Brunch: purple sprouting, poached egg, dijon and tarragon crème, parmesan

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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.

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Purple sprouting with poached egg, dijon and tarrgagon crème, parmesan, serves 1

4-6 stems purple sprouting broccoli

1 egg

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. 

A new breakfast favourite: egg mayonnaise with pancetta on toast

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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. 

Pancakes with asparagus and Parma ham

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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.

 

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Pannkakor med sparris och parmaskinka, 4 portioner

Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s recipe.

Pancakes:

100 g plain flour

2 eggs

pinch of salt

250 ml milk

50 g melted butter

Hollandaise sauce:

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

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and preheat the grill to high.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Without greasing the pan again, repeat the process in stage three to make eight thin pancakes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Boil the asparagus in salted water until tender. Once cooked, refresh the asparagus in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Heston’s scrambled eggs with brown butter and sherry vinegar

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.

2 eggs

1 tbsp milk

1 tbsp double cream

1 knob of butter

salt, white pepper

sherry vinegar

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!

Brown butter

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.

Oeufs en cocotte with creme fraiche

The newest foodie to join the BBC is Rache Khoo in The Little Paris Kitchen. på BBC. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, opened up her small flat as a restaurant and is now cooking away in this series where she focusses on Parisian food, often with a little twist.

In one episode she made oeuf en cocotte, which I have made before too, but she used creme fraiche instead of cream. I had to try this because I adore creme fraiche and always have some at hand in the fridge. However, you do need to like creme fraiche a lot I think to appreciate this recipe as it is a little sour. Instead of serving the cocottes with salmon roe and dill I used truffle oil to flavour mine.

Oeuf en cocotte with creme fraiche and truffle oil, 1 portion

1 egg

50-100 ml creme fraiche (full fat)

salt & pepper

grated nutmeg

a few drops truffle oil

Spoon most of the creme fraiche into a ramekin and season it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Crack the egg on top and place another dollop of creme fraiche on top. Add the truffle oil and place in a roasting tray. Pour lukewarm water into the roasting tray so it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekin. Place in 160C oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Longer if you want your eggs more set. Serve with soldiers.

Carrot cake pancakes

It is not the first time I got so inspired by a Smitten Kitchen post that I had to try it straight away. Yesterday I saw Deb’s latest post on carrot cake pancakes and last night I had it for supper.

These pancakes are of course even better for a lazy weekend breakfast or at a brunch with friends. Either way, you just have to try them. And of you’ve had a substantial lunch they’re pretty good for supper too (evidently).

The original recipe is from Joy the Baker but Deb at Smitten Kitchen made a few changes and I made some. My only change really was to omit cinnamon to the cream cheese topping and instead add lime zest to it, which I normally have with a carrot cake. To me it was the perfect touch of freshness the pancakes needed.

Carrot cake pancakes, makes about 15-16

Adapted from this recipe.

Pancakes:

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1 egg

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 cup butter milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

butter for frying

Cream cheese topping:

115 g Philadelphia

1/4 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

grated zest from 1/2 lime

Mix flour, bicard, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Mix butter milk, egg and sugar in a smaller bowl. Add the grated carrots to the wet mixture then transfer to the large bowl and mix it all together. Leave to rest for a few minutes whle preparing the topping.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and lime zest and combine.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Use about 2 tbsp mixture per pancake and fry 3-4 at the time. Keep the fried ones warm in the oven until you’re done with all the pancakes. Serve with a generous dollop of the topping. Dig in!

 

A childhood classic: semolina

Although I love most foods now as an adult, I was very picky as a child, but that was mainly because I was used to good homemade (from scratch) kind of food from my mother and grandmothers so when I started preschool I just couldn’t eat the food there, because it was lightyears away from what I was used to.

But there were a few things at home I didn’t like foodwise; fatty pork belly slices with onion cream sauce and boiled potatoes, which my parents loved and bruna bönor (baked beans, which is white beans in a brown sweet sauce) that one of them loved, so when they had this I normally got something else. Semolina. Which I always ate if I wasn’t feeling too well either.

I remember sitting on the kitchen sofa dangling my feet while mother made me semolina. It came boiling hot from the pan into my bowl with sheeps in, then I waited for it to coll enough so I could eat it and had it with a dollop of butter (in the middle of the bowl) and powdered with caster sugar.

It is so good, I still eat it like this as a grownup. Try it!

Semolina, serves 1

275 ml milk

2 tbsp semolina

a pinch of salt

Add everything to a saucepan (preferrably non-stick). Bring to the boil and let it boil on medium heat until the mixture has thickened, about 5-10 minutes, while stirring with a whisk. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool (and set slightly) for a few minutes. Serve with butter and sugar.

Autumnal granola with peanut butter

I have stopped buying muesli/granola in shops for several reasons:

  1. The first time I made my own granola I realised how less sweet it was compared to bought versions. (And I thought I had a lot of sugar in it.)
  2. My stomach can’t handle too much fibre, so making my own allows me to make one that suits my sentitive tummy.
  3. It is incredibly easy!
  4. You can choose what flavour you want and experiment.

I have made granola before, from this recipe and I really like it, but I wanted to try an idea I had. Granola with peanut butter. This would be perfect with roasted peanuts in the blend, but that my stomach could not handle, so I am grateful for the flavour the peanutbutter adds.

The result was really nice, but the peanut butter flavour is not very strong. However, together with the golden syrup and brown sugar it gives the granola a deep earthy undertone that just oozes autumn and codler weather.

Autumnal granola with peanut butter, makes 2,5 l muesli

600 ml cornflakes

600 ml rice krispies

1,2-1,3 l rolled oats

100 ml water

50 ml light brown sugar

50 ml golden syrup

100 ml smooth peanut butter

50 ml vegetable oil/light olive oil

Mix cornflakes, rice krispies and oats in a large roasting tray with sides. Add sugar, water and syrup to a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and add the peanut butter. Bring to the boil again and stir. Pour it into the cereal and mix well. Add the oil and mix again. Put in a 150C oven for about 45 minutes, stiring 3-4 times so it brown evenly. Leave to cool completely in the tray. Transfer to a jar and keep it at least for a month. 

Oeufs en cocotte with bacon and cheese

A long breakfast or brunch is the best way to start the weekend, isn’t it?! A favourite dish of mine for such occassions is oeufs en cocotte; a baked egg with cream in a ramekin. I have mentioned about these little darlings before, but thought it was time again now since I last weekend had the perfect egg. Not yet set, with cheese, bacon and truffle oil it was such a delight.

I also, finally, figured out the perfect time and setting for my temperamental oven. Horay!

Follow my lead:

Oeus en cocotte with bacon and cheese, serves 1

a knob of butter

1 slice of bacon, fried in pieces, drained on kitchen towel

1 egg

2 tbsp single cream

1-2 tbsp grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack, but cheddar would work just as well)

1 tsp truffle oil

white pepper (no salt necessary)

Grease a ramekin. Place the fried bacon in the bottom and break the egg on top. Pour over the cream, sprinkle the cheese, drizzle truffle oil and add some pepper. Place in a ovenproof dish and fill it half up to the ramekin with boiling water. Place in 160-180 C oven (depending on the oven, mine was perfect at 160C) and bake for 14-16 minutes, longer if you need the egg to set. Eat with a spoon and a piece of buttered toast, and roll on Saturday night!

Brunch and Henley Royal Regatta

In England some happenings are bigger than others. The Ascot’s, Goodwood and Henley Royal Regatta are a few of those, and so far I have only been to Henley.

Last year we had a picnic with friends there, but in the afternoon so many people arrived that we no longer could see the river although we were meters from it.

To avoid such nuisance we bought tickets to the Regatta enclosure, and this is (at least for us) the way forward. When we ventured out of the enclosure to look at the shops etc., it was too many prople everywhere.

Malin and Martin, Jess and Chris and us, started the dat with a brunch at our flat. We had champagne, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, croissants, mini quiches, blueberry muffins, bread, ham and cheese and things. It was a lovely start to the day and we all enjoyed it. But then again, who does not enjoy champagne?!

To brighten up the train journey out of London we had some more bubbly, then we switched to Pimm’s at the regatta. I love events like these, when you sit by the river, watching fit men row, looking around at all the pretty (and some horrible ones) dresses, Panamas and stripy blazers.

We enjoyed the early evening best though. When the serious people started to leave and the party crowd had not yet arrived. It was quiter and we could sit front row watching the rowing.

When the enclosure closed, we walked over the bridge into the village and had a nice meal. We must have been very lucky, walking in the six of us and managed to get a table!

Back at the train station, it was mayhem. There had been an accident on the tracks and several hundred people were fighting over the few taxis. Jess managed to find us one, and waiting for it we escaped the chaos and had a drink in a pub.

It was a perfect day with nice, but not too warm, weather and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks guys!

Perfectly creamy scrambled eggs, serves six on a buffet

6-8 eggs

100 ml single cream

knob of butter

salt and pepper after taste

Heat up a teflon frying pan or sauté pan on medium heat. Add the butter. Beat the eggs with cream and season. Pour into the pan and lower the temperature. Stir the whole time with a wooden fork or a spatula, and watch the eggs slowly thicken. Remove from heat when a bit undercooked and keep stirring. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Mini-quiches with Saint Agure and leek, 12 stycken

80 g softened butter

200 ml plain flour

1/3 beaten egg

100 g Saint Agure in cubes

10 cm leek, sliced

2 + 2/3 eggs (left over form the dough making)

300 ml cream

100 ml grated cheese

Mix butter, eggs and flour to a dough. Line 12 aluminium cases with it. Place blue cheese and leeks in the pastry cases. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Mix eggs and cream, season with salt and pepper and divide between the cases. Bake in 200C for 20 minutes. Serve cold, luke warm och warm.

Blueberry muffins with almonds and lemon, makes 12

Oroginal Swedish recipe here. I made mine into larger muffins than the recipe suggests.

200 ml blueberries

125 g melted butter

150 g ground almonds

1 tbsp lemon zest

400 ml icing sugar

80 ml plain flour

5 eggwhites (about 160-170 ml)

Mix almonds, zest, icing sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the egg whites and mix. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Place a few berries in each cake case, divide the mixture between the cake cases (fill them to 2/3). Bake in 200 C for about 15-20 minutes.