Brunch is fast becoming my favourite meal, and I love that there are so many options and that breakfast no longer needs to be based around sweet and sickly foods that are based around pastry, or huge greasy fry ups – although obviously they have their place. I’m not one of the avocado brigade but there’s definitely something to be said for a fresh, vibrant start to the day, and The Barn, Holloway excels at it.
Like most of the population I love a good brunch. On the one hand, I think it’s lovely at the weekend to wake up not hungover – the older I get the more I appreciate not having the pounding head, stuck-together mouth and vague sense of dread – the money spent, ridiculous things said, people offended, weekends gone – and the less fussed I am about missing huge drinking sessions.
It’s finally that time of the week! I’m getting old and as such quite enjoy a Friday night in the house, with some good food, red wine and some decent (or rubbish TV). Having had copious amounts of wine and Prosecco lately, I’m moving onto home-made cocktails, something I haven’t really been into in the last couple of years. Too many things to buy, too much faff, let’s just get Prosecco etc etc. I’m not by any means a mixologist (AT ALL) but having recently done a fab mojito masterclass, the floodgates are open for being a bit more creative than opening a bottle (which is probably a screwtop) and pouring. Enter the whiskey sour!
An easy seasonal frittata that’s chunky, meaty and will keep you full til lunch. (Or whatever the next meal is..)
Eggs are such a staple, I really don’t think I could have an egg-free week. Not that there’d be any reason to, I just don’t think I could say that about many other foods. It is unlikely to have escaped your notice that it is no longer summer, and has in fact been raining for the last 3 months or so. So it’s time to stop with the salads and BBQs (unless there’s a shortrib involved, and some kimchee…mmmmmm, Foxlow memories) and get a move on with some lovely autumnal munches.
If you’re doing any kind of low-carb or other diet, you’ve probably seen recipes for breakfast egg muffins or something similar, where you make a pot out of bacon or smoked salmon, fill it with eggs and bake, for a simple but healthy and filling breakfast. These are a great idea, especially if you’re watching what you’re eating, but at the weekend I just wanted bread. Fresh, crunchy rolls, ideally with some kind of egg concoction, so the bread version was born! Continue reading Easy breakfast egg pots
I used to live on Streatham Hill but haven’t been that way for a while, so we headed over on a Saturday morning to go to Nineteen for breakfast. I was craving one of their lovely fry-ups with thick, meaty sausages and bright orange runny eggs – the surprise on arriving was that it is currently a building site. I don’t know if it’s coming back or been bought by someone else, but will keep an eye out as it was great.
Never a fan of big chainy coffee shops, I love a little independent place, and Breads Etcetera (aka The Ferm) on Clapham High Street is the ideal little spot for delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. They make all their own sourdough in the restaurant, and you go up and slice your own then toast it yourself at the table. Gimicky but fun, and it’s unlimited.
We kicked off with cappuccino and hot chocolate, and ordered various combinations of eggs and bacon, then went and helped ourselves to toast. You also get homemade butter and a choice of condiments from homemade jams and marmalades to peanut butter and Vegemite – I had a lovely pear, apple and vanilla jam, a nice little dessert after my eggs and bacon!
We were after poached eggs but instead they do soft-boiled, which are perfectly cooked and a delight when the bright orange yolk is soaked up with the fresh bread. The bacon was crispy and had a good charred flavour from the grill.
Service is great, and the staff are all super-friendly. I think it borders on the pricey side but I’d rather pay a bit more than have a sad little packet panini from Starbucks. They also do gorgeous-looking pizzas in the evening, and cocktails/beers too, so keen to go back in the evening. A fab little spot!
In my house bacon and eggs are more often than not a prerequisite for weekend breakfast, and why not indeed. Salty, crispy smoked bacon dipped in runny yolk, on a soft, chewy bagel or hot buttered toast – heaven. But the time does come to mix things up a bit, so on a raging hangover after my work Christmas party last weekend (weird I know but I work for a restaurant and we can’t close for a night in December, we’d all get shot) I decided it would be good to replace bread with sweet potato cake/rosti affair. Bit more nutritious, gluten-free if you’re into that sort of thing and just a bit of a change. Unfortunately my odd little shop didn’t have any sweet potatoes but had a shelf with about 400 butternut squashes, so there we go.
So for 2 people start with: 1 medium squash, 4/6 rashers decent smoked bacon, 2 large eggs plus another for the squash, olive oil, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and coriander (leaves picked) and an optional teaspoon of fresh red chilli – wakes you up a bit.
Peel the squash and grate it on the coarse side of the grater. Put it all in a sieve and push down with a spoon to drain a bit, you don’t want it too wet, then leave it until you’re ready.
Grill the bacon until it’s the desired level of crispy and keep it warm. Squeeze out the squash again and season with salt and pepper. Add a beaten egg, thyme, coriander and chillis at this point, finely chopped, and heat some oil in a frying pan on a high heat. Using your hands shape the squash into 4-6 patty shapes and put them in the pan, turning the temperature down to medium, otherwise they’ll be that not-so-great combination of black and raw.
Boil a pan of water for the eggs. Cook the potato cakes for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy on the outside. Prod with a knife to check they’re soft in the middle. Keep warm with the bacon and break the eggs into the boiling water – a dribble of vinegar is said to keep them together, I’ve never noticed a difference to be honest. Just use the freshest eggs you can. 3 minutes is fine for runny yolks, then get them out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll. And assemble! Rosti, bacon then poached egg, sprinkle with something green to make it look prettier and tuck in. I added a dressing of Greek yoghurt mixed with lemon juice, salt and pepper just to wet it a bit and allow for more dipping.
You can do this with sweet potatoes, swede, celeriac or any combination of root veg. Add herbs – parsley, sage, tarragon, coriander (goes especially well if you use chilli). It would also work with mackerel instead of bacon. It’s fun and easy and adds a bit of goodness and variety to your fry up. Winner!