Back in the 70’s the popularity of Sunday brunches was at its peak, but many viewed it with a certain amount of suspicion. And, my dear Islanders, for a very good bloody reason; brunch back then was nothing but a dumping ground for restaurants leftovers from Friday and Saturday nights. Young, eager chefs were often put on the unenviable challenge of dressing up weekend debris and presenting it Sunday morning to unsuspecting guests at a questionable price.
Fast forward to present times, brunch still holds it’s charm but with a notable change in the quality of the food. Brilliantly it was also a time honoured salute to day drinking – Bloody Mary, Mimosas, ice cold French rosado!!! Yes please!!! Avocados, bacon and eggs served in a billion ways, all very exciting stuff, dontcha think so?
It’s not all just about crawling out of bed on a Sunday morning,
bleary eyed and bedraggled in search for some alcohol absorbing comfort food. Well, yes it is, but let’s just concentrate on the fabulous Old school wisdom has, in the past preached reaching for cold pizza or a greasy bacon butty, well, bugger that, I’m going with brunch, the delightful blend of breakfast and lunch its the new party time, the new posh and we’re dressing up and getting downnnnnn. Yeehawwww.
Everyone deserves a bit delicious little slice of Sunday madness and Kedgeree has to be a perfect choice. A delicately spiced combination of rice, hard boiled eggs, smoky fish and butter, a culinary fight to the death between Indian flavours and nursery food. One of the first food fusions and a fine example of how one dish translates into another. Kedgeree was brought back to old Blighty from India by British soldiers and welcomed by the Victorians of the time. In India, back then, fish caught early in the morning in the hot season would deteriorate rapidly, therefore the necessity to consume it at breakfast. I am truly honoured to present this recipe to you good folk……..
475g un dyed smoked haddock fillet, cut in half
2 bay leaves
200g basmati rice, rinsed in cold water and drained
100g frozen peas
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon medium curry powder
3 tablespoons double cream
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
freshly ground black pepper
Pop the haddock in a large frying pan, skin side up and pour over 500ml water, add the bay leaves and bring water to a gentle simmer. Cook the fish for roughly 8 – 10 minutes until it is just done and flakes easily.
Drain in a colander set over a bowl, reserving the cooking juices and discard the bay leaves. Pour the cooking liquor into a medium saucepan and stir in the rice.
Cover the lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the rice very gently for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to sit, covered for 3 – 5 minutes more. By this time it should have absorbed all the fish liquor.
While the rice is cooking, bring some water to the boil in a medium pan.
Add the eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain them and run
under cold water and when cool enough to handle, peel them
carefully and set aside.
Cook the peas in a small saucepan.
Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan and cook the onion over low heat until transparent, stirring occasionally.
Add the curry powder and cook for a further 3 minutes. Chuck the rice in and stir to combine. Add peas, cream, parsley and a few good grinds of black pepper.
Flake the fish into chunky pieces and gently add to the pan. Stir in the lemon juice and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Cut the eggs into
quarter and place them on the rice. Cover pan with lid and heat
through for 2 – 3 minutes. Serve on a warm, huge but glorious
Eggs Benedict, eggs bennie, love it, and a personal favourite. Big confession here – at brunch, every bloody time, upon tucking into perfectly poached eggs, that lounge elegantly on their muffin nests with pools of decadent hollandaise lapping at the base, I always, ponder the crucial question………..I could have an amazing six pack ; belly or eggs benedict. No brainer. Let the decadence begin…..
6 free range eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
6 english muffins, halved
Butter for spreading
6 slices of jamon serano or smoked salmon
1 – 2 finely chopped fresh chives
225g butter cut into pieces
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 free range egg yolks
pinch sea salt
pinch caster sugar
Fill a small pan with just over one third full of cold water and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar and reduce to simmer. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl and gently dip into the simmering water. Poach for 2 – 3 minutes.
emove with a slotted spoon and plunge into iced water, then remove the eggs and place them on some paper towel.
For the hollandaise sauce, melt the butter slowly in a medium pan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour the butter into a jug. Add enough water into a medium saucepan to come to a third of the way up the sides. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer.
Place the egg yolks in a glass bowl and place over the simmering pan of water. Whisk the egg yolks with the salt and sugar until pale.
Pour the vinegar mixture through a fine sieve onto the yolks and continue whisking until well combined. Slowly add the butter in a steady stream whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth, thick and shiny.
Toast the muffins halves and bring the pan of water back to a
simmer, ready to re heat the eggs.
Slather the muffins with butter, put a muffin half on a warmed place and top with jamon or smoked salmon. Using a slotted spoon, drop the cooked eggs into the simmering water and reheat for 1 minute.
Remove and drain on paper towel.
Place an egg on each muffin and spoon over the hollandaise.
Sprinkle with chives and serve with the other muffin half on the side.
Poached eggs are so versatile, try teaming them with spinach (eggs florentine), portobello mushrooms or even nicer, crabmeat, but please don’t forget to drink cava! So exciting….. make sure you serve this amazing dish on a warm plate. I’ve often visualised killed chefs in restaurants for less and with good reason.
If you are on charter, a simple solution to catering for many guests on the aft deck all at the same time is to make good use of your muffin tin. Simply preheat the oven to 180C and pour a tablespoon of water into each muffin space. Break the eggs into a ramekin and gently pop into the muffin tin. Cook for 11 – 13 minutes.
Real Goddess stuff here.
Living the dream,