I cannot believe that I've not done this before. I will let you into a little secret. The only reason my beloved missus has stuck by me for the last 38 years, through hell and hig water, is because at the weekend, I cook her a mean breakfast. This morning, she got an omlette, with shitake mushrooms, fresh green beans from the garden, onions and the finest mature cheddar. For this, she forgives me a multitude of sins. I love a good breakfast, during the week, I have porridge (no dairy) made with water and fresh fruit, which is great, but at the weekend we push the boat out. It got me thinking, what are my favourite breakfasts at home.
1. The full English. Clare doesn't eat meat, so she gets halloumi and whatever else we can find, but I love to get the finest cumberland sausages, best smoked back bacon, black pudding from Boucherie Gerard, add to that mushrooms, fried tomatoes, fried bread (it has to be fried in the juices from the meat), fried eggs and baked beans. I have found that the best beans these days are the cheap M&S own brands. What is deffo off the menu are hash browns. They are not English and have no place on the plate. These days its a once a month treat. Below is what Clare gets! It really isn't too bad, is it?
2. Jumbo Fish Fingers on sourdough. As Clare eats fish, this is one we can properly share. I love fish fingers. I microwave them for a couple of minutes before frying and then crisp the outside. This way you don't have the horrible experience of a cold middle.
3. A bacon and tomato sandwich. I alway toast the bread. A little bit of brown sauce on top works a treat. I fry the bacon and tomatoes together. Sadly, it is a rare treat.
4. Proper kippers on toast. As there is no fishmonger in Mill Hill Broadway (altough there is a fine one in Mill Hill East), I rarely have these. Worse still, Clare cannot stand the pong, so it is even less popular than the full English with her. Proper kippers, that you used to see hanging up in the fish mongers are the breakfast of kings, but are very rare these days. I only have them when Clare goes on a girls holiday.
5. A smoked Salmon bagel. This is a very acceptable breakfast. Even better, Clare is very partial to it. We add sliced tomatoes, gherkins, avocado and capers. Delicious. We first got the idea when we went to see my sister in Florida and got one from Einsteins bagels in Fort Lauderdale. Delicious.
6. Welsh Rarebit. There is a real art to this. You have to toast the toast first. I then spread Heinz Ketchup on the bread and a huge covering of finest extra mature cheddar, which is then grilled until it starts bubbling and turning brown. Delicious, but as I don't do dairy, it is something I almost never have.
7, An Envelope. Actually I mean an omlette, but my daughter, when she was a toddle would call omlettes envelopes, so that is what we have. My Dad used to make the best omlettes. I owe any cooking prowess to him. He always said "If you can cook properly, you will always live like a king". He also taught me to buy the best ingredients for the best flavour. When he made omlettes, he'd mix eggs, milk cornflour, salt and pepper, with a small splash of water and tea. He'd mix this up. He'd fry the fillings seperately. I've followed this (omitting the milk for me). I cook on a high heat with a lid and sprinkle best cheddar on. I love fried mushrooms, fried green beans and onions. These are applied once its plated. Some nice black pepper sets it off just fine.
8. Beans on toast, topped with cheese. The procedure is pretty similar to the Welsh Rarebit, except, with a layer of beans in the middle. I microwave them before applying to the toast and then top with cheddar. As Heinz have changed the recipe, I give them a wide berth though.
9. Poached eggs on soudough toast. If I want a light breakfast, this does the trick. I love poached eggs, with a bit of grainy sea salt and pepper on top, runny in the middle. They are the king of eggs. In a perfect world on white toast, buttered with Lurpack butter.
10. A double espresso and a fresh croissant. Back in the day, when David Anstee's bakery was at the end of my road, my perfect breakfast was a double espresso and a fresh out of the over croissant. Sadly, you can no longer get such a thing in Mill Hill, but I still hope and pray that one day, we'll get another master baker in the Broadway.
Now, it is a rare treat on the road