Small things are great. My love of breakfast has found yet another friend in ramekins – small glass cups that you can make a miniature of just about anything in – ice cream, pies – and lovely eggs. These baked eggs are perfect for brunch, adapted from Jamie Oliver’s baked eggs with haddock. I like a bit of spice in my breakfast so went for smoked salmon with freshly grated horseradish instead. Together with silky creamed spinach and crunchy spring onion, it’s really quite delicious.
For two baked eggs, you need:
- 2 small oven-proof dishes (or try bake two eggs in a medium dish, it should work as well)
- 2 slices of smoked salmon
- a handful of shopped spring onion
- two handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1/2 dl grated horseradish
- Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
Start by setting the oven to 180 degrees. In a pan, wilt the spinach, then squeeze it dry in a colender, and chop it roughly. Grate the horseradish and chop the spring onion. Mix the spinach, spring onion and horseradish with some cream, and add nutmeg to it (freshly grated is nicest). Dish these out in two buttered ramekins, and place a slice of smoked salmon on top. Finish it by carefully cracking an egg on each, and adding cream around the edge of the egg whites so that the salmon is fully coated. Add some salt and pepper on top, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the whites of the eggs have just set. Serve with toast, orange juice and coffee for a simple but delicious brunch.
In a few weeks, my MESC brother and bästis in Brussels is leaving Europe for Dubai, to start a life hopefully not too void of cheese. This post is dedicated to him and one of his Spanish dishes: a perfect tortilla. Before trying this potato tortilla I never liked Spanish omelette (as we call it in Sweden), but this is so perfectly creamy and simple that you can’t help but help yourself, several times. In this hot weather, it’s also perfect picnic material, not to mention a good destination for various things you find in the fridge. Key for a successful tortilla is a good pan, so that you can flip it easily and it cooks without sticking too much. You can put anything in it, but my favourite is either simply potato or potato and chorizo. The recipe below is for potato and chorizo.
- 6 eggs
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into slices
- 1/4 chorizo ring, chopped very coarsely
- Olive oil (Jamie Oliver-amounts)
- 2 medium onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by chopping the onions, and frying them in large amounts of olive oil. Stir often so that you can maintain a high heat. When the onions are frying, chop the chorizo, and add it to the pan once the onion has browned properly. Add some more oil, and fry for a few more minutes. Remove the onion and chorizo from the pan and put to a side. Start frying the potatoes, again in large amounts of olive oil. The potatoes should be cooked when you starting putting together the tortilla, so this part can take up to 25 minutes (alternatively, have two pans going to save time – there’s no reason why the onions and chorizo cool down on the side other than that our messy nine-person house has three broken hoovers but only one decent frying-pan). The potatoes are done when they break easily under the pressure of a wooden spoon or something else blunt.
Whisk together the eggs with some salt and pepper, and add the chorizo and onions, as well as the fried potatoes. Pour this into the pan, again preluded by a splash of olive oil, and cook on a medium heat. Both the heat from the pan and the potatoes will make the eggs cook, so this part is pretty quick. Stir the mixture after about one minute, so that the cooked bits from the bottom are dispersed around the tortilla.
After a few minutes, once the bottom and the sides start setting, it’s time to turn the tortilla. This can be a bit tricky. Take a large plate, put on top of the frying pan, and hold it very firmly against the pan as you turn it upside down so that the chorizo lands on the plate. Slide it from the plate back into the pan onto the uncooked side, and cook it for another few minutes. Here’s it’s crucial to be careful that it’s not cooking for too long – you want it to be creamy inside, and not too brown on the outside. The flipping process should look something like this (although smiling like an idiot is not obligatory):
The tortilla is ready to eat straight away, but it doesn’t suffer from cooling down a bit. If you are taking it to the park it’s important to let it cool before you pack it up, as it can get a bit soggy otherwise. It’s delicious with a good tomato and basil salad.
Since our last post on healthy breakfast ideas was so popular (especially in Sweden for some reason) I decided to write a second post. Breakfast is definitely one of my most important meals: usually I have to either stock up for several hours in a library where it is forbidden to eat, or prepare for a five hour shift with no eating breaks. This means my breakfasts have to be good (how else am I gonna motivate myself to do either of those two things…) and filling… and they also have to comply with beach prep strategy (although I can be flexible on that… a lot of hollandaise would definitely make me forget this strategy). Here are some suggestions, all egg based:
Egg crepes with asparagus
This ‘recipe’ came from the idea of thin egg omelettes used in some Vietnamese recipes. I decided to adapt it and use it as breakfast pancakes or crepes. All you need is: eggs, a splash of milk, a handful of finely chopped parsley, some butter or olive oil to fry and cooked asparagus or your choice of cooked vegetables or meats. Start by whisking the eggs, the milk, and the parsley together. Heat up a frying pan with some olive oil or butter. When the pan is quite hot ladle a small amount of the mixture while rotating the pan (as if you were making crepes) to evenly and thinly spread out the mixture. Cook for a few seconds, add your vegetables and fold over. Serve two or three for a filling breakfast.
Crustless quiche with tuna and watercress
Unfortunately I have no photo for this dish but it’s really easy to make. For a big round oven dish (enough for 4 people) mix 6 eggs, a big splash of milk or creme fraiche, a tin of tuna in olive oil (drained), some watercress (or rocket), salt and pepper. Put in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and voila – easy, effortless and healthy breakfast.
This is definitely one of my favourites! It’s a pretty flexible ‘recipe’, all you need really are tortillas (corn tortillas are the best), eggs and tomato salsa. I usually add whatever I have in the fridge: sharp cheddar, home-made refried beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, etc… This is a really filling breakfast and a good way to use up your Mexican leftovers.
Despite the chorizo this dish remains healthy by using it sparingly, simply to flavour the tortilla. You will need:
- 1/4 of a Spanish or Portuguese chorizo, chopped in small cubes.
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 large potato, preferably maris piper.
- Half an onion, sliced finely.
- Two handfuls of parsley, chopped.
- Salt and Pepper.
This dish takes longer than the other ones and so might be better done in advance – as it can be eaten both hot or cold. Start by peeling and slicing your potato. Drop it in salted boiling water and cook for five minutes. While the potato is cooking fry chorizo in a little bit of olive oil to render the fat. After a few minutes add the onions and cook until soft. Reserve the onion and chorizo and keep the pan hot. Now mix the eggs together and incorporate the rest of the ingredients. In the same pan where you fried the onion and chorizo (on a medium-high heat) drop the mixture and cook, slowly, until the top of the tortilla is almost cooked. At this point you will need to get ready for some flipping skills: put a large plate on top of the frying pan, turn it around (dropping the tortilla in the plate) and return the tortilla to the pan to finish cooking the other side (2 minutes). Serve straight away or keep in the fridge to eat cold.
Soft-boiled eggs with asparagus soldiers
This is obviously very simple. All you need to do is to soft-boil your eggs (this hilarious website can help) and to cook the asparagus. I like to cook them in butter for 5 minutes until they are slightly burnt to get a nutty flavour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Obviously these are also great cures for Euro 2012-induced hangovers.
As most Portuguese girls when it reaches March/April I go into beach-prep mode. I know it all sounds very superficial and silly but if you’ve lived in a country where the sun shines 80% of the time and people start going to the beach as early as March you know there is some preparation ahead of that…haha. Whether you’re on beach-mode like me or are just looking for some alternatives to butter on toast (my most favourite breakfast) here are some slightly healthier breakfast ideas (no none of them include eating just carrots or juicing…):
Easiest breakfast ever! All you need to do is fry and egg or two (you could poach it to be even healthier but I love the combination of the salty fried egg and tomato), slice one big tomato and season with lots of salt and pepper. I sometimes add a piece of toast to this.
This breakfast asks for a bit more prep but is fairly easy too. You will need around 60 grams of smoked salmon (or two slices of ham), a whole avocado sliced, a poached egg and, again, lots of salt and pepper. If you’re a bit weird like me you can add a bit of tabasco or chilli sauce to the avocado…yum! This also works with a whole mango, sliced.
Home-made granola with Greek yoghurt. (Sorry no picture!)
While this might seem like a lot of effort you can make the granola ahead of time and it lasts for a really long time. For the homemade granola you will need:
- 500 grams of rolled oats (you can buy big bags at big supermarkets).
- A handful of dried nuts
- 50 grams of butter (this might not seem very healthy but is much healthier than ready-made versions)
- 3/4 tablespoons of honey
- Some cinnamon (optional)
All you have to do is melt the butter and then mix it with everything. The mixture then goes in the oven at 180 degrees until it looks golden. Then all you have to do is wait for it to cool down and put it in a container. Serve it with Greek yoghurt, some honey and whatever fruit you have lying around.
Make sure you have some fatty meals the rest of the day to balance out all the healthiness…
This recipe came out of necessity..I had just bought loads of beetroot and
being a poor student felt bad about discarding the leaves…So I went online and found out you can just use them as you would use spinach. I had some salad potatoes that were starting to sprout and one egg left in my fridge so I decided to experiment with these three ingredients. It turned out amazing!
You will need (for one person):
- 5-6 small salad potatoes
- 2 handfuls of beet leaves
- 1 egg
- 1 shallot or half a red onion (finely chopped).
- 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped).
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Coriander or Parsley
1. Start by cooking the potatoes with the chopped garlic. I cooked mine in a cast iron pan but you can roast them in the oven too, whatever is easiest.
2. When the potatoes are almost cooked heat a frying pan with some olive oil and fry the shallots.
3. When they start browning add the beets’ leaves and cook until they become soft (add a little bit of water if needed).
4. Take the potatoes and the beets’ leaves from the heat and put them in a salad bowl with some olive oil, some salt and pepper and some fresh herbs (I used coriander, but parsley would work great too). You can also add some balsamic vinegar or some lemon juice if you like.
5. Poach the egg. The easiest way to do this is to boil some water, add a tablespoon of vinegar to it (helps the whites stay together) and slide it from a bowl into simmering water. Take it out after three minutes, taking care not to break the yolk.
6. Serve the salad into a bowl or plate, add the egg on top. Break the egg and enjoy!
Soft-boiled eggs with marmite soldiers is one of the top 5 things Britain has given the world (yes, I’m deadly serious), and I eat it every single morning. It is simply amazing. The saltyness of the marmite spread thinly on the toast and then dipped into a hot, gooey egg is a perfectly simple yet moorish flavour for a sleepy morning palette. It is also a filling and reasonably healthy breakfast which keeps you full for a long time.
People often say they don’t eat breakfast which is understandable with the stressful mornings many have. Gulping down a few eggs and a smoothie is often more than a rudely awoken weekday-stomach can hold. However, on a Sunday you can afford to lie in bed for ages, catch-up on telly and reading and then make a glorious breakfast! Like soft boiled eggs with marmite soldiers!
- 2 soft-boiled eggs
- 2 slices of white toast
- Kalles Kaviar (optional – I make things a bit crazy by adding Swedish smoked fish roe (Kalles Kaviar) at the beginning and end together with the harder bits of boiled egg, but this is a habit only my countrymen seem to understand. And they are freaked out by marmite.)
Soft boil the eggs by dropping them into boiling water and cook for for 5 minutes (if they are medium size and have been sitting outside the fridge – if they’ve been in the fridge give them 7 minutes, if they are small slightly less). In the meantime, make your toast, butter them and spread marmite very thinly all over (this is a bit of an art, as too much tastes horrible). Make your soldiers by cutting each slice toast into thin strips (I find this is easiest to do by turning the marmite-sides towards each other and then slicing it all together). Take the eggs off the heat, run under cold water for a little bit and then put in eggs cups (or shot glasses if you lack the former). Crack open your eggs, dip the soldiers and indulge!
What is your favourite breakfast? If you tips us off about something that sounds delicious we might well end up doing it, so we are more than grateful for suggestions.