Sunday, 16 December 2012

Good things to eat [Volume 14]: in praise of weekend breakfast

Is there a finer meal than a weekend breakfast?

Eating on a working morning is a perfunctory matter, little more than essential fuel intake for the day ahead. For me, in winter, that means microwaved porridge or occasionally toast, and in summer muesli or granola with a blob of yoghurt. These are not unpleasant things, but taken in haste, at a desk or on the hoof, eating them will never be a pleasurable experience.

I wish it wasn't so, but that's part of what makes breakfast on rest days so wonderful. They are special, the exception not the norm. I'm not talking about dining out for breakfast here, that's an entirely (although almost as fantastic) different thing, I mean breakfast at home, prepared in your own kitchen, ideally with the radio on and a pot of tea brewing. The opportunity to take time, to give it some thought, to make something lovely at leisure and then eat it on the sofa, in the garden, or best of all, in bed.

What are your favourite weekend breakfasts? I was aiming to write a top ten of mine, but I was struggling to keep the numbers down so here are twenty.


1. Stewed butterbeans with tomatoes and chives. Served with fried eggs and pitta for scooping.


2. You won't get one of these in Maccy D's. Black pudding and egg muffin. Cook your egg in a biscuit cutter for that authentic 'processed fast food joint' look!



3. Fried chorizo with tomatoes on sourdough toast with fried eggs. Make sure you get lots of crispy edges on your chorizo, then fry the eggs in the red fat that's leached from the sausage.


4. I'm not averse to a sugary breakfast for a change to all the porkiness. How about pancakes stuffed with greek yoghurt, banana, honey and toasted walnuts?



5. Anything shakshuka style always goes down a treat. A big pan fry of tomatoes, eggs and whatever tickles your fancy. In this case beans, chilli and coriander.



6. Staffordshire oatcakes are excellent breakfast fodder. Nuttier, earthier pancakes filled with bacon (or spam), mushrooms and cheese. Just the job to set you up for a twelve hour shift firing pots... or a long walk... or a day in the pub.



7. Reckon you need to squeeze all the liquid and starch out of potatoes before making rosti? Not necessary, just grate the potato directly into a good glug of very hot oil in a frying pan, then press it into a cake with a metal spatula. It will splutter and hiss, but the heat will quickly drive off the excess moisture and you can fry away happily. Good with any savoury breakfast things, in this case egg and pudding.



8. Holiday breakfast, or hot British summer breakfast (ha ha). Croissants, fresh fruit, sunshine.



9. This one is here to represent anything with Nutella in it. I don't care if it's basically chocolate flavoured vegetable oil, it's utterly delicious. Eat on pancakes or croissants or crusty bread or soft bread or crumpets or muffins or toast or porridge or yoghurt or anything at all.



10. Bacon sandwich. Have I mentioned bacon sandwiches before? They are quite nice.



11. A middle eastern themed plate of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, yoghurt, pickled chillies and parsley. Needs flat bread for scooping. Fresh, lively and surprisingly good for a hangover.



12. The communal Daddy-fry. Lots of people and a massive pan and all the pork products = a very good idea.



13. Holidays or warm weather again. This time with added jam, yoghurt, juice and coffee. Bliss.



14. Early autumn fruits lend a different taste to the pancake and yoghurt combo. Fried apples and plums.



15. Bubble and squeak with the works. Leftover mash with pretty much any green vegetable (except lettuce, don't try it with lettuce) makes a good bubble. Always finish with a knob of butter for that burnished crust.



16. An acquired taste, but once you've acquired it you'll never lose it. Soft boiled eggs with anchovy toast. Mash a couple of anchovies into a large knob of butter then spread it on hot granary toast. Dip into your eggs. Heaven.



17. A dirty great sausage muffin with ketchup. I like to split the sausages just as they're served so the juices run into the muffin.



18. Plums often undergo a magical transformation when you cook them. Boring, mealy-fleshed eaters can be turned into tart, crimson-juiced wonders with a little heat and sugar. Serve simply with thick yoghurt.



19. The carbo-licious hangover cure. Sometimes bread alone is not enough. Which is when a cheesy scrambled egg, potato waffle, bacon, mushroom and tomato sandwich comes into play.



20. Plain old eggy bread with ketchup. Sometimes the simplest breakfasts are the best.



6 comments:

Teslas_codpiece said...

Where's the Eggs Benedict/Florentine man? Sounds like heresy to me.

Chef Chipmunk said...

BEST. POST. EVER.
I'm SO hungry now.

Jonny Steel said...

No. 1 breakfast = butterbeans?

That'll be one less Christmas card to write then...

Dave said...

Teslas_codpiece - fair point, probably missing 'cos I can't be arsed making Hollandaise so only ever eat those out.

Chef Chipmunk - thanks!

Jonny Steel - they weren't in order so butterbeans weren't necessarily the best. Plus your Christmas card has already arrived so there.

Jerry Fishbiscuits said...

Black pudding and egg muffin. Genius.

Dave said...

Thanks Jerry!

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