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Archive for the ‘breakfast/brunch’ Category

gariguette strawberries

As part of breakfast in La Souqueto we always offer yoghurt with fresh seasonal fruit (right now we’ve been adding the strongly perfumed, early cropping, slightly elongated Gariguette strawberries).  And sometimes, we add homemade compote (of cherries or apricots or peaches).

No need to add anything to these sun-ripened fruits but I do always sprinkle a little homemade granola on top for texture.

Today’s guests asked for the recipe, so here it is.

The quantity may seem a lot but remember that you can store granola for upto 1 month in an airtight container…

  • Souqueto breakfast yoghurts

    2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 20g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 100g pecans
  • 50g hazelnuts

Heat the oven to 180’C.

In a large bowl combine the oil, maple syrup and honey, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well.  Pour the mixture onto two baking trays and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes but keep a watchful eye and stir from time to time, as it can burn around the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

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Nuf said…

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One of the many variations of bread and butter pudding…

Whenever we have croissants or petit pains au chocolat leftover in our guesthouse, we turn them into a yummy bread and butter pudding for the following day’s breakfast.  No need to restrict it to croissants of course – you can also use leftover sliced bread (with baguette slices you’ll need to use a little more liquid and let it ‘soak’ a bit longer to soften the crusts) or even pannetone and (not too rich) cake or barmbrack…

The recipe is extremely flexible, leaving you completely in charge of the flavourings and additions.  All you do need to do is keep (more or less) to the proportions for the milk, cream, eggs and sugar mixture.  You can even make a savoury bread and butter pudding by adding bits of bacon, sliced mushrooms, peppers, onions, grated cheese and/or chopped herbs, or even prawns…  To ring the changes for breakfast try adding fresh (or poached) fruit or dried fruit (like raisins or prunes or apricots). Or sprinkle with grated chocolate, lemon zest, chopped nuts or dried spices (such as cinnamon or cardamom).

The world literally is your oyster…!

This morning’s little experiment pleased my guests Alexi Fernandez and his French girlfriend, and Steve and Lynda Baumgartner from Missouri  so much they asked for the recipe – so here it is.  (Incidentally Steve and Lynda gave me some of their award-winning home-cured Boone County Ham which I shall taste tonight and will write up in a separate entry…)

To serve 4 you need:

  • 4 croissants, sliced in 1cm rounds
  • some soft butter for greasing and for lightly buttering the slices
  • large handful of strawberries, chopped
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 200 ml creme fraiche
  • 4oo ml milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of orange flower water

Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the sliced croissants. Lightly butter the slices and arrange in the dish, alternating with a sprinkling of strawberries. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and sugar until almost frothy, stir in the orange flower water, then pour over the croissants making sure that all the slices get a good soaking. Leave to stand for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180’C then bake the dish for 30-40 minutes until the custard is softly set and swollen.

Bread and butter pudding made with Petits Pains au Chocolat

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Smoothies…

strawberry smoothie

We often make smoothies instead of just serving orange juice on its own… I tend not to add yoghurt as we offer that separately with a compote of fresh fruit.

My smoothie base is orange juice and a banana (to thicken it a little) and then I add whatever seasonal fruit we have on hand… perhaps strawberries (as here) or raspberries… Or when peaches and apricots are in season, I use them.  Kiwis also make a delicious vitamin-loaded wake-up drink and don’t forget fragrant melons…  A smoothie is an experiment that hardly ever goes wrong…

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another version of a seasonal yoghurt sundae…

Whatever the season, we always manage to muster up a delicious yoghurt for breakfast…

This one is layered with apple compote and fresh black cherries… topped of course with our popular granola…

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Cheesy croissants

We often have croissants left over from the previous day’s breakfast and I use them the next day to make a sort of savoury bread’n butter pudding…

This basic recipe is divine but you can add whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard – a small finely chopped onion, some sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped rashers, sliced mushrooms, fresh herbs, a handful of rocket or baby spinach – the world is your oyster! (Serves 2)

  • 2-3 large, buttery croissants
  • 75g grated cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150ml cream
  • 250ml milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Grease a small baking dish with butter and preheat the oven to 200’C.

Slice the croissants in rings and arrange, slightly overlapping, in the dish.  Whisk the eggs with the milk and cream, season, then stir in half the grated cheese.  Pour over the croissants and allow to soak for a few minutes. Scatter the rest of the cheese on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pudding is puffed up, deeply browned and smells intensely cheese-scented. Yum!   Serve hot….

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No need to confess to an irrepressible desire to party all Saturday night, or to the amount of alcohol consumed… Nor to your excessively poor relaxation skills… We all are in need sometimes of a perhaps not-too-communicative, lazy, soothing Sunday brunch – one that calms and comforts our stressed nerves and drained

a fry-up for breakfast

souls…

Some say a gooey cheese omelette is the perfect answer. Or a warm pastry containing rich melting chocolate (and a massive dollop of cream).  Others think only a full-blown Irish fry can do the job.  And they’re all right.  But just in case you feel like trying something new, here are a few basic ideas which you can change according to your needs or the seasons…  No rules whatsoever!

potato latkes

In the case of the cheesy bread-and-butter pudding recipe, light and fluffy, a bit like a soufflé but oozing with comfort – if you prefer a sweet variety, try the same recipe but substitute the cheese, salt and pepper, with slices of banana, a little sugar and a drop of lemonjuice… In the case of the potato latkes, try adding half a tin of sweetcorn kernels, or grated courgettes to ring the changes….

Don’t be afraid to use your imagination – use whatever you fancy and have in cupboard or fridge – creative combinations have led to classics!

I think lazy brunches are what Sundays are supposed to be for…

cheesy croissants

Cheesy croissant bread and butter pudding

This basic recipe is divine but you can add whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard – a small finely chopped onion, some sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped rashers, mushrooms, fresh herbs, a handful of rocket or baby spinach – the world is your oyster! (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

2-3 large croissants

75g grated cheese

3 large eggs

150ml cream

150ml milk

salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: Grease a small baking dish with butter and preheat the oven to 200’C. Slice the croissants in rings and arrange, slightly overlapping, in the dish.  Whisk the eggs with the milk and cream, season, then stir in half the grated cheese.  Pour over the croissants and allow to soak for a few minutes. Scatter the rest of the cheese on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pudding is puffed up, deeply browned and smells intensely cheese-scented. Yum!  Serve hot.

gooey camembert

Gooey camembert dip

A delicious fondue-like, gooey dip to be savoured with fresh, crusty bread.  I’ve used  fresh thyme and fragrant pink peppercorns, but again, you can use your imagination and add whatever you have in the house – rosemary or oregano instead of thyme, some finely chopped chilli (or chilli flakes)… You can drizzle with some olive oil or better still a little sweet alcohol – Kirsch is delicious (or another eau de vie) or if you have some leftover sweet dessert wine, but you can also use a little sherry.

Ingredients:

1 small camembert in a wooden box

fresh thyme

salt crystals and freshly ground pepper

pink peppercorns

a little olive oil, sweet white wine or kirsch

Method: Preheat the oven to 210’C. Remove the paper from the cheese, thinly cut off the top and put the cheese (rind down) back into its little wooden box. Sprinkle with a touch of fresh thyme, some salt crystals and a grind of black pepper. Drizzle with a little alcohol or olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes in a very hot oven and start dipping!

potato latkes

Potato latkes

Again, you can experiment with this dish to your heart’s content: before cooking, stir in sliced spring onions or half a tin of sweetcorn kernels or herbs or a sprinkling of chilli flakes… top with soured cream and smoked salmon, or with caramelized shallots, or salty blue cheese, or serve with creamed horseradish… You can even use grated courgettes instead of potatoes… No end to the variations.  To make 10 small latkes you need:

Ingredients:

4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and grated

2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter for pan-frying

Squeeze out all the excess liquid from the grated potato-onion mixture (easiest is to pour them into a clean tea towel and pat dry) and place in a large bowl.  Toss in the spring onions, flour, salt, pepper (and anything else you like). Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and butter together.  When hot, spoon some of the potato mixture into the pan and press down lightly with the back of the spoon.   Shallow fry until crisp and golden brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes.  Then flip over and cook the other side in the same way. (Cook about 3-4 latkes at a time and keep warm whilst you fry the others).
Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with sour cream.

yoghurt sundae

Yoghurt Sundaes

No recipe needed: just put layers of yoghurt, fresh fruit, fruit compote and granola in a pretty glass. A healthy, refreshing but equally comforting, lazy breakfast for Sunday mornings.

TIPS of the month:

Standby’s to keep in your freezer:

–       a bag of frozen berries – just a handful of these jewels makes an instant dessert with yoghurt, icecream cream or a brownie, or make a fabulous smoothie with that blackened banana in your fruit bowl (that you wouldn’t eat otherwise), some orange juice and a little yoghurt or water….

–       a bag of frozen peas – which can be stirred into soups, pasta dishes, risottos, scrambled eggs and stir-fries when you don’t have much else…

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