Weekend Brunch: Italian Eggs

Happy Easter all!

What better way to celebrate than with eggs – of the savoury kind…

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I recently bought a book called ‘Breakfast: Morning, Noon and Night’ (could be my mantra) written by Fern Green, a food stylist & writer. I’m a sucker for attractive cook books, and this one would certainly help you to wake up in the morning with it’s sunny cover! The book is helpfully split up into sections such as ‘healthy’ ‘hungover’ and ‘on toast’, and many of the recipes would be absolutely fine for supper or lunch as well as brunch – as the title implies…

I now have so many brunch recipes to get through (including a pinterest board here) that I may start a little weekly brunch theme if I get the time, as there are so many to try.

Onto the recipe:

The first recipe I tried from the new book is called ‘Italian Eggs’ or ‘Prosciutto, Chilli, Eggs & Rocket’. It’s basically a twist on the traditional Mexican ‘Huevos Rancheros’ – put a load of stuff in a big frying pan, crack some eggs into it, and enjoy! This is under the Hungover section of the book, but it is equally as tasty when not hungover, as I can testify. If there was a ‘lazy’ section of the book it would definitely be in that, as it’s one-pan cooking (so less washing up after), and you can put the pan onto the kitchen table and let people grab their own. It’s therefore great if you have company too – just make extra.

Italian Eggs

(serves 2)

Ingredients

olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

2 slices prosciutto, roughly torn (we were greedy and had about 4 slices)

2 slices bread, torn or cut into cubes (we used wholemeal)

1 red chilli, chopped (we used dried flakes)

1 tomato, chopped (seeds removed)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

4 eggs

2 handfuls rocket

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt & pepper to taste

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Pour some olive oil into a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the red onion to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes, or until soft. Tip in the bread, prosciutto and chilli. Drizzle some more olive oil over the bread to help it crisp up into croutons. Fry for another 3 minutes, until the bread is crispy.

Add the tomato, vinegar (or lemon juice), and salt. Stir again and cook for another 30 seconds.

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Make 4 gaps in the mixture. Crack your eggs into a small cup, then slide the eggs into the gaps. Put the lid on your pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on how well you like your eggs cooked.

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Top with the parsley and rocket, and season with salt & pepper. Add another drizzle of olive oil if you wish.

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Enjoy!

P.s I had big plans to make my own hot cross buns this year, but I’m afraid they fell by the wayside (because they take blinking ages and I’m too knackered) – I did however buy extra hot cross buns so I can make Hot Cross Bun Puddings with Salted Brandy Caramel Sauce – because that sounds epic.

I hope everyone has a relaxing and Happy Easter 🙂

Feasts in East London Part 2: Brunch

I love Brunch. Maybe because week-day breakfasts are quick, small and not particularly exciting, maybe because it’s a meal that doesn’t really need to exist (like afternoon tea – another good in-between meal), but either way – if I’ve got a weekend off, I will mainly be thinking about what brunch I will be eating and/or making…

Yesterday was my day off (and the sun was shining hooray!), so i had Scrambled eggs on Tiger Bread, with a bit of grated parmesan and black truffle for extra luxuriousness. Yum!

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A brunch without eggs doesn’t really feel like brunch to me. I’ll have them cooked any way, i’m an easy egg eater.

When we were in London we managed to fit in a couple of excellent brunches (both involving eggs of course), the first being at the appropriately named The Breakfast Club in Hoxton. I’d read about this chain of cafe’s, and our airbnb host had recommended it also, so this was our plan of action on day 1.

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Picture taken in the queue outside – yep it was pretty popular! We queued for about 15 minutes, debating slightly whether it would be worth the wait… When we got in, we realised it was 🙂

Apart from loving the decor (I would’ve taken photo’s but wanted to try and retain a level of ‘cool’ instead of being in total ‘tourist mode’!), the breakfast/brunch menu was massive – have a look at it here.

We ordered fresh orange juice and flat white’s to give us time to weigh-up all the various food options, and I was impressed that glasses of water were also brought along without having to ask.

I finally settled on the Chorizo Hashbrowns (Chorizo, Mushrooms, Peppers, Feta, Home-style Fried Potatoes and 2 Fried Eggs for £10.70 – £9.20 without the feta)20140531_111540

Wow. It was huge! I assumed it would be little bits of chorizo here and there, a couple of cubes of feta etc but it was a bit more rustic than that – two chorizo sausages, massive chunks of feta, loads of potatoes, peppers and mushrooms, and two big ol’ eggs – i’m ashamed to say i couldn’t finish it. It definitely set me up for the day though…

The OH had Huevos Al Benny (Poached Eggs, Chorizo, Roast Peppers, Avocado, Fresh Chillies, Spicy Hollandaise on Toasted English Muffin and Home-style fried potatoes £13 – £10.50 without the potatoes) which also looked huge and delicious, but he’d already started wolfing it down before i had a chance to get a picture of it.

The Breakfast Club

2-4 Rufus Street

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Day two of London Brunching was a bit less planned, we had vague ideas of finding a cafe called The Towpath Café which I’d read about in my London bible Eat Sleep Shop London, so set off down Regent’s Canal (which was lovely – quite peaceful and not really like London). After about 10 minutes wandering we got side-tracked by a little café up some steps, with a view of the canal. Arepa and Co is a Venezuelan Café/Bar with an interesting menu. They serve cocktails in the evening and breakfast in the morning,. Having never tried Venezuelan food before we thought we’d give it a go!

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I had Desayuno Criollo which was Perico(Venezuelan-style scrambled eggs), shredded beef, black beans, cheese & plantains served with an Arepa (cornbread). I also had a mango juice and flat white. The OH had Desayuno Reina – Perico, chicken, guacamole, black beans, cheese & plantains with  an Arepa. I can’t remember the prices of them unfortunately but I don’t remember being appalled when the bill came! It was very different to a normal brunch for me, but definitely kept us going till late afternoon. I especially liked the plantains and beef – very tasty, and you can’t beat fresh mango juice. I’ve read since that we should have used the Arepa as a pocket to stuff everything in which makes more sense as the corn bread was a bit bland on its own.

We’ll know for next time 😉

Arepa and Co

58A De Beauvoir Crescent

Haggerston

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Back in Bath – I’ve realised we tend to make our own brunch rather than drag ourselves out of the house, but the couple of times we have managed it Jika Jika have delivered the goods! Interesting menu, good coffees… we’ll have to go back soon. I’m also reliably informed that Wild Café does a good brunch, but have yet to try it.

Any other brunch suggestions around Bath or Bristol would be appreciated!