Tag Archives: Breakfast

Mediterranean baked breakfast eggs

15 Jan

This is a breakfast for when you really want breakfast. For when you really need a big old feed in the morning and may or may not intend to eat anything else for the rest of the day. I mean for when you wake up pained and startled by your own hunger, wondering whether perhaps somewhere in the depths of sleep, some strange person has entered your house wielding a contraption of their own invention, the sole purpose of which is to suck out the entire contents of your stomach and use the half-digested contents as some sort of magical fuel source.

It’s also the breakfast Man Woman has after Woman has had the fortitude to wake up on a Saturday morning and do a double class at the gym, and Man has exhibited a similar level of strength in remaining in bed while one’s partner is kitting up for (and boasting about) some serious cardio-vascular exercise.

Baked eggs for brekkie is a great idea. Often the Frenchie version involves double cream and a bain marie, but this is far easier and pretty much contains your daily recommended intake of veg in one hit.

Adjust the spices for your own taste, but the below mix is a pretty darn good one.

Mediterranean baked breakfast eggs

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 C spinach, chopped (about 1/3 bunch)
  • 1 tin tomatoes (chopped or whole)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • Parsley
  • Feta (optional)
  • Bread (optional)

In a fry pan, heat some oil. Then add onions and garlic, sautee until softened. Add spices, spinach and tomatoes and cook until the mix has stopped being watery, but the spinach is reduced down (probably about 5-10 minutes).

Either divide the mix into a couple of heat-proof dishes, or just leave as is. Crack two eggs into each heat-proof dish (or four into the fry pan). The eggs should cover most of the mix.

Put the pans/dishes under the grill for a few minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking. Throw a couple of pieces of pita bread under the grill too while you’re at it.

Top with crumbled feta and chopped parsley.

(I realise that by grilling this, it’s not technically ‘baked eggs’, but really it’s so satisfying that semantics lose their power)

Estimated cost: £4 (if you go for cheese and bread)

Musical accompaniment: Peaches


Cheat’s amazing breakfast (shhh! It’s toast)

25 Oct

This is less a recipe than a ‘serving suggestion’, in all earnestness. Man Woman feels guilty about posting it here because it is so simple. It is, actually, toast. Which is why we’ve had to call it ‘cheat’s amazing breakfast’, because it is pretty amazingly good, and yet it’s stupidly easy to the point of being obvious. But again, in the face of English brunch establishments collective aversion to moving beyond fry-ups and eggs Benedict (which have their place and can be done well and so on and so forth), this almost feels necessary. It’s a straight up copy of a great, fall-back breakfast Woman used to devour at Cafe Sofia in Erskineville, around the corner from Erko Villa, aka her old share house.  It seems a very Sydney breakfast: healthy, easy, care-free and just a little bit pretentious.

Cheat’s breakfast: Mushrooms, tomato and avocado on toast

  • Sourdough
  • 6 mushrooms per person
  • 1 TBSP soy per serve
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed) per serve
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 avocado

Slice mushrooms thinly and throw into small pan with heated olive oil, crushed garlic and a dash of soy sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and glossy.

Now this is embarassing. Cut tomato. Spread avocado on sourdough (or whatever bread you like, in all honesty), top with mushrooms then that tomato. Crack pepper, drizzle lemon and olive oil if you feel so inspired.

Estimated cost (per person): £2.10

Musical accompaniment: Dark, Dark, Dark

Parsley & sumac egg white omlette

18 Jul

This recipe was born out of the detrius of a crema catalana (to be published soon). When faced with half a dozen egg whites and not particularly keen on making anything sweet, one might easily fall into despair. But this little lunch or brekkie item is quite a good’un. I know the mention of an egg white omlette might initially seem like worthy diet food, but packed full of fresh herbs this is rather tasty and totally filling as a lunch.

Parsley and sumac egg white omlette

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 C finely chopped parsley
  • 2 TBSP sumac
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 3 TBSP finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 C milk

Whisk eggs until white, but not necessarily too foamy and definitely not stiff. Add parsley, herbs, spices, onion and milk.

Heat a small fry pan (about 20cm diameter) and coat in olive oil. Pour egg mix into the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the base appears to be cooked through.

Remove pan from stove top and put under grill, until cooked through. Let cool before removing from pan.

Estimated cost: Given that this was leftovers, I want to say zero. But in more true terms, £1.40

Musical accompaniment: Lyla Ices

Gozleme with spinach & parlsey or cheesy sumac egg stuffing

17 Mar

To Woman’s insatiable upset, the caff near Finsbury Park which used to make fresh gozleme in the mornings alongside gelatinous Full Englishes, abruptly stopped selling the far more amazing gozleme some two years ago.

I remember the day clearly: a house guest and dear old friend of Man’s from Sydney (I’m looking at you, Peter Carey) had a list of London things to do, among them was a full English. ‘I know just the place’, said I smugly, imagining tucking into a  gozleme, drizzled in lemon juice and accompanied with some briny black olives as Man and Friend waded through gluggy tinned baked beans and anemic fried tomato. Oh, the hubris. Oh fate, tempted.

The caff, in the face of zero demand (excepting Man Woman’s occasional popping in for the £1.50 delights) had capitulated to a far more Anglo cuisine. A sad day it was, dear readers. Sad and bitter, as Woman refused to order any alternate dish and sat, seething, drinking instant coffee and seeing her angry face infinitely reflected on the two walls of facing mirrors.

And so, we started to make our own. It’s easy.

Gozleme dough (makes 4)

  • 1/2 C white flour
  • 1/2 C wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C water

Mix all ingredients. Give it a good knead. Like a ten minute knead. Knead it good.

Then let it rest for an hour, ideally. Divide into four balls and then roll the dough out into a rectangular shape. Roll as thin as possible – 2mm would be great.

Spread your filling in the centre of the dough. Not very thick – just enough to cover a section of about half the dough evenly. Then pull the edges over (see  above and below) in an envelope-style fold.

Brush the gozleme in olive oil or melted butter and fry on a hot pan for about 4 minutes a side, or until cooked through with nice black dots on it.


    The folded gozleme, ready for fryin’

Spinach and parsley stuffing (makes 2)

  • 1/2 C cooked or thawed frozen spinach
  • 1/2 C chopped parsley
  • 1 spring onion (or less red onion)
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint

Mix together and do as above.

Sumac cheesy eggs stuffing (makes 2)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C grated cheese (we used cheddar, but a white cheese would be great)
  • 2 tsp chopped red onion
  • 2 TBSP chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Mix together. You’ll want your dough a little thicker for this one.

Estimated cost: £1.90

Musical accompaniment: Mulatu Astatke

Ricotta buckwheat pancakes with orange blossom rhubarb compote

6 Mar

ManWoman love pancakes. In fact Man’s first attempt to impress Woman was with pancakes, having made the mixture in Man’s Marrickville kitchen and cycled over to Woman’s Erskineville abode. Now in London, Man suggests pancakes with wild abandon, to Woman’s chagrin. You see, Man sees pancakes as not just a dessert or breakfast but a very reasonable response to the question “what should we have for dinner?”.

This take on the breakfast pancake, a hotcake, came about from the need to use the left-over ricotta in ManWoman’s fridge. Adding yogurt to the mixture (instead of milk) gives the hotcake a nice tangy flavour, perfect with Woman’s rhubarb and orange compote and a dash of dark agave nectar, as in the photo below.

Ricotta buckwheat hotcakes (makes 12 small pancakes)

  • 1C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2TBSP sugar
  • 1/8 tsp quick yeast
  • 1/2 C buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 C (soy) milk
  • 1tsp baking powder

Rhubarb & orange blossom compote

  • 4 sticks of rhubarb
  • 1 TBSP orange blossom water
  • 4 tsp brown sugar

Cut rhubarb into 5 cm chunks and place in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. After about 10 minutes, when the first pieces of rhubarb are softening, add the orange blossom water – maybe start with 2 teaspoons to see if you can handle all that blossom. After a few more minutes, when the rhubarb has stewed and is fibrously liquid, add sugar.

This is not a sweet compote at all – really, more like just straight up stewed fruit.

Estimated cost: £7

Musical accompaniment: The Bees

Banana brown rice porridge

17 Feb

This is a breakfast inspired by Finland – and the fact that Woman had half a cup of leftover cooked brown rice. And the weather. Inspiration, in fact, was abundant.

The Finns are porridge fiends, but they don’t limit themselves to oats, oh no. Rye, barley, wheat – it’s all on in Finland, my friends, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Normally in Finland you’d have your porridge with a soppa (a cordial-like berry juice), or sprinkled with brown sugar or potentially even melted butter.

This healthier version uses bananas instead of sweetening and brown rice, which gives the porridge a lovely chewiness. Porridge.  There, just thought I’d say the word again. Even the sound of it is filling.

Banana brown rice porridge (per person)

  • 1/2 C cooked short grain brown rice
  • 1 C (or a bit more) soy milk (use cow if you wish)
  • 1 banana

Put brown rice and soy milk (I used unsweetened) into small bowl and bring milk to boil. Lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until milk is absorbed.

Add half the banana, chopped, to the porridge mix, an extra splash of soy milk and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes, or until that milk is absorbed and bananas have become hot and mushy.

Serve topped with the rest of the banana, and a further splash of milk.

You could use other fruits in this, but banana is so  just a lump of sugary loveliness and lacks the acidity of a lot of other fruit, so just try it with banana. Just once.

Estimated cost: 70p

Musical accompaniment: Chet Baker

Pimped up porridge – the opposite of gruell

29 Nov

In life there are foods like white truffles and there are foods like porridge. The world has deemed it necessary to lust after one, and pour disdain on the other as worthy, old fashioned and bland. This dichotomy is one of the numerous things wrong with said world.

Porridge is, yes, exceptionally healthy way to start your productive day. It is also the ultimate in comfort food and objectively delicious. Objectively. Man Woman looks forward to the change of seasons when we can switch from homemade muesli to homemade pimped up porridge. And this is why:

Pimped up porridge (makes one serving):

  • 6 TBSP porridge grains (in this pic I’ve used rye porridge we scored in Finland, but normally oats do just dandy)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp golden linseeds
  • 1 tsp linseed
  • 1/2 TBSP sliced almonds
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 TBSP blueberries
  • Soy milk (or cow juice, if you insist)

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and leave, without the heat on, for a couple of minutes. Then bring hob up onto medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until porridge oats (or rye, whatever you fancy) are nice and soft.

Serve with fresh fruits, such as apple and blueberry – or my worktime favourite, banana – or dried fruits. I also drizzled a bit of maple syrup on this one just because I could.

Cost: Nigh on nothing

Musical accompaniment: Charlie Parker

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