Granola

I made my own granola the other day. When you have a sensitive stomach like me, it is great to create your own breakfast cereal, because there are only a few storebought ones you can have. I can’t have seeds and nuts, or anything wholegrain or most dried fruits. Yes, it is a nightmare. But it is easily fixed by making your own. And it tastes lovely too!

I flavoured mine with a little bit of sugar (it seemed like a lot, but the cereals don’t taste very sweet, which made me realise how much sugar there must be in the storebought kind) and vanilla essence. Together with thick natural yoghurt, some raisins or a dollop of honey, this is heaven in the mornings. I promise you.

Vanilla granola, 2 large jars as pictured

400 g oats

150 g rice krispies

100 g cornflakes

125 ml water

125 ml caster sugar

50 ml vegetable oil

a pinch of salt

3 tbsp syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Pour the cereals into a large roasting tin and mix it around.  Mix the other ingredients in a bowl (or heat it up to a syrup, but it is not necessary) and pour it over the cereal. Mix thoroughly. Toast in 150C for 40 mins – 1 hr. Stir once and a while. Leave to cool completely before filling airtight containers. I placed a tea towel over the tray over night to cool.

American breakfast pancakes

When five of my girl friends came for brunch on Sunday, I treated them to nice bread rolls, oeufs en cocotte and american pancakes with maple syrup. The pancake recipe is from Nigella’s book How to be a domestic goddess, and they are delicious. Serve with maple syrup (mandatory) and crispy bacon (optional).

American breakfast pancakes, serves 6

225 g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

a pinch of  salt

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs, beaten

30 g melted butter

300 ml milk

butter for frying

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl and add to the flour mixture. Add the milk bit by bit and lastly the butter. Transfer to a jug and fry in butter until golden on both sides. Serve with maple syrup and maybe crispy bacon. 

White breakfast rolls

This recipe is from one of the contestants (she was the runner up) in the Swedish version of Masterchef. Jennie is really talanted and I have tried the recipies from her blog before.

These rolls are delicious for breakfast at the weekend. I served them for brunch on Sunday when I had my girls over, and they went down a treat with butter, Gouda cheese, smoked ham and preserves.

The original recipe is for 20 rolls, but I made mine slightly larger and settled for 16 instead.

White breakfast rolls, makes 16-20

75 g butter

500 ml milk

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp honey

5 tsp dried yeast

1.1 – 1.2 l plain flour (400 ml strong Canadian + 700 ml plain flour)

egg wash: 1 egg + 1 tbsp milk, beaten

Maldon salt

Melt the butter and add milk, salt and honey. Heat up the mixture until finger temperature. Pour it into a bowl and add the yeast. Stir so the yeast dissolves. Add the flour and knead the dough. Leave it slightly sticky in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes. With dry yeast I usually put the bowl in the oven on 50C, so it rises properly.

Knead the dough again and cut into 4 pieces. Cut each piece into four pieces, roll and place on a baking sheet. Cover again to rise for another 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle salt on top and bake in 225C oven for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool cobvered on a wire tray.

Creamy Croque Monsiuer

Since I visited Gaby in the autumn, I have been meaning to try to re-create the croque monsieur we had in a French brasserie in Winchester – it was absolutely perfect!

And this weekend, I came pretty close! Yay! 🙂

This is a perfect dish for lunch, as a snack on its own or as a light supper together with a salad. There are plenty of different ways to make a croque monsieur, but I prefer this creamy version with bechamel on top.

Croque Monsieur, serves 1

2 slices white bread

butter

2 slices of cheese

1-2 slices smoked ham

butter and flour for the roux

200 ml milk

grated cheese

grated nutmeg

salt, white pepper

Butter the breadslices, place cheese and ham in the middle of the two to make a sandwich. Heat up a frying pan with some butter and fry the sandwich on both sides on medium heat. Put the sandwich in a small oven dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in some flour to make a roux, and add milk. Stir until it thickens. Add the cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Make the sauce really thick and pour it onto the top of the sandwich. Put the dish under the grill to gratinate it for a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Mexican scrambled eggs – my way

In the cookbook Nigella Express, Nigella has a recipe for Mexican scrambled eggs with soft tortillas, chilli, spring onions and tomato, and although that sounds very appealing to me, I wanted to make my own version with the hard tortilla chips, and here it is… Sooo tasty!

I must admit I felt like Nigella as well; standing by the stove in my PJs and taking my scrambled eggs for one, back to bed. 😉

Mexican scrambled eggs – my way, serves 1

a handful corn tortilla chips

olive oil

2 eggs

2 tbsp cream

salt

small handful of grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)

cherry tomatoes and half an avocado to serve

Heat up the olive oil in a pan. Break the tortillas and add them to the pan. Beat the eggs with the cream, and add salt and add them to the pan. Take it off the flame and stir, add the grated cheese, and stir until they have the consistency you prefer. Serve immediately with half an avocado and cherry tomatoes.

Lazy Saturday morning

I love the unplanned weekends when you can sleep until you wake up by yourself and then potter around the house until your head feels awake too, and then make a nice breakfast and really enjoy it.

On weekdays I have my sparse breakfast when I get to work. Just creamy fruity yoghurt. I’m not very hungry in the mornings. But at the weekend, after a lie in, I actually am.

Today, I had oeufs en cocotte again. Please try it, it is just perfect for a lazy breakfast. Perfect.

Or why not try Eggs Benedict,

or sweet eggy bread,

an omelette,

or something a bit untraditional, like bruschetta 

or Toast Skagen?

Bon weekend!

Oeufs en cocotte

The perfect weekend breakfast is here! I made Oeufs en cocotte (eggs in ramekins) this morning and it was absolutely fantastic. This is great to serve for breakfast when you have people staying over or just at a treat at the weekend. It is really easy to make and only takes 15 minutes in the oven. Perfect! Promise me you will try this.

I do like Nigella and add a little bit of truffle oil, but that is optional. I added some chopped smoked ham too, but you can add anything you like (chopped spinach, cooked mushrooms, chives) or keep it plain.


Oeufs en cocotte, serves 2

Butter two ramekins, and add the chopped ham for example. Crack an egg into each ramekin, sprinkle over some sea salt and, pour in 1 tbsp cream and a little (1/4 – 1/2 tsp) truffle oil. Put the ramekins in an oven-proof dish and pour boiling water into the dish to come halfway up each ramekin. Bake in 190 C for 15 minutes. Serve with some nice bread.

Eggs Benedict

This morning I have learned three new things! How to poach eggs (can’t believe I haven’t done that before), clarify butter and whisk hollandaise away from the heat. It all turned out rather well, thanks to the great guidance from the book Breakfast at the Wolseley, that I got for my birthday. The Wolseley is a great restaurant, which I haven’t yet written about, even though it is one of my favourite places in the whole world. I promise to tell you about it soon!

The Wolseley is the kind of restaurant where you could eat every meal in. Their breakfasts are superb, they’re fully booked for lunch and dinner, and you can pop in for afternoon tea or a light bite at any time of the day.

The book is also amazing, so of course I had to try their recipe for my favourite breakfast – Eggs Benedict. It is not the easiest, quickest breakfast you can make, but it is worth the extra effort. Eggs Benedict are for those days without an agenda, the lazy Sunday mornings that suddenly continues into the afternoon without you realising how much time has passed.

Eggs Benedict, serves 2

4 eggs, for poaching

4  English muffins

4 slices of ham

chopped chives and cayenne pepper (which I didn’t have any, black pepper worked fine too)

Hollandaise sauce:

4 tbsp white-wine vinegar

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

10 peppercorns

175 g butter, cut into cubes

3 egg yolks

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt

Start by making the sauce: put the vinegar, shallots and peppercorns in a pan and boil until it is reduced by two-thirds. Strain the reduction into a glass bowl.

Clarify the butter by melting it in another pan over low heat. Skim the surface until only clear liquid remains. Remove from the heat and let it cool, then carefully pour the butter into a clean bowl, leaving the residue in the pan.

Place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the yolks and vinegar reduction and beat with a wire-whisk until it smooth, thick and pale.

Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously adding the butter little by little. Season with salt and lemon juice.

Poach the eggs by simmer water in a large pan, pour in 1-2 spoonfuls of vinegar, this will make the egg form a tight shape in the water. Crack the eggs into cups or mugs and lower them into the water, if you’re only poaching 1-2 at the time, you can swirl the water around to help shape the eggs. Put the lid onto the pan, and leave for three minutes. Then lift the eggs out with a perforated spoon and into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

Toast the muffins while the eggs are poaching, spread with butter, place the ham on top and put them on plates. Make a little imprint in the middle of the muffin, for the egg to lie, drain the eggs and put them onto the imprints, spoon the hollandaise over the eggs and sprinkle cayenne pepper and chopped chives over the it (black pepper will do too).

Fattiga riddare – sweet eggy bread

When we make french toast in Sweden it is slightly different, we call it Fattiga riddare (which means poor knights), and it is just a sweeter version of french toast/eggy bread. It is usually served as a afternoon snack for children och as dessert, but you can also have it for breakfast like I had today.

1 slice per portion might sound like it won’t be enough, but I find this very filling so it is enough for me. If you want some more, just double the recipe.

Fattiga riddare, 2 portions

2 slices of white bread

1 egg

200 ml milk

75 ml flour

a pinch of salt

a knob of butter

granulated sugar

ground cinnamon

I cut the slices in half, but there is no need for that. Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and salt. Dip the bread in it, make sure it is properly coated. Fry the slices golden och both sides in the butter on medium heat. Thereafter dip the bread in the sugar mixed with some cinnamon (after taste). Enjoy immediately.

Easy peasy omelette

Omelette is one of my favourite lunch meals. I thought for a long time that I didn’t like omelettes, because I wasn’t thrilled about the eggy taste. But I do like this version. The trick is the cheese, it removes the eggy taste.

Omelette 1 portion

2 eggs

a splash of cream/milk/water (I use what I’ve got at hand, but prefer dairy products)

50 ml grated cheese

2-3 spring onions, finely sliced

salt & pepper

Whisk together egg and liquid, season. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan on medium to low heat. Pour in the egg mixture when the pan is hot, but be carful not to burn the omelette. When it’s starting to solidify but is still smudgy, sprinkle the cheese and spring onions on top. Let the cheese melt a little before removing the pan from the heat. Fold in half.

The omelette is served with a side salad and some tzatsiki.

You can easily make this dish the day before and heat it up in the microwave at lunch time.

In Swedish.