Last Sunday I woke up to a picture similar to this one on Instagram, it was Foodetc parading his excellent breakfast that I decided to copy since I had all the ingredients at hand. Delicious!
I often eat avocado toast but this was the first time I had feta and poached egg with it. A recipe is superfluous but here’s a quick description of what’s on the plate: toasted Poilane (or other nice sourdough) with mashed avocado (and limejuice, tabasco, salt and pepper), crumbled feta and a poached eggs. Yum!
One of the best – and certainly the easiest – ways to cook eggs for a large number of people is undeniably baking them in a large ovenproof dish.
These eggs with wilted spinach and fried mushrooms are really delicious and so very easy to make. I served them at a brunch with crispy bacon (and a smorgasbord of other brunchy things).
Baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms, serves 8
300 g fresh spinach
150 g mushrooms (I used chestnut mushrooms)
butter for frying
oil for the dish
Rinse and slice the mushrooms. Fry in butter, add salt and pepper. Remove from the saucepan and wilt the spinach in a little butter in the same saucepan. Remove any excess liquid. Grease an ovenproof dish and add the spinach and mushrooms and mix the two. Divide evenly across the dish and make twelve hollows for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the hollows and place the tray in a 200C oven for 10-15 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Add salt and pepper before serving.
Between Christmas and New Year I gathered some of my friends at my parents’ house for some brunch and considering there were quite a few adults and four kids it worked out really well. Everyone could eat when they wanted and it was much more relaxed than a sit down lunch – exactly what I was going for.
The fortunate non-drivers got a Buck’s Fizz or Mimosa (orange juice and bubbly) on arrival while the others had the choice of plain orange juice, tea and coffee.
The brunch buffet also had homemade raspberry smoothies, bread, cheeses, cream cheese with sundried tomatoes, meats, fruit, freshly cut vegetables, jam, baked eggs (recipe to follow), crispy bacon, Mexican corn bread and delicious brownies (recipe to follow later).
It was lovely to hang out with my friends in such a relaxed atmosphere. Thanks mummy for pouring coffee and thanks to all my friends for coming!
When spring has sprung my body just craves greens and other healthy things it wasn’t interested in much during the winter months.
That’s why I made this healthy brunch dish last weekend. The combination of broccoli, poached egg, a lovely crème with dijon mustard and tarragon and some salty parmesan certainly hit the spot on a sunny spring Sunday.
Purple sprouting with poached egg, dijon and tarrgagon crème, parmesan, serves 1
4-6 stems purple sprouting broccoli
50 ml creme fraiche
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
To serve: parmesan shavings, grassy olive oil
Combine creme fraiche, dijon mustard in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and set aside. Cook the broccoli in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Then drain and return to the dry pan to keep warm while poaching the egg.
Bring water to simmer in a sauce pan. Add a tsp of white wine vinegar. Crack the egg into a mug (or small bowl) and lower into the simmering water and pour out the egg. Let it simmer for 3 minutes (set a timer). Once done remove with a slotted spoon and put the egg into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Place the broccoli on a plate, place the poached egg on top. Drizzle with the crème, scatter parmesan shavings and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Pret A Manger sells a small baguette with egg mayonnaise and bacon that I sometimes have for breakfast and that’s of course where I found the inspiration for this lovely breakfast. The crispy toast (with salted butter), smooth egg mayonnaise with plenty of flavour and savoury pancetta is such a great breakfast I’ve already had it two mornings in a row for breakfast.
NB. I prefer runny eggs in general but that doesn’t work in egg mayonnaise, therefore I boil them for seven and a half minutes so the yolks are set but still very yellow and creamy. If you prefer your eggs hardboiled please boil them for longer. Also, I prefer white pepper to black in subtle (non-Italian or meat) dishes, but again, it’s up to you to decide what you prefer.
Egg mayonnaise, serves 3
4 medium eggs
50 ml mayonnaise (Hellman’s or homemade)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and white pepper
Bring water to the boil in the saucepan and place the eggs in the pan. Boil for seven and a half minutes. Drain and cover the eggs with very cold water. Drain once the eggs are cool and place in fridge for an hour to cool some more (makes it easier to peel them).
Peel the eggs and chop with a sharp knife. Mix mayonnaise with mustard and add the chopped eggs. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Keep refrigerated.
Egg mayonnaise on toast with pancetta, per serving
1 thick slice white toast
a knob of butter for the toast
2 tbsp egg mayonnaise (as above)
2 slices pancetta, fried in the oven, 15 minutes in 200C
Toast the bread and butter it. Spread the egg salad on to the bread, top with the crispy pancetta. Serve immediately.
I really enjoyed the repeat (thanks BBC!) of Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook, because I missed the series the first time around. I love the classic, but far from boring, dishes he cooks, and especially this dish made my mouth water instantly.
You need nice asparagus for this dish, but most importantly you need good-quality Parma ham (or prosciutto works just as well). I had this for dinner but it would work wonderfully well for brunch or lunch too.
Pannkakor med sparris och parmaskinka, 4 portioner
Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s recipe.
100 g plain flour
pinch of salt
250 ml milk
50 g melted butter
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
250 g unsalted butter, melted
½ lemon, the juice
salt and pepper
8 Parma ham slices
16 asparagus spears
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and preheat the grill to high.
- For the pancake batter, place the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk in the flour. Add the salt and half of the milk. Finally, whisk in the butter and remaining milk to achieve a thin, pouring cream consistency. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Melt a small knob of butter in a 20cm/8in non-stick frying pan. Once it is hot and sizzling pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of the pan. After 30 seconds you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over, cook the other side for a few seconds, and then slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
- Without greasing the pan again, repeat the process in stage three to make eight thin pancakes.
- For the hollandaise sauce, whisk together the egg yolks with a tablespoon of water in a stainless steel saucepan set over a very low heat, until thick and smooth.
- Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk while adding the melted butter in a thin stream, leaving behind the milky residue that has settled in the bottom of the butter pan. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black peper and sharpen with lemon juice, to taste. Keep warm.
- Boil the asparagus in salted water until tender. Once cooked, refresh the asparagus in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.
- To assemble the délices, place a slice of ham on top of a pancake, then arrange two asparagus spears upon it. Roll up and place into a lightly buttered baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pancakes, parma ham and asparagus. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until just beginning to crisp at the edges.
- Serve the délices on a serving dish and coat each one carefully with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce, running it along their length. Very briefly flash the délices under the grill until only just gilded by the heat.
I have raved about How to cook like Heston before, and I’m still determined to try quite a few of the recipes. Like his version of scrambled eggs which I tried at the weekend. It is regular scrambled eggs recipe using eggs, milk, cream and butter. Normally I just use cream and butter, but there is not a vast difference.
Heston cooks his scrambled eggs over a bain marie, and that was the only thing I didn’t follow. Instead I cooked the eggs on very low heat taking the pan off and on the hob to imitate using a bain marie. I find this easier, but if you haven’t tried it before I recommend a bain marie.
To season the cooked eggs with nutty brown butter and sherry vinegar was a hit, and I will definitely do this more often. And I have a sneaky feeling I will put brown butter in just about everything from now on.
Heston’s scrambled eggs with brown butter and sherry vinegar, serves 1
Adapted from Heston Blumenthal’s recipe.
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp double cream
1 knob of butter
salt, white pepper
brown butter (see below)
Mix milk, cream and egg with a fork in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture into a pan over a bain marie and add the butter. Stir while the eggs slowly cook. Once they are still a bit too wet remove from heat as they will cook into perfect consistency on the after heat.
Add salt and pepper, brown butter and sherry vinegar. Serve immediately!
Melt butter in a saucepan while whisking. Once the butter has melted continue stirring until the butter changes colour into brown. Remove from heat and pour the butter through a muslin cloth or similar to get rid of the sediment. The liquid is your bron butter. Keep in the fridge.