Friday, 28 November 2008

Beer O’Clock: Epic Scrambled Eggs

Our beer correspondent Neil Miller from RealBeer sends this missive on a strange but true beakfast food.  Read on, McDuff.

When Paul Mercurio (right) was announced as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2008 BrewNZ Beer Awards, I have to confess to immediately heading for Google. A quick perusal of his career quickly explained how he had completely evaded my pop culture radar. He leapt to stardom in the 1992 film hit Strictly Ballroom which I have not and undoubtedly never will watch.

His more recent fame has been as a judge on both the Australian and New Zealand edition’s of Dancing with the Stars which I also avoid. I consider these shows to be long, pointless affairs culminating the crowing of the “least worst amateur dancer” by the person willing to send the most text messages of support. Sadly, the viewing figures suggest I am in the minority on this one.

On further investigation, I have actually seen one of Paul’s other films. I was one of probably the hundred or so punters who watched “The First Nine and a Half Weeks”, an ill-fated sequel to “Nine and a Half Weeks” minus all the stars.

The Internet Movie Database describes the movie’s “plot” (the quotation marks are mine) as: An investment banker (Paul Mercurio) travels to Louisiana to snag the account of an eccentric millionaire (Malcolm McDowell) but gets involved with his lusty wife, Mardi Gras, and (possibly) a satanic cult. The events in and around New Orleans change him forever and give a new slant on The American Dream.

Despite such a promising premise, the users of IMDB gave it just 3.3/10 on the IMDB. This is around half the rating of Star Wars: Episode One starring Jar Jar Binks.

These days however Paul is still dancing, but also presenting a credible food show called Mercurio’s Menu currently airing on Sky’s food channel here. He is also a noted beer enthusiast which explains his invitation to MC the beer awards. In person he is a cheeky, personable chap and he did an excellent job on the night.

Over several beers, Paul mentioned a recipe which again had me rushing for Google the next day. He claimed to have developed a recipe for scrambled eggs (one of my favourite dishes) made with Epic Pale Ale (one of my favourite beers). Somewhat to my surprise, he has and here it is:

4 Free range eggs
Fresh Dill
2 Epic Beer (Epic is a NZ brand, comes in six packs)
Vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
Salt and cracked pepper
NZ Smoked Trout, in strips
Sourdough bread, good quality to slice thinly
New Zealand Goats Cheese, good quality spreadable

Beat the eggs in a bowl, add one part cream to two parts beer - a slurp of cream and a splash of beer. Mix in the cracked pepper, salt and fresh dill and taste for seasoning. Heat butter in frypan, when butter starts to foam tip in egg mixture. Fold eggs as cooking - don't overmix. When eggs are about three quarters cooked mix through finely flaked smoked fish. Remove from heat just before the eggs are cooked as they will continue to cook. Leaving cherry tomatoes on the vine, coat with olive oil and cook in a hot oven for 10 minutes until broken down. Thinly slice sourdough and lightly toast. Spread with goat’s cheese and cut into wedges. Serve.

This is truly a breakfast of champions, though it does appear very similar to the Little Creatures Scrambled Eggs he developed for Australian television! This recipe appeared first on the TVNZ website so I know that no one has seen it before. If anyone cooks it, please leave a comment below.

Cheers, Neil


  1. Let it be said, by the way, that in my estimation (for what that's worth) 'Strictly Ballroom' was a bloody good film -- one of those films that Australia does so well.

  2. Strictly Ballroom is best watched as applied public choice: the judges' efforts to ban new moves were motivated purely by rent protection as they were the oligopolistic providers of instruction in the standard set of moves, couldn't teach the new moves, and would consequently see their rents eroded were new moves to be admitted.

    There's some dancing and a love story thrown in to keep the hooples happy, but the movie's really about the evils of monopoly efforts to protect their rents against the efforts of entrepreneurs.

  3. I believe his old man is Gus Mercurio...the cigar chomping, mail distributing man in the BASF tapes "Dear John" commercial, that aired in NZ in the 1980's.



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