All posts filed under: Brunch

Baked Avocado with Quail Egg & Sobrassada

Hot avocado seems a misnomer. The joy of avocado is its effortless smooth creaminess, always cold. I first saw warm avocado on the menu of a rural Italian restaurant when I first moved to London. It was roasted with a light covering of gorgonzola. I thought it curious and not offensive but I wasn’t inspired to replicate it at home. Lately, baked avocados have erupted all over this internet. Paleo folks love them (did the cavemen really eat their avocados this way?! Ahem!). I was curious. I decided to have a go. An egg simply roasted inside an avocado didn’t appeal, I felt it required something else. Something porky, or spicy, something that would give it a little edge. I opted for sobrassada, a gorgeous spreadable pork sausage from the Balearics (and in my case specifically, Menorca), very gently spiced. ‘Nduja would be ace here too, as would some chorizo or some chilli and tomato if you wanted something vegetarian. To fit a whole egg in half a hass avocado is a challenge that requires …

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Crispy Parmesan Eggs with Wild Garlic Pesto

Yes, I know. Now, lets sit right back down and get on with business. You need to make these. Crispy parmesan eggs are a joy and they are so easy. Can-make-with-a-hangover easy. Will bring a rainbow to your breakfast table joyful. Rich deep crisp parmesan, and an egg on top. Now, finish that with some wild garlic pesto and take it to the next level. Have a seat and congratulate yourself before you inevitably make another one. Wild garlic pesto is a perfect fridge ingredient. So versatile, have it with pasta, on toast, your morning eggs. Spoon some on some tomatoes and add more parmesan before you roast them. Drizzle some on top of potatoes, or put a little in between layers of potato dauphinoise. If you are lucky you will have a free source which no doubt you keep secret. I managed to find some in Cardiff on the weekend near a friends house. Gorgeous tufts of wild garlic huddled in tight beside a stream. It is early in the season there and so …

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Breakfast Bacon & Egg Pizza: Because You Can (and Should)

I like to cook in batches. Even though I am generally cooking for just one or two. Some stuff just makes sense that way: big pots of stock, beans, a roast hunk of meat that can become 4 dishes in the day after, pizza. One big bowl of dough will keep well if you let it rise gently overnight in the fridge. And you can eat it for every meal that day. And you really can, you know? Or you can have a pizza party.  This morning as I looked at the bowl of dough that I had just retrieved from the fridge I was thinking, oh yes, egg & lardo pizza. Because you know those are two of my very favourite things. I quite like to cover my egg yolks with lardo anyway. And I have lardo in the fridge. (Lardo? Cured gorgeous pork fat, mouth melting and divine. Not lard. Which is also great but for different reasons). But I have something even better too. Guanciale! Roman cheek bacon, the very best bacon there …

Kimchi Pork Sesame Meatballs

Kimchi Pork Sesame Meatballs

Kimchi pork sesame meatballs, aka your path to your dream brunch. And lots of other things. More Korean flavours, I can’t get enough. Here I introduce kimchi, which is Korean chilli pickled cabbage (trust me, you need to try it if you haven’t already) to minced pork, and tweak it with spring onion and sweet hot gojucharu (gorgeous Korean red pepper flakes, which of course it knows intimately already), and ease it all with a crisp sesame seed coating. Before I fry it all and use it as the ultimate egg soldier by dipping it in a glorious perfectly fried gooey egg. I have been playing around with meatballs and dumplings and homemade sausages and all sorts of things requiring a little minced meat, a lot of imagination and not too much time. It always amazes me how much you can make, and how frugal cooking with minced meats can be, even when using the best quality. I want more colour and texture with these meatballs, and a little more nutrition too, I also want …

Date & Maple Syrup Butter

Date & Maple Syrup Butter

I had a crisis this morning. Just a small one, but a crisis nonetheless. I could not find my peanut butter. I just bought it the other day, where could it be hiding? While that tells you a lot about the state of my cupboards (which I hastily emptied the other day during a clear out, and the bulk of it is still residing in big plastic buckets), I solved it pretty quickly, which tells you more about how quick I am to adapt when I am hungry. Very, very quick. Feed me now, I am hungry! And I needed something to smother my sourdough toast. Late last year I visited a new London based Turkish restaurant, Oklava. I had a very pleasant lunch there, and the first bite stood out. It was a small dish containing one thing. Date butter. The creation of the patron chef, Selin Kiazim, this date butter was rich and more-ish. I immediately thought that I would love to create something similar at home. This morning, in the absence of peanut …

Chicken Broth Congee

Chicken Broth Congee with Soy Cured Egg Yolk,

Congee is one of the best expressions of enthusiasm food can muster. A pot of rice dancing and bubbling and then bursting with joy. A hug in a bowl, when we eat it, the calm and the joy infuses us. Sweet comfort, congee layered with anything you want, salty soy, hot bright ginger, peanuts, spring onions, whatever you want. Overcook is a word that is tainted with failure and distress. But sometimes overcooking is a joyful thing with wonderful results. Congee is a shining example. Congee is simply rice that is cooked to the point of bursting, like a star, like a galaxy of them in your pot. I have been on a bit of a congee rush for the last few weeks. It is one of my favourite breakfasts when I am in Asia, and it is so simple, and so frugal, it just requires a little rice, salt and a lot of water, and time. You can flourish it as much as you want after that. I usually top my congee with ginger, …

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Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Chives and Cream Cheese

This content was sponsored by lovepotatoes.co.uk and potato.ie for their campaign Potatoes: More than a bit on the side. This is a recipe that I created in partnership with them because, you know how much I love the humble spud, and I believe that they are under rated and under used. I adore potatoes and was delighted to work with the campaign. Potatoes are my weakness. I adore them in all shapes and sizes. I look forward to the new potato season every year, I love little waxy ones in a salad, I love a boiled fluffy one with a little sea salt and butter, potato gnocchi are a joy, and crisps, well I am helpless in the face of some of them. Have you discovered purple potatoes yet? They are wonderful (but too hard to come by, lets change that!).  Potatoes get a bad rap, but they are a great source of energy, high in fibre, low in fat and rich in vitamins C & B6 and potassium. They are speedy to prepare too, …

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Nopi’s Sweet Potato Pancakes with Date Molasses

Fans of Ottolenghi (and I am one) will be thrilled to discover that there is a new cookbook to explore from Nopi, their central London restaurant. The book has been co-authored by Yotam Ottolenghi and Nopi head chef Ramael Scully. I popped by to have brunch with them and chat about their book before I left to explore Canada a couple of weeks ago. The first thing you notice when you chat to Ramael is just how enthusiastic he is about cooking. He loves it and has lots of little projects on the go in the Nopi kitchen. I tasted some fermented rice that he was playing with (and that was good, very interesting & complex flavour!), and chatted to him about his culinary influences. The food at Nopi is a little different to the food at their other restaurants, steered by Ramael’s cultural influences which include his Malaysian heritage. He is also clearly inspired by other Asian cuisines, the food and recipes that result are joyful and very interesting. I cooked the Sweet Potato …

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Brunch This: Potato & Tomato Hash with an Egg & ‘Nduja Onions

Yes! I am back in my kitchen after 10 days in Italy. My trip was split between Abruzzo and Rome and was deeply inspirational, if a little hot. No very hot, and all the mozzies got the memo that the pink Irish person was in town. Little gits. Italy always gets my cooking neurons firing, I go there as often as I can, but this trip was particularly interesting as I was travelling mainly with talented chefs and food writers. The trip in general was centred around one of my favourite things, pasta! But, more on that soon. I got back last night, very late after lots of delays. I was tired, my luggage was heavy with wine, charcuterie, beans and maybe a small arrosticini grill. There may have been a chitarra too. I know, I know, I have a problem. It was a lot to lug home solo, but the people of London were awesome, as always, and so many total strangers offered to help me as I went. I got home eventually, hungry, …

Poached egg with chorizo, almonds, tomato & basil

Cook This: Chorizo, Tomato, Almonds, Basil & a Poached Egg

What? You never thought of having almonds with your eggs? Well think about this: how good would a fried almond slick with chorizo oil be dipped into a runny egg yolk? Yeah! Lets get cracking. This is so simple and you will have your breakfast of champions on your table within 10 minutes. First, lets tackle what is likely at the forefront of your mind. THAT poached egg. Let me let you in on a secret, I poach eggs all the time and my first poached egg for this dish was a disaster. I created my whirlpool as I always do, I even added vinegar as I knew my egg was not as fresh as I would like. I would need a very fresh egg for a great poached egg but vinegar helps tighten a tired white and pull it all together. My poor egg couldn’t handle the whirlpool and the yolk bolted away, the white clinging on only just. The yolk poached perfectly and it is the best bit anyway, but you know, that …

Buckwheat and Hazelnut Banana Bread (Gluten and Dairy Free Recipe)

Buckwheat and Hazelnut Banana Bread [Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe]

It was one of those mornings. I was out of eggs – what, how could I let that happen?! – and out of coffee beans. I was staring glumly at a bag of Moomin coffee, a hasty Helsinki airport purchase, and wondering how nasty that might be and what I could have for breakfast. On my counter were some very brown bananas, barely a patch of yellow left. I had some buckwheat flour, but not a lot, and a bag of hazelnuts. I thought I might try a new take on banana bread. It is worth buying bananas and letting them go really brown to make banana bread and pancakes. This is when they are at their best for cooking, rich and syrupy sweet. I never do this intentionally. I buy bananas and let them sit on the side. I feel guilty when I see them every day. I worry about waste, and then eventually they go completely brown, and they become banana bread or pancakes. I love the flavour of buckwheat, I use it …

[caption id="attachment_20439" align="aligncenter" width="840"] 'Nduja and Carmelised Onion Ragu with Eggs (Recipe)[/caption]

‘Nduja Ragu with Eggs for a Perfect Brunch [Recipe]

I never did love ketchup. I know everyone does. It is said to be the perfect combination of sweet, sour, salty and savoury, and tomatoes are one of my favourite ingredients, but I just find ketchup to be wanting, and something that is used to blanket other flavours not actually add to the dish. The flavour profile feels a bit two dimensional and dull to me, so I don’t have it in my pantry. Not out of snobbery, I love proper Asian instant noodles and all sorts of other things. I love good eating, and that comes in many forms, I am completely open when it comes to this.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Plums, Almonds and Honey

Buckwheat Pancakes with Plums, Almonds and Honey

Is it too soon for another pancake recipe? No, it is Pancake Tuesday, right? Right. It also feels only right to share a recipe for those who can’t have gluten or dairy – this recipe is gluten free and that can be adapted to be dairy free. These pancakes are made with buckwheat (as Breton crepes are), which despite its name is not a wheat, it is actually in the same family as rhubarb. I adore the flavour, deep and nutty, and the gently softened plums as a fresh plum compote, sweetened and sticky with honey, and toasted almonds provide syrupy sweetness and bite. I use milk, but substitutes work perfectly (I like almond milk for theses), and coconut oil is a perfect substitute for butter, or any vegetable oil,

Buckwheat Waffles with Rhubarb, Apple & Candied Hazelnuts

Buckwheat Waffles with Rhubarb, Apple & Candied Hazelnuts [Recipe]

Good morning? Is it safe to come out? I have been in hiding, taking an enforced break, so that I could catch up with everything else (work, book writing, the small matter of publishing a book myself), for it was all becoming a bit overwhelming, and I was losing sight of myself. But I am back now, and I am not very good at taking breaks anyway. My break actually turned out to be an intensive whirlwind of writing, cooking and planning; plotting travels too, and lots to share here. Mainly in my pjs, but you can forgive me that. And maybe you are guilty of wanting that for yourself?  I wanted to just indulge myself this morning, and write forever about Australia. One of my favourite places to visit, but not just me, the Economist listed four Australian cities in the Top 10 best places to live. I could easily live there, maybe even move in the morning for a bit, but London’s tentacles tend to keep me here. I love London, but you …

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A Big Brunch and a Recipe for Louisiana Crab Cakes with Poached Eggs & Tabasco Hollandaise (In Partnership with Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce)

Brunch! Boiled Eggs and Tabasco butter soldiers; Feta, Corn & Tabasco Cakes; Tabasco Crab Devilled Eggs; Louisiana Crab Cakes with Poached Eggs & Tabasco Hollandaise Brunch is my thing. I have brunch everyday when I am at home. I am a sleepy morning creature and my body is not ready for anything except coffee for the first few hours. I have always been like this. My body likes evenings and night time, and while early morning is beautiful and, increasingly, I do wish I was a morning person, it is not when I am at my best. I am great at brunch though. I love it. My body is awake and hungry and eager to eat. Often eggs. Almost always with some chilli. I love a brunch dish that packs some heat (as you will have seen regularly on my instagram). Eggs never cease to amaze me with the amount you can do with them. Fried, poached, boiled, gooey, oozy, spread on toast soldiers. Eggs are brilliant when you force fat into them, as you do when …

Sunshine Rice & Eggs

Sunshine rice! Cheesy, isn’t it? But why is cheesy a bad thing when cheese is just so good? Shall we try and reclaim that? Like I was doing with Like a Girl when I decided to title this blog Eat Like a Girl . Which is now the subject of a viral advertising campaign, I notice, which is a very good thing. As Like a Girl is, and it is something to be proud of. Now, lets work on cheesy. Or, maybe we have other things to do? Like finish books and things. (Yes, nearly there with Project: BACON, and more on that soon!). I looked at my breakfast this morning and thought, oh, that looks like a gorgeous perky sun, within another one peeking cheerfully from inside of it. And so, a sunshine breakfast was declared, and devoured. The rice was leftover from my dinner the night before (pan fried mackerel with habanero, curry leaf & lime butter sat on top of it, that recipe soon, once I have tested it again). It is fairly speedy to put …

The BCKT (Bacon, Crispy Kale & Tomato Sandwich)

I have been in Toronto for almost a week and I have learned a few things. Happily this trip coincided with fiddlehead season, again, so that was a treat. And I now see that everyone in Toronto is even more obsessed with kale than they were before. Green kale, purple kale, cavolo nero, baby kale for salads and kale juices (offensive, sorry, I tried and it was like drinking bile. Might work with some apple?). There are kale cookbooks, the Indian restaurant I am sitting at right now in Toronto airport has a kale salad but with an Indian twist. It is endless, and that is good, infernal stomach rotting juice aside, for kale, generally, is a very good thing. Especially when crispy. (Mmmmm, crispy!* Now there is a word that polarises as much as kale. But I like crispy, even if incorrect and so I shall keep using it). So, you all know I love bacon. I mean who doesn’t, at least who doesn’t that doesn’t have religious objections to it? I have never …

A Remedy for a Head Cold & Jet Lag: Eggs Poached in a Simple Homemade Curry [Recipe]

Singapore was great. My first visit, I was greeted by a vibrant and very friendly city that is obsessed with food. I ate what I could, but never enough. There are so many different dishes to try. I am heading back quite soon on a stopover to complete my list. Which is lost, but more on that in a minute. As great (and brief) as the trip was, it didn’t end well. My phone, with so many of my photos, all my notes and recorded interviews was MIA. I left without it and have had no luck tracking it down. When I got home my flatmate asked if I had a cold and I realised, fark, I do! I had put it down to hay fever the previous days. I don’t like to moan – especially on here – but after a night of absolutely no sleep and a stonking head cold, with a missing phone, and falling behind with work as I can’t think straight, I feel like crap. But, there is a solution. …

Duck Confit Hash for Sunday Breakfast [Recipe]

Two favourite things, no three. Lazy Sunday mornings with a big pot of coffee, the Sunday paper and an indulgent breakfast, trips to Paris and the duck confit that I bring home. Every time I go to Paris, I visit G Detou and buy several things, two of which are a tin of duck confit from Les Landes and a tin of pork sausages, confit in goose fat. Lets start with the duck confit. An essential cupboard staple, I save mine for evenings where I am tired and in need of comfort. I open the tin, prise out a leg, and crisp it in the oven until the duck, tender under its canopy of bronze crisp skin is ready to be devoured. The skin too of course, it is the very best bit. Perfect with buttered greens and crisp potatoes, on Friday I had it with an intensely gratifying mash, where potatoes tenderly mixed with slow cooked leeks and some truffle mustard (from Maille, available on tap at the Maille shop in London, and it …