Tuesday 6 December 2016

Luscious breakfasts to treat your dad on Father's Day

Published 17/06/2016 | 02:30

Betty Grable Eggs
Betty Grable Eggs
Buttermilk Pancakes with salmon & horseradish cream
Paris-style Eggs Benedict
Breakfast for Dinner by Carol Hilker.

This Father's Day treat your dad to some special pampering, starting with a killer breakfast.

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Betty Grable Eggs

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The "egg in the hole" is a whimsical play on eggs with toast that has made its mark throughout pop culture. Made popular by Betty Grable in the 1941 film, Moon Over Miami, it's been used countless times in movies, TV shows and mostly (at least in my case) by dads and grandparents. Use a cookie cutter or hand carve a shape in the middle of a piece of bread and fry the egg and the bread together. It's simple. The result is a slightly runny egg with a toasted piece of bread perfectly capable of soaking up the yolk. Serve alongside a rocket salad topped with bacon for a perfect balance. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

150g streaky bacon

80g baby rocket leaves, rinsed and dried

About 16 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, very thinly sliced

2 tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp rice vinegar

4 slices sourdough bread

4 eggs

4-5 cm/1 ½-2 inch round cookie cutter (or other shape, such as heart)

Method

First, make the salad. Fry the bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to cool. Reserve the grease in the pan. Once cool, chop the bacon into pieces.

In a large plastic bowl with a lid, combine the rocket, cherry tomatoes, red onion, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and shake to mix. Top with the chopped bacon. Cut a 4-5cm/1½-2 inch hole from the centre of the bread with the cookie cutter.

For the eggs, heat the bacon fat over low heat. Lay the bread down in the hot frying pan. When the side facing down is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes, flip it over and crack the egg into the hole in the middle of the bread.

Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the egg is cooked and mostly firm. Flip again and cook 1 minute more to ensure it's done on both sides. Serve immediately with the salad.

Buttermilk Pancakes with salmon & horseradish cream

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Bellini pancakes topped with smoked salmon make fantastic canapés. For a more indulgent version why not serve fluffy buttermilk pancakes seasoned with chives and topped with thick slices of smoked salmon and horseradish cream? This is great as a brunch dish, a light lunch or supper.

Serves 4

Ingredients

170g self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, separated

200ml buttermilk

2 tsp caster sugar

1 tbsp finely chopped chives, plus extra

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

100ml milk

250ml crème fraîche

1 heaped tbsp creamed horseradish

1-2 tbsp butter, for frying

400g smoked salmon, to serve

1 lemon, sliced into wedges, to serve

Method

To make the pancake batter, put the flour, baking powder, egg yolks, buttermilk, caster sugar and chives in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Season well with salt and pepper, then gradually add the milk until the batter is smooth and pourable.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whisked egg whites into the batter mixture using a spatula. Cover and put in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.

For the horseradish cream, whisk together the crème fraîche and horseradish in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to serve, remove the batter mixture from the refrigerator and stir once. Put a little butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and coat the base of the pan, then ladle small amounts of the rested batter into the pan, leaving a little space between each. Cook until the underside of each pancake is golden brown and a few bubbles start to appear on the top - this will take about 2-3 minutes. Turn the pancake over using a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Serve the pancakes warm, topped with a generous spoon of the horseradish cream, slices of smoked salmon and wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top. Sprinkle with extra chopped chives and enjoy.

Paris-style Eggs Benedict

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This variant on a traditional French breakfast comes with bacon, Brie and poached eggs, all assembled on top of a pretzel croissant and drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. This decadent and delicious dish makes the perfect lazy Sunday brunch or, if you're in the mood, a fun breakfast-for-dinner. If you can't find pretzel croissants, a normal croissant works just as well.

Serves 4

Ingredients

60g butter

4 slices bacon

2 tsp white or rice vinegar

4 eggs

4 pretzel croissants

Butter, for spreading

8 slices Brie cheese

A dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)

A couple of sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

For the Classic hollandaise

140g unsalted butter

3 egg yolks

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method

To make the hollandaise sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a blender and blend on medium to medium-high speed for 25 seconds or until the eggs lighten in colour. Change the blender speed to the lowest setting and very slowly, pour in the hot butter and continue to blend. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a small jug.

Melt some butter in a large frying pan over low to medium heat, and when the pan is hot, add the bacon, turning it occasionally until warm.

While the bacon is cooking, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar and let it come to a boil again. After the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Next, poach the eggs. The easiest way is to do one egg at a time. Crack the egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once the egg begins to solidify, slip in the next egg and so on until you have all 4 cooking. Turn the heat off, cover the pan with a lid and let the eggs sit for 3-4 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Starting with the first egg you cracked, gently lift them out with a slotted spoon and set them down in a bowl or on a plate.

Toast and butter the croissants. Top with the bacon, 2 slices of Brie and a poached egg. Sprinkle on Tabasco sauce if desired. Pour the hollandaise sauce over the top and garnish with flat-leaf parsley and ground black pepper to taste.

Recipes and photos courtesy of Breakfast for Dinner by Carol Hilker, published by Ryland Peters and Small.

Photography by Toby Scott. €25.50 at Eason

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