Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

The day-to-day plums that most of us get from the super markets these days tend to be a bit hard and uninspiring eaten straight from the bowl.


My plums on toast

My plums on toast


I’ve devised a great way to sweeten them up without cooking out all the goodness and making it into a delicious light(ish) breakfast.

Simply halve you plums, de-stone, pan fry in a little butter and add fruit based booze and sugar to taste towards the end to make a reduced syrup sauce.

Toast both sides of a good bit of bread (sourdough or something thereof) and then spread with a mixture of equal parts butter and sugar with a good pinch of cinnamon and ginger. Place the plums nicely on the toast, dust with icing sugar and serve.


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Due to my extended period of downtime given that, unbelievably, we are still having to pump out the basement on a daily basis, I took the opportunity to try a local establishment for lunch with me old mate Al.

The last time we did this was about 6 months ago when we ended up having a legendary meal of roast quail and sauerkraut at the Anchor and Hope in Waterloo.

Like that time (snails and ox heart) Al chose to stick with an offal’esque selection at The Duke with cuttle fish and white bean on toast followed by Ox tail and braised pearl barley – and very nice it was too.  The Duke are slavish to their organic paradigm – the only pub in the UK (the world?) to have certification from the Soil Society  – so their dishes are seasonal, sustainable and, for once all the better for it.

Our approach at Full English is not to be a flag waving, organic pioneer, rather an establishment that obsesses over the flavour and welfare of the animals we butcher and serve. There’s no doubt in my mind that a happy pig is a tasty pig – an given that I happen to quite like pigs anyway, I don’t want to be responsible for making that pig spend its days inside on a hard concrete floor.

I’m pretty sure that the porker in my bacon and egg sandwich was a happy one – I certainly was when I’d washed it down with a couple of pints of Eco Warrior!

My bacon & egg sandwich with sautéd pots

My bacon & egg sandwich with sautéd pots

Al's oxtail and braised pearl barley

Al's oxtail and braised pearl barley

Felix had the milk special!

Felix had the milk special!

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Wiping the plate clean

Wiping the plate clean


Five-a-day?  Me neither…

Not at the moment anyway.  Bread for breakfast, bread for lunch (sandwich styleé), then something bordering on vegetables for tea if I’m lucky.

However, given my obsession with soda farls I’ve become equally addicted to the berry compote.

They are so easy to make and have a fraction of the sugar of a jam but taste just as great.  Plus, they aren’t boiled to buggery so they don’t loose loads of their nutrient content.

Strangely, given our leaning towards all things English, my fav. is the blueberry compote – kinda American in it’s outlook.  No matter, the blueberry creates a wonderful light syrup and combined with real vanilla is a real treat.


Blueberry Compote with Soda Farls

Make sure you add a little sugar to the farl recipe here


For the compote:

1 punet of blueberries (serves 2 generously)

2 tea spoons of sugar

1 vanilla pod


Wash the blueberries and add to a small pan.  Add enough water so that the berries are barely coated (think steaming spinach – about that amount) – DON’T ADD TOO MUCH – you can always add but its a lot of faff to take out the berries and reduce the syrup later.

Sprinkle over the sugar, split the vanilla pod to scrape out the seeds – add those and chuck in the pod itself for good measure – stir lightly to combine.  

Get the mixture up to boiling and simmer gently for about 5 mins.  The blueberries should be starting to break up but not completely turned to mush.

CAREFULLY taste the syrup – don’t forget it has sugar in there and will be volcanic – if its too loose take out the berries and boil hard to the right consistency  – it should be like loose jam but not too runny. 

Take out the vanilla pod and allow to cool.

Best served slightly warm with the farl and lashings of salted butter.


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Also known as “Cinnamon toast with buttered fired Cox’s orange pippins” – this is one of those dishes I had planned and put on the menu before I had even tried it – it just sounded right.

The key is in getting the butter/cinnamon/sugar ratio right (although, you can’t really have too much butter!) – I cream 30g butter with 1tbsp or sugar and just under 1tbsp of cinnamon. Creaming really helps to start the sugar dissolve meaning that at the grilling stage it stands a chance of melting into the syrupy mix before the toast burns.

This is a sweet dish – its meant to be – but adding a splash of lemon juice to the apples helps cut through some of that.  You could probably flambé them with brandy too if the mood took you – á la Keith Floyd  – did he make it by the way, or did he end up flambéed?  [→Hmm Google doesn’t seem to know…]


Cinnamon toast with buttered fired Cox\'s orange pippins


Cinnamon toast with buttered fired Cox’s orange pippins

2 thick slices of good white bread 

40g good butter

1 Cox’s orange pippin apple

1 1/2 tbsp unrefined brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon (see above)

Squeeze of lemon


Heat the grill to medium high, toast bread well in toaster (or on both sides if under grill). Cream together 1 tbsp of the sugar, 30g of the butter and the cinnamon in a bowl with a handheld whisk. Cut apple into 8 equal sized slices (a corer is almost a necessity), heat 10g of butter in a heavy frying pan and add the apple.  Fry on medium/low until they take on some colour and then add 1/2 tbsp of  sugar and squeeze of lemon.  Keep frying until the sugar has melt and the apples feel cooked when poked with sharp knive (don’t over cook to a sludge though!).

Whilst the apples are cooking, spread creamed butter mixture over the slices of toast and place under grill – watch it doesn’t burn – and grill until the sugar has pretty much melted into the toast along with the butter and cinnamon.  Plate up the toast, place apples on in a pleasing fashion and pour over the pan juices.  You can dust with a little icing sugar if you choose.




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