saw fit sprawled in front of us. She instructed us to make it our own every time and do it again and again while sipping tea between bites. We hungrily obliged. As flavors danced on our palates, I vowed to repeat this magical experience at home one day. So, here are eggs and hummus topped with few of my favorite things including Alaska salmon roe. I invite you to use this recipe as a jumping off point then make it your own. Add warm bread and honey, perhaps some olives and nuts and then whatever else you feel is worthy.
Notes on the recipe: It is very easy to make homemade hummus. I urge you to take the time and start from dry chickpeas instead of canned. The results are worth it. This recipe will make more hummus than you need. You will thank yourself the next day as you stand at the kitchen counter hungry, wanting to dip few chips into something tasty. I add baking soda while cooking chickpeas because it helps break down their tough outer membrane there by insuring the smoothest texture. I like a whole milk Bellwether farm sheep milk yogurt as it has the right soupy texture and just enough acid to balance the dish. If you can’t find this yogurt, any plain yogurt will work. Just add a little water or lemon juice to it so it’s not to thick to pour.”
– Chef Vitaly Paley
Step 2 Cook the chickpeas
Drain the chickpeas and place into about a 3 quart straight sided sauce pot. Cover with water so it comes up about 2 to 3 inches over the chickpeas, add a tiny pinch of baking soda and over high heat bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until chickpeas are fall-apart tender, about 1 hour.
Step 3 Make the hummus
When done, strain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer, the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor, add half cup of cooking liquid, garlic cloves, tahini, all the salt, and lemon juice. Process together until very smooth, at least for 5 minutes. I like my hummus very smooth, so I puree for as long as it takes to get that smooth texture, adding more cooking liquid if need tasting several times throughout to make sure it is seasoned enough. As it sits, hummus tightens so if it seems a too loose at first, don’t worry and check again in about 15 minutes. I bet it will be perfect.
Step 4 Serve the hummus
When ready to enjoy this dish, take a big kitchen spoonful of hummus and place it on the bottom of a soup bowl. With one hand turn the bowl counterclockwise while spreading the humus with a spoon inside of the bowl clockwise. It takes a bit of practice but practice itself is the fun part. You are doing this to create a well for the cooked egg to nestle into.
Step 5 Cook the egg and serve
Place a nonstick pan, add two tablespoons of butter into it and over high flame cook the butter until it just begins to foam starts to turn slightly golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Slide the egg into the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook so the egg white cooks completely and browns around the edges while yolk is still runny. When done, carefully slide the egg into the middle of the bowl with hummus, spoon a little brown butter over from the pan, then spoon a tablespoon of yogurt all around. Follow with salmon roe, then sumac and urfa. Finish by tossing few parsley leaves on top and some torn mint. Repeat the process with the other eggs and enjoy.