As I get older, my patience for waiting in long lines for popular brunch spots has progressively waned. But on a positive note, I’ve found the desire to avoid having to wait in line for some of my favorite foods can successfully be converted into efforts towards challenging myself to recreate those dishes at home. Eggslut, with locations in SoCal and Vegas, often has long lines and I don’t even live in the same part of the country as one but their signature dish known as “The Slut”—a jar with coddled eggs on top of smooth potato purée—is always in my brunch-themed daydreams.
And so, out of necessity really, I decided to come up with my own version. Not necessarily to replicate “The Slut” perfectly but rather a practical substitute that is still perfectly adequate to sate my cravings. My version is patently different in a couple of ways—the potato purée is replaced with cauliflower (as many potato things are these days) and the coddling of the eggs is replaced by another, completely underrated egg cooking technique.
I am normally not one for healthy substitution fads but I have to admit I am all about subbing in cauliflower mash for mashed potatoes. It’s easier and quicker to make, and just as satisfying to me if you mix in enough cheese and/or garlic.
As for the eggs, I admit I tried several times to emulate egg coddling in a jar and failed at getting the right timing for the desired egg consistency, to a point where I’ve totally convinced myself it is not worth the effort and will likely never coddle an egg again. So instead, I fell back to something very comfortable to me that has just the same runny, silky-soft, begging-to-be-dipped-into consistency—the Malaysian half-boiled egg. This is a style of eggs that is very pronounced in my childhood memories (my parents immigrated to the States from Malaysia before I was born and used to make them for me with soy sauce and white pepper) but that has really yet to gain traction outside of the Malaysia-Singapore area of the world. I am determined to change that, one recipe at a time.
Cauliflower Mash and Half-Boiled Eggs in a Jar
Inspired by “The Slut” at Eggslut
- 12–14 cauliflower florets
- 1/3 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1–2 cloves garlic, finely minced or garlic-pressed
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- 2–3 tsp chopped chives
- 1/2 of a baguette
- olive oil
- sea salt
- coarsely ground pepper
To make the crostini, slice the baguette diagonally into long, thin slices. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Toast the slices on each side to your desired toastiness. I actually like to make one side extremely toasted (with burnt edges) and then not toast the other side at all but we all have our own preferences. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the crostini and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine milk and garlic. Set on low heat and allow the garlic to cook and infuse into the milk. Turn off the heat when small bubbles start forming along the circumference of the surface of the milk.
Bring a pot of water to a boil with a couple pinches of salt. Add the cauliflower and boil until tender, about 5–7 minutes. Strain out the cauliflower and place in a blender with the milk/garlic mixture, cheese, and butter. Blend until a smooth purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I like to use the already-boiling water to then make my eggs, but you can certainly do this in a fresh pot of boiling water. Gently lower the two eggs into rigorously boiling water. Immediately turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the hot water for 8 minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Divide the cauliflower purée into two half-pint jars. Over each jar, carefully crack open a half-boiled egg and scoop the contents over the cauliflower. Top with chopped chives, sea salt, and pepper and serve with the crostini for dipping.
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