Breakfast & Brunch for the Christmas Holidays BY HUGO WOOLLEY
BREAKFAST: What would be the breakfast 2,012-odd years ago, on that ‘Holy dawn’ of Christmas day? NOT the mild pervading smokey aroma of grilled bacon, the little gentle splutters of frying eggs, the clash of red from the baked tomato against the sandy-gold of the crisp fried bread on the plate, ready to be crowned by that fried egg; white, with a thin halo of crispy brown, a bright yellow shiny yolk contrasted by a the black of the sliced black pudding, shot with white pieces of back fat and the plate garlanded with a plump succulent sausage and rashers of bacon from the grill. I doubt there was a bowl of crunchy Granola, offering up a bouquet of sweet roasted nuts and cereals, laced with milk, yoghurt and chunks of fresh juicy fruit, with a drizzle of rich amber honey, accompanied by a glass of orange and mango juice, or a thin porcelain mug of hot, black, Italian-roast strong coffee or the fragrant smell of a cup of Green Tea or Lapsang Souchong in that stable. But what an evocative thought!! The baby Jesus would have had only a drink of his mother’s milk and hopefully his parent/s(?) would be given a chunk of bread and some cheese from the inn-keeper, and being in the ‘olden days’ a mug of wine to drink. Somebody once said; ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. The day should start with a good breakfast – especially a Christmas Day or a Boxing Day. It not only invigorates your intelligence; it lowers stress and (believe it or not) keeps the weight down – even reduces it! I have been reliably informed that, a good bit of cholesterol in the morning gets rid of suicidal tendencies – breakfast will defend you against all the stresses of Christmas! This is a feast usually eaten in silence, with a trickle of music from the radio in the background, only the near noiseless and polite acknowledgment to your loved one or guest, when they appear, except possibly, on Christmas morning, especially with children with stockings to open. Breakfast stems from the Roman times. Soldiers would eat porridge in the morning made from not only oats but also crushed barley until they found barley was more valuable for making delicious beer. Oatcakes and sausages was also a Roman import. The Scots, of course enjoyed porridge mainly because oats grow well in Scotland and you can’t make very nice whisky from them. Christmas must be the best time to have an indulgent breakfast – possibly on your birthday or even when you are on holiday, but Christmas is the best! Everybody – including teenagers – get up for breakfast on Christmas Day: the family are together, the presents are being opened and Father Christmas’s bounty is being enjoyed. Christmas Brunch is for those who don’t rise early. I can see a pair of young city dwellers, him a stockbroker and her a PR executive. They have managed to cry off travelling to their respective families (citing love), they rise late and he, hoping to gather early ‘brownie points’ in their relationship, has prepared a sumptuous brunch. By the time The Queen delivers her Christmas message, the meal is ready. Starting with a Mango and Orange Granita with a drizzle of Cassis, then a slice of ‘Poor Knights of Windsor’ – Christmas Style, followed by ‘Spanish Eggs’ all accompanied by ‘Egg Flip’ and a vat of coffee just in case the ‘Egg Flip’ is too rich. Here are a few recipes for Breakfast and Brunch for the Christmas holidays. Some will adapt for the rest of the year. I am conscious that a few people have dietary problems and it seems to grate on them at this time of the year. I am talking about people with lactose or wheat intolerance – and need recipes that don’t contain milk or gluten, sometimes both. People with ‘life choices’ like vegetarians and vegans can just leave out the offensive ingredients, I will sometimes offer an alternative so everybody can have a very merry Christmas Breakfast.
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CONTENTS 04 Mango, Orange & Clementine Granita 05 Christmas Porridge 06 Prune & Maple Syrup Muesli Bar 07 Christmas Granola & Blueberry Fruit Compote 08 Blueberry Compote 09 Oat & Sultana Pancakes with Thunder & Lightning 10 Buttermilk Waffles with Pancetta & Maple Syrup 11 Pain Perdu 12 The Poor Knights of Windsor - Christmas Style 13 Orange & Pecan Eggy Bread 14 Spanish Eggs or ‘Migas’ 15 Maple Roasted Salmon on Blinis 16 Blinis 17 ‘M-N-X’ 18 ‘Wee Three Piggies’ 20 Egg Flip 21 Christmas Frothy Vanilla Coffee 22 A Tomatini - Bloody Mary Cocktail 23 Formosa Sparkling Cocktail 24 Brunch Blush 25 Champagne Christmas Sunrise 26 Apricot Compote Crumble
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Mango, Orange and Clementine Granita INGREDIENTS For 4 people or a tub to yourself! 25g. (1oz.) granulated sugar. 200 ml. ( 8 fl.oz.) hot water from a kettle, not the hot water tap. 300 ml. ( ½ pint) mango and orange juice (if you can find just Mango juice, all the better). 5 peeled and segmented Clementines, remove all the pithy bits and any pips (which is rare in Clementines). Or a 300g tin of Clementine segments, drain the juice and just use the segments. The segments must be in juice not syrup or it will be sickly sweet. 2 teaspoons of Orange flower water. Some segments of Clementines to decorate.
A very refreshing water-ice for the morning. This will wake you up and inject some vitamins. It makes a very good breakfast ‘eye-opener’ for Boxing Day or New Year’s morning! It will even tame a fat head, if it is not too cold, that is! Mango juice is very hard to find so I use orange and mango juice that seems to be readily available. Mango gives the Granita a lovely creamy texture whilst the Clementines makes the Granita Christmassy. Other times of the year (or if you prefer) use any sweet citrus fruit; Grapefruit, (as I do in the B&B Book) Mandarins for example – lemons may be a little too tart unless you add more sugar.
MeTHOD Melt the sugar in the water and allow cooling to room temperature. Blend the mandarin segments, (without the juice if using tinned) then stir in with the fruit juice, sugar water and Orange Flower water, in a large wide plastic freezer-proof tray, and put the tray into the freezer. When it has turned to a soft ice, snowy texture – after a couple of hours - stir up the crystals and put back into the freezer. Then stir up the Granita again after 30 minutes. Repeat this process a couple more times until you have a smooth, sorbet consistency. If it freezes solid, allow it to melt for half an hour out in the kitchen or two hours in the fridge and then stir it up again to the desired texture. The more you stir it up, the smaller the crystals and the creamier it gets. It should never be hard. For extra sweetness; pour some Cassis over the top of the Granita – it produces wonderful colours as well! So on Christmas morning, take it out of the freezer half an hour before serving (open a present or two) and then stir it up – scraping up the crystals and serve. Serve in a Sundae Glass with Madeleines (see the B&B Book page 26) or Sable Butter Biscuits. I enjoy putting in a straw so that you can suck up the juice as it melts. See page 25 Champagne Christmas Sunrise.
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Christmas Porridge INGREDIENTS For 2 people – or one large person: 1 ramekin porridge oats – this makes the porridge creamy. 1 ramekin Jumbo oats – this gives the porridge ‘texture’ and is very good for you.
I have demonstrated this porridge for the last couple of years at the Padstow Christmas Festival – it has always been very popular – especially after I tell everybody the benefits of oats for our bodies: Calcium for bones – even more calcium if you use milk, lots of protein, will keep your weight down – because it is filling and, Low in fat, Lots of fibre to keep you regular, ‘Water Soluble fibre’ that will help lower cholesterol. Also ‘Soluble Fibre’ that deters the consumption of starch – which is good for diabetics and the vitamins in porridge helps prevent diabetes. Oatmeal is also said to have cancer fighting properties, the dried fruit – like blueberries have anti-carcinogenic properties as well! And it is delicious.
4 Ramekins of cold water or
2 water to 2 of milk –
Put the Jumbo and porridge oats into a large n/s saucepan, with the water and milk, salt and dried fruit. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring with a wooden spoon all the time. Once up to a gentle boil, reduce to simmer for 5 minutes, still stirring, if it becomes too thick for you’re your taste, add some more boiling water. Have a warm bowel to serve. Scatter the almonds over the top with Cornish honey and clotted cream.
or 3 soya milk to 1 water. Pinch – a ¼ teaspoon salt – has to have salt to bring out the taste – don’t leave it out!! 1 Tbsp. Each: dried blueberries, Cranberries, Sultanas 1 Tbsp. honey & clotted cream 1 Tbsp. Roasted sliced almonds.
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A Christmas Breakfast Prune & Maple Syrup Muesli Bar INGREDIENTS 12 large or 24 small bars: For the Prune jam: 300g pitted prunes cut in half 250g jam sugar 200ml water The rind of half a lemon, sliced off with a potato peeler The juice of a whole lemon For the cake mix: 250g hot melted butter – melted in the microwave or over a low heat in a saucepan. 200g golden caster sugar 150g self-raising flour For the topping: 200g maple syrup 100g butter 50g pumpkin seeds 50g dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries 30g sliced toasted almonds (roasted in a 190°C oven for 3-5 mins) 30g un-toasted almonds B&B | 6
Something to make a day or two before Christmas. It looks Christmassy and tastes divine. Very popular. You need a non-stick baking or brownie pan – 32cm L X 18cm W X 3cm D. Grease thoroughly with butter and dust with flour for ease in turning out.
MeTHOD Preheat oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas mark 5. For the jam; put all the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir the fruit and juice around a few times, reduce the heat to boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Then pour the filling mixture into a glass bowl to cool so it is absolutely cold and is a jam. For the cake mix; melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave, add the sugar. Mix in the flour, and the porridge oats, so that the butter and sugar covers everything and the whole lot is thoroughly mixed in. Spoon out half the mixture into the baking pan and flatten equally over the bottom using a pallet knife. Press down the mixture, into the corners, check it is the same thickness. Now spread over the prune jam evenly over the cake mix. Spread the rest of the cake mixture over the top of the jam and flatten out gently not compacting the mixture too much but ensuring an even spread. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. For the topping; pour the maple syrup into a wide-bottom saucepan and bring to boiling point, stirring all the time. Bubble for 5 minutes till the mixture thickens slightly and darkens to a caramel-type mixture, then stir in the butter and allow it to melt, stirring all the time. Mix the dried fruit, seeds and almonds together. When cake mixture is baked, pour over half the caramel mixture over the top of the cake and then sprinkle with the seeds, cranberries and nuts, then pour over the rest of the caramel, over the places the fruit and nuts have not stuck. Place the fruit and nuts evenly over the surface of the cake and pat down into the caramel to stick. Allow it to cool in the baking tray. The mixture will firm up as it cools, ready for cutting into bars or squares.
Christmas Granola and Blueberry Fruit Compote INGREDIENTS For a large bowlful to last you through the holidays: 200g Guinoa Flakes 125g of each: Hemp seeds, Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Slice almonds, Coconut flakes, Pecan chopped nuts 125g of any other favourite nut or seed. Oil for brushing. 50cl Hot water – from a kettle, not the hot water tap. 50cl each: Groundnut or vegetable oil, Honey, Maple syrup and Golden Syrup (optional – for extra sweetness) 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract. The zest of a small orange. 100g of each: Dried cranberries, dried Sultanas, dried Blueberries and halved dried Apricots.
We have a friend who comes for Christmas every now and then who suffers – and I mean suffers, as she enjoys her food – from being a Celiac; a person who cannot digest or process gluten in grain products like flour. So I have developed a Granola – roasted muesli with honey and maple syrup – using roasted nuts and seeds and this wonderful stuff called Guinoa. This is from a plant grown in Spain that yields a seed that is not dissimilar to porridge but gluten free and terribly good for you (you will have to ‘Google’ it to find out how good for you it is).I have served this with yoghurt and a blueberry compote – not only very tasty but will make you feel very virtuous over the festive season! You will find everything you need for this in the local health food shop, in fact, it was the lovely Randi at my local who helped me find these Guinoa Flakes.
MeTHOD In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together, first all the dry ingredients (not the orange zest or dried fruit) and then the liquid. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix everything together so that the seeds and the nuts are covered. Preheat your oven 180°C, 350°F, Gar mark 4. Spay or brush two non-stick baking sheets with a film of oil. Spoon out equal amounts of mixture and spread evenly over the two baking sheets. Place the sheets in the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Take out the trays, mix up the Granola and spread out again evenly over the trays and then swap the tray so that the tray that was on the bottom level in the oven, is now on the top. Roast the Granola for another 5 minutes, turn the Granola once more and then put back into the oven for 3 more minutes keeping an eye out for bits turning black. Repeat 3 minute bakes until grown and a deep gold in colour. When the Granola is baked enough to a golden brown, grate the zest of an orange over the Granola whilst it is still quite hot, mix in the zest and spread out again over the trays to allow the Granola to cool. When it is cool, put the Granola into a mixing bowl and mix in the dried fruit. B&B | 7
Blueberry Compote MeTHOD Too easy for words: If you can find fresh Blueberries at this time of year, it is just right with so many things, and Blueberries are an anti-carcinogenic â€˜superfoodâ€™! Blueberry Compote Recipe: Stew 100g. fresh blueberries, with a tablespoon castor sugar and a squeeze of half a lemon for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes liquid and the berries have burst. Serve hot or cold.
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Oat and Sultana Pancakes with Thunder & Lightning This is a slightly heavier pancake, made with porridge oats that is terribly good for you. Thunder and Lightning is Clotted Cream and Golden Syrup! I have put in an alternative Soak overnight or for as long as ‘Dairy Free’ version with Blueberry Compote (page 8) mainly because my poor son went possible; through a bout of being ‘lactose intolerant’ after an illness he contracted in Thailand. He is OK now but still can’t eat lots of cream or cheese. Oats and Blueberries are both ‘super 75g plump sultanas in; foods’ and because the alternative recipe doesn’t use eggs or cow’s milk they are Lactose/ 150ml good apple juice. dairy and egg free.
Whisk together: 100g porridge oats ground a little bit more with the blades in a food processor. Then add;
MeTHOD Use vegetable oil for frying – or for extra flavour and as long as it is OK for your guests’ diet, use a good knob of butter and a little oil to stop the butter burning. Not olive oil.
100g plain flour.
For about 12 pancakes
1 tablespoon baking powder
You will need an electric hand whisk (unless you have a strong whisking arm!) and a skillet or a thick-bottom frying pan.
½ teaspoon of salt Either 100ml milk 2 large eggs or 200ml soya milk if preferred to be lactose/dairy free or if you are a Vegan. A tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. More if you like things sweet.
Drain the apple juice from the sultanas. It is delicious to drink, like a sort of non-alcoholic Masala. Give the porridge oats a blast with the blades of the food processor to make the oats more of a ‘flour’. Add the salt and the rest of the dry ingredients, put into a mixing bowl with a dent in the middle. Whisk in the sultana soaking juice and the milk and eggs or soya milk with the electric running until there is a smooth batter. Heat the skillet or thick bottom frying pan to only a medium heat and brush on some melted butter and vegetable oil and drop a tablespoon of batter onto the skillet – cook 3 pancakes at a time and cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake. This should take 1 and ½ to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute and a bit. If they cook for any less time, the heat is too high. Keep the cooked pancakes warm. If you are using no eggs and soya milk, the pancakes are prone to be a little sticky at first and if you have too higher heat, they will be burned on the outside and still soggy on the inside – it won’t kill you but the flavour will not be very good. Serve with a huge dollop of clotted cream and zigzag of Golden Syrup over the top. This is ‘Thunder and Lightning’ in Cornwall and it a great Christmas Holiday treat. Or just pour over some Blueberry Compote (Vegan if with Blueberry Compote and soya milk).
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Buttermilk Waffles with Pancetta and Maple Syrup INGREDIENTS 450g (1 lb.) plain flour. 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1 Teaspoon Soda bicarbonate 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 500ml (just under a pint) buttermilk 125g (5 oz.) melted butter 5 large eggs (two separated yolks from white). 24 thin slices of Pancetta and a bottle of Maple syrup to serve.
A lovely, warm combination; the sweetness of the syrup , the salty-smoky pancetta and the crispy buttery waffles. The only thing is you are going to have to dig out the Waffle iron that was given to you for a Christmas present years ago. It is well worth investing in a new one if you can’t find it. It is one of my favourite winter Breakfasts. Makes about 24 waffles (for 8 people). If you don’t use all the batter, it freezes relatively well and when you want it - you just pop it in the fridge the night before to defrost but it will go a little grey. The greyness does go when the waffle is cooked.
MeTHOD Put the dry ingredients into a sieve and sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. This puts air into the flour and makes light waffles. Whisk together the wet ingredients, keeping the egg whites separate. Gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a batter. Whisk the reserved egg whites in a separate bowl to soft peaks. Fold the whisked egg white into the batter just before you are going to cook the waffles, stir in so it just incorporates with the batter – use a rubber wide-bladed spatula. Heat the waffle iron and put in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter – depending the size of your waffle iron – and bake for 3 to 4 minutes or however long it says on your waffle iron instructions. Serve as soon as they are baked (or is it waffled?). Serve with thin slices of fried pancetta (or streaky bacon that has been rolled thin with a rolling pin) fried crispy and a little jug of Maple Syrup. Or just with a fruit compote or even clotted cream and jam.
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The Eggy Bread section I, my brothers (three of them) and most of our children, are all ardent Eggy Bread fans. It is, without doubt, the best breakfast. And these three variations on a theme of Eggy Bread are wonderful. As they are quite fattening (as most Christmas breakfasts are) it is always a treat to wake up each morning to a different Eggy Bread breakfast.
Pain Perdu INGREDIENTS For 2 to 3 people 4 eggs 2 tablespoon milk
This is a twist on a New Orleans Breakfast, and means ‘Lost Bread’ – the title’s relevance to the dish is slightly baffling! Possibly why the Americans call Eggy Bread ‘French Toast’? This is a sweet Eggy Bread recipe which is new to us ‘Brothers’; we have always preferred savoury Eggy Bread. Christmas is the only time you can really indulge yourself and eat everything that is bad for you. You have the New Year to go on a diet!
2 tablespoons cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 220°C - 425°F - gas mark 7.
4 tablespoons maple syrup
Whisk the eggs, cream, vanilla extract, maple syrup and spices up in a shallow dish. Dip the slices of French Bread in the mixture and leave the bread into soak up all the liquid. Keep turning the bread slices every now and then to get the slices thoroughly soaked through. You could do this the night before. Put the panko breadcrumbs into another flat dish. Put the bread slices into the panko and coat the slices with the breadcrumbs. In a large nonstick frying pan, over medium heat, very lightly brown the slices in the butter and oil for about a minute per side. Place the slices of eggy bread onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove, turn over and put back in the oven for another 3 minutes to brown the other side. The slices will puff up. Whisk the cream and sugar to ‘thick peaks’ and serve with the hot, golden ‘Pain Perdu’, with a crispy outside and a soft and slightly spiced inside.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 6 thick slices (2 cm – ¾ inch) of day old French bread No less than 50g Panko – Japanese breadcrumbs or dried out ordinary breadcrumbs. A big knob - 25g. (1 oz.) of butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying Maple syrup and 300ml whipped cream with 3 teaspoons of castor sugar to serve.
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The Poor Knights of Windsor – Christmas Style INGREDIENTS For 2 people 50g. (2oz.) Pitted prunes 50g. (2oz.) Dried apricots 4 tablespoons Masala (you could use sweet sherry but it is not the same. Buy a bottle of Masala, it will go over the Christmas Holidays!). For recovering alcoholics and children, use apple juice. 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoon lemon juice ½ cinnamon stick. 4 thick slices of thick white bread – stale bread would be better – crusts on. 2 tablespoons caster sugar 100ml milk 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 4 large eggs. 2 heaped tablespoons cream cheese. 25g. (1oz.) Butter and a little vegetable oil About a teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 3 teaspoons cater sugar for dusting. B&B | 12
A kind of eggy-bread sandwich with prunes and apricots. This is an old breakfast that I have developed just for Christmas. The Poor Knights of Windsor are the knights that look after the ‘Garter Ceremony’ at Windsor castle. The ‘Poor’ bit refers to knights being captured by the French at the Battle of Crecy and having to buy their freedom by selling their estates. Why this has anything to do with this old recipe, I have no idea – ‘French Toast’ maybe? They are certainly not very poor now.
MeTHOD The night before: Put the prunes, apricots cinnamon stick, Masala and water into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a steady simmer for 5 minutes. Allow the fruit to cool overnight. Or you can make this a week in advance and put it into a large storage jar and keep cool in the larder or in the fridge. Preheat your oven 200°C, 400°F, Gar mark 6. In a flat dish put in the sugar and the milk, slightly warmed so that it will dissolve the sugar. Break in the eggs and whisk all together. Dip each side of the bread into the mixture and place onto a plate. Scatter half the fruit mixture or compote over the middle of the slice of bread, dot little lumps of cream cheese equally over the fruit compote and then place another slice of soaked bread on top. Put half the butter into a frying pan (or all of it if you can get both slices in) and melt the butter over a medium heat. Fry each side of the bread until just turning brown – about a minute on each side. Carefully turn the slice over, being careful not to allow the fruit to drop out of the middle; I do this the Spanish Omelette way; put a small plate just beside the sandwich, put the spatula under the sandwich and in one deft movement, flip the sandwich onto the plate and then slide the slice of bread into the pan to fry the other side for 2 minutes. Keep the first slice warm on a non-stick baking sheet whilst you fry the next one. Slide the next slice onto the baking sheet and put into the oven to bake for 8 to 10 minutes – until golden brown. Slice in half and serve hot or warm, on its own or with Cinnamon sugar or whipped cream.
Orange and Pecan Eggy Bread INGREDIENTS This should be prepared the night before. For 4 to 6 people:
This is an old recipe I found on an American recipe website years ago. It has been sitting in my ‘recipes to try file’ for about six years. I found it again last year – too late to go into my last book; The B&B Book – The Book of Breakfasts & Brunch, and I am so glad that I found it, it is just the thing for Christmas. Everything a Christmas or Boxing Day Breakfast should be; rich, unctuous, nutty and a little citrusy.
MeTHOD 100g (4 oz.) soft light-brown sugar
You will need a 34 x 20 x 3cm H. (13 1⁄2” x 8” x 1”) Brownie baking tin, well buttered.
40g (1.5 oz.) melted unsalted butter plus more for greasing the Brownie tin.
Put into a small bowl; the soft brown sugar, melted unsalted butter and the golden syrup. Mix together and pour over the base of the well-greased Brownie tin, spread the mixture evenly over the base, and then sprinkle the chopped nuts over the mixture. Arrange the French bread slices onto the mixture, cram them in a snug single layer.
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Preheat the oven 180°C; 350°F Gas mark 4.
100g (4 oz.)chopped pecan nuts or walnuts.
In a bowl whisk together the orange juice and zest, the maple syrup, vanilla extract and the eggs and lastly the cream. Pour the mixture over the slices of bread and press down on the bread with a spatula to encourage the liquid to soak into the bread. Leave for at least and hour out of the fridge before baking – even better, cover with cling-wrap and put on the top shelf of the fridge overnight.
12 X 2cm. (3/4 inch) thick slices of French Bread. The grated zest and juice of 1 large Oranges. 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs. 4 tablespoons single cream.
Next morning, take out the fridge, remove the cling-wrap and allow the dish to warm up a bit at room temperature – for about 30 minutes. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Take out of the oven, serves by turning each slice ‘nut-side’ up or you could turn out the whole thing onto a baking sheet or a large plate. If the Brownie baking tin was greased enough it should just drop out. Dust with some icing sugar (optional - I prefer not to as it does make it all a bit too sweet) and serve warm.
2 tablespoons milk.
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Spanish Eggs or ‘Migas’ INGREDIENTS You need to start this the night before. 2 to 4 people. Half (about 200g. 8 oz.) loaf of stale bread with crust, white and; the better the bread, the better the Migas! I would use a good country loaf from your baker, not a cheap sliced loaf from the supermarket. 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon Pimentón picante – I used ‘bitter-sweet’ Pimentón (a smoked hot Spanish paprika) or smoked paprika. 1 teaspoon salt. 200ml (7 fl.oz.) vegetable oil or olive oil (not Virgin) - may need more. 2 cloves of garlic, sliced. 1 large Spanish onion, sliced (cut in half then thinly sliced from root end to top of the onion). 1 large red pepper, sliced then cut into strips (same sort of slice size as the onions). 150g (6 oz.) of thick, Lardons or fatty streaky bacon or pancetta, cut into small cubes or short thick slices. 150g (6 oz.) thick sliced chorizo. 2 to 4 eggs.
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The Mexicans have a version of ‘Migas’ for breakfast, but I prefer the Spanish ‘Migas’; inspired by Rick Stein’s cooking program on Spain. Rick found an ancient gardener making Migas in an old pot over an open olive wood fire in his garden shed – Health and Safety would have a field day with the dangers of having lots of very hot oil, over an open flame in a wood garden shed with one of our cookery institutions (Rick Stein) just sitting there! This is a slightly more refined version that Rick helped me with. An all-year-round breakfast but it seems quite wintery to me. It is not exactly a breakfast for every day, but is excellent for special occasions – like Christmas. A lot is done the night before.
MeTHOD The night before, tear up the bread, with the crusts, into small peanut to walnut-size pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the pimenton or smoked paprika and the salt and sprinkle over about 50ml (3 to 4 tablespoons) cold water, stirring the breadcrumbs so that the water covers all the bread. Cover with a teacloth and leave in the kitchen overnight or at least 12 hours. Prepare the rest of the ingredients so there is little to do in the morning. In the morning, stir up the bread. Put the oil in a deep frying pan and put on quite a high heat. When the oil is hot enough, put in the garlic for thirty seconds – don’t allow it to brown, then put in the onions and peppers. Fry in the oil for one to two minutes tossing the vegetables in the fat, and then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon leaving the oil and set aside in a sieve over a bowl to catch the oil. Now put in the bacon and fry for a minute before putting in the sliced chorizo sausage. Cook until the bacon becomes a little crispy and brown. Remove the meat with the slotted spoon, leaving the oil. Put into the sieve with the vegetables. Break the eggs into a cup (it is easier to pour into the oil). Reduce the heat of the oil and pour in the eggs into the oil, two at a time. Fry the eggs to your satisfaction and remove the eggs with the slotted spoon and put onto another warm plate. If there is any oil on the bowl with the sieve, pour that into the oil in the frying pan. Put the vegetables and the meat into a presentation bowl and keep warm. Heat up the oil and when hot, throw in the bread. Stir the bread constantly and the colour should change and the bread should become golden and quite crispy. Remove the crispy bread from the pan with a slotted spoon leaving the oil, and mix in with the vegetable and the meat. Serve the Migas onto two (or four small) warm plates; put the fried eggs on top of the stack of bread and serve with a big mug of coffee or some Spanish red wine or beer – it is Christmas after all!
Maple Roasted Salmon on Blinis INGREDIENTS Produces enough for about 12 Salmon Blinis. For the Salmon, prepare the night before: 225 (8oz.) fresh salmon fillet 2 tablespoon Maple syrup 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons apple juice (or even pineapple juice if you have any) 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
With Cream Cheese and Salmon Caviar. This is very select! Blinis have to be homemade, but if you can’t be bothered for Christmas, you can buy them in a supermarket but they are usually too sweet for me. A delicatessen might be better. Try making them anyway. If you want a pre-celebration snack, sitting in your pyjamas, these little chaps are just the thing. Keta (a breed of salmon) salmon eggs are beautiful, slightly sweet and a lovely colour.
MeTHOD Remove the skin of the salmon if possible: A fish monger will do it for you if you can find one, or try it yourself; put the fillet skin-side down and with a sharp, thin knife, make and initial cut in-between the skin and the flesh. Pinch the skin with the non-knife thumb and forefinger (sometimes a cloth can help hold on) and then run the knife flat along the skin, keeping the blade level and slightly sawing/slicing as you go. Cut the salmon fillet into two equal portions. Put the salmon fillet into a re-sealable plastic food bag. Mix the marinade ingredient together in a little glass bowl and pour the marinade into the bag with the salmon. Force out the air so that the liquid surrounds the salmon fillet and leave in the fridge (on a plate in case the bag leaks), leave overnight or 4 hours at least.
1 teaspoon minced clove of garlic.
Preheat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas mark 7.
For the Maple Roast Salmon Blinis:
Put a lightly oiled non-stick roasting tray in the oven for 2 minutes to heat up. Gently remove the salmon fillets from the marinade. Place the fillets onto the hot roasting tray and put back in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes to roast.
A jar of Quince jelly. This is to give the ‘creation’ a little extra sweetness (optional). 200g thick Crème Fraiche . A little jar (about 100g) of Keta Salmon Caviar – can be bought on-line or from the better delicatessens. It is quite expensive - it is a kind of Caviar after all but not as much as the real thing!
To serve: On each Blini spread a thin layer of Quince jelly for sweetness or crème fraiche. My wife didn’t like the sweetness of the quince jelly and I loved it so it is down to you what you want: Place some of the cool maple roasted salmon, try and keep the salmon in flakes rather than mash the fillets up. On the salmon put a little – about a teaspoon – more of crème fraiche and spread it out a little and then half a teaspoon of the caviar. Sprinkle some course ground black pepper over the top with some snipped chives if you can find some and serve as a pre-Christmas breakfast appetiser. You can refrigerate overnight but allow the Salmon Blinis to warm up a bit in the morning for half an hour.
Course ground black pepper. If you can; some fresh chives. They are quite plentiful in my little herb garden, but I live in Cornwall and it is still quite warm around Christmas. They add a little colour and flavour just lifts the salmon and the crème fraiche. B&B | 15
Blinis INGREDIENTS To make 12 to 15 Blinis: 150ml ( ¼ pint) warm milk. ½ teaspoon dried yeast or 6g ( ¼ oz.) fresh yeast. 1 teaspoon sugar. 175g (6oz.) plain four or, if you can find it, buckwheat flour. 1 large egg. Pinch of salt. Oil for frying.
Borrowed from my B&B Book – The Book of Breakfast & Brunch page 26 Blinis are a little pancake from Russia made with buckwheat – a gluten free grain, related to rhubarb, not, as one supposes, to wheat. It is more of a bread than a pancake. In Russia, you would cover your Blinis with soured cream and Caviar.
MeTHOD Put the yeast into a bowl (crumble fresh yeast) and add the sugar, pour in the warm (body temperature) milk. Whisk the milk and the yeast to mix thoroughly and leave in warm room temperature for at least 10 minutes – until there are bubbles over the surface of the milk. Sift in the flour into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk the egg into the milk and yeast. With a hand-whisk, beat in the milk mixture into the flour gradually, until a thick batter forms. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a thick bottom pan or skillet, and spoon in one dessert spoon of the batter. If you find the batter is too thick after resting (sticks to the spoon - does not pour off), slacken it off by whisking in a little more milk – but not too much. Flatten out the batter a little and allow the batter to firm up and when bubbles form on the top, flip over the Blinis and fry the other side. It will puff up into a bready-type, small pancake and ready to serve. It is best not to store Blinis but to eat them the day you make them. Shop-bought Blinis have some sort of preservative in them that ensures they keep their rather unappetising rubberyness!
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‘M-N-X’ INGREDIENTS For 4 to 6 people: 1 tablespoon (15g) butter and a tablespoon vegetable oil for frying. 100g (4oz.) - about one large – peeled, small diced potatoes – about 1 cm (¼ inch) cubes. 75g (3oz.) Bacon slightly smoked bacon – back or streaky chopped to roughly the same size as the potatoes. 100g (4oz.) sliced and large diced – about one medium onion 100g (4oz.) thick-sliced ham and diced like the potatoes 1 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped sage if you have any still alive in the garden – don’t use packet fresh sage from the supermarket, it is usually tasteless). 6 large free-range eggs 2 tablespoons milk 4 tablespoons cream A little salt and about half a teaspoon pepper.
A glorified ham omelette or Frittata. Very fashionable at the moment in posh hotels that do good breakfasts (few and far between – it has to be said) and, for me and my family, very reminiscent of Boxing Day breakfasts. The title of this dish stems from an old children’s joke we enjoyed; ‘F-U-N-E-M-N-X? (have you any ham and eggs?) S,-I-F-M-N-X,-N-I-F-T’ can’t remember the rest but it carried on in the same way. I enjoy this as a thin omelette but if you want the traditional thick Frittata; either double up everything or keep the same measurements and halve the size of the pan to an 8 inch (20cm) non-stick frying pan – you will have to cook the omelette half as long again.
MeTHOD In a 10 ½ inch (27cm) wide non-stick frying pan; put in the butter and oil and melt over a medium to high heat (left-hand plate of an Aga), and put in the potatoes. Fry the potato cubes for at least 3 minutes, tossing them every now and then until you can just about put a knife through a cube. Then add the onions and bacon a fry for another 3 minute, tossing every now and then and lastly add the ham and the sage, reduce the heat to a medium heat and fry for another 3 minutes, keep stirring the ingredients to make sure everything is cooked and the ham is heated through. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream and seasoning. Bring up the heat under the frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. With a plastic spatula, gently stir the eggs and the other ingredients, pulling the egg away from the side into the middle of the pan and the stirring the middle out to the edge. The egg will gradually turn into very liquid scrambled egg. Keep continuously stirring the omelette for a minute, until it is nearly set underneath. Turn down the heat to a medium heat (right-hand plate on the Aga) and fry for 4 to 5 more minutes. Lift the edge every now and then to check the colour. Now turn the omelette over: Get a large 12 inch plate, and place it over the top of the frying pan (top of the plate facing down). With a large, dry oven cloth, folded a couple of times so it is long and thick, turn off the gas on the hob (health and safety!), place it over the plate, pick up the frying pan and plate and with a deft flip, turn the pan and the plate over. Remove the pan (technically, the omelette remains on the plate; cooked side up) and place the frying pan back onto the stove, then slide the omelette back from the plate, into the pan, put on the heat again to a medium heat, so the other side can be cooked for two more minutes. Slide the omelette onto a presentation plate and serve in slices like a cake. You can add whatever you like to the omelette instead of ham and bacon; Chorizo sausage, thick slices of Pancetta with dried thyme instead of sage or for vegetarians; sliced field and shitake mushrooms with some green peppers (capsicums), chop up a tablespoon of fresh parsley for the herb – the other winter herbs will be too strong and overpower the delicate flavour of the mushrooms. You can eat this cold on a summers day but I prefer it on Boxing day with tomato sauce and a large cup of coffee. B&B | 17
‘Wee Three Piggies’ INGREDIENTS For two people: 2 large thin slices of good smoked (preferably – but un-smoked if preferred) air-dried ham.
Deep-fried poached duck egg on ham, on a potato hash-brown. A breakfast inspired by a starter on a Padstow restaurant menu. The Basement Café is one of Padstow’s very best eateries and fabulous for fish. I thought this starter they had on the menu would make an excellent Christmas breakfast – or any time of year come to that. Don’t quite know why ‘Wee Three Piggies’ ask chef, Phil Vickery!
The Deep-fried poached egg:
2 duck eggs
Firstly, put some ice cubes into a bowl of cold water – at least a pint of water.
2 tablespoons flour, seasoned with plenty of pepper and salt. A hen’s egg whisked up with a drop of milk. At least 50g Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Vegetable oil for deep frying - at least 800ml (1 ½ pints).
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Break each duck egg into a teacup or ramekin. Bring some water to boil in a wide pan or a deep frying pan. Add a couple teaspoons vinegar and a teaspoon salt into the water. Reduce the water to a simmer and gently slide in an egg and poach for 4 minutes. As soon as it is poached, take out the egg with a slotted spoon and then place the poached egg into the iced water to halt the cooking. Poach the next egg or eggs. Keep the eggs cold until you are ready to serve. Grate the potato onto a clean tea towel and sprinkle with the salt and mix the salt in with the potato and leave for it to think about life for a couple of minutes. The salt will draw out the moisture. Put the goose fat into a small frying pan over a medium heat.
The Hash Browns:
150g peeled and grated potato. Or, for extra fibre, scrub the potatoes and grate unpeeled.
Place the ham slices in an oven at a very low heat so the slices warm through. Heat up the oil for the deep-fried poached egg and heat a frying pan for the hash browns. Gently lift each cold poached egg out of the iced water with a slotted spoon and place onto some kitchen paper and blot dry – don’t break the egg! Slide the dried egg off the spoon into the seasoned flour, dusting the egg all over with flour then lift the egg out and then roll the egg in the egg-wash and then gently roll in the Panko bread crumbs. Repeat with the other egg.
½ teaspoon salt. A couple of grinds of the pepper mill. A teaspoon of black onion seeds (if you can find them, if not use a teaspoon onion salt instead of ½ teaspoon salt). A tablespoon goose fat or vegetable oil: goose fat will make a very crispy Hash Brown and vegetable oil is for those who are vegetarian. Olive oil will not get hot enough to produce crispy Hash Browns.
Whilst the pan is heating up, fold the edges of the tea towel over the potato; twist the ends of the tea towel clockwise one end, anticlockwise the other end to form a towel-cracker. Keep twisting until all the potato juice is squeezed out of the grated potato. Squish it with your hands if you are strong enough. Squashed as much of the juices from the potato, turn the potato out into a dry bowl, add some pepper, onion seeds and mix together, increase the heat under the frying pan and put half the potato into the frying pan. Spread out the potato so that it is flat like a pancake and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the potato is turned a golden brown – lift the edge to check. Flip the Hash Brown over using a spatula or you could toss it like a pancake and fry for another 2 or so minutes. Repeat with the second Hash Brown. Meanwhile, place the bread crumbed eggs into the deep hot oil and deep fry for only a minute, until the Panko is golden brown - drain the eggs on kitchen paper and keep warm. Put the hash browns on two warm plates, cover each hash brown with a warmed slice of ham, folded to fit the hash brown and then place a deep-fried poached egg on the ham and serve with a little pot of tomato ketchup, like they do at The Basement Café in Padstow. B&B | 19
Egg Flip INGREDIENTS For about six people: 300ml (½ pint) Mead - an ancient kind of beer made with honey and wild flowers (said to be an aphrodisiac!). 300ml (½ pint) flat cider – the better type. If you can’t find any Mead, just use cider (won’t be quite the same, though). 2 to 4 tablespoons castor sugar – depending on how sweet you like things. 2 Large Eggs. 2 egg yolks.
A Cornish hot breakfast drink made with mead and cider. A winter’s drink – Christmas morning huddled round the fire, opening presents and sipping warm Egg Flip – this will certainly get you in the Festive Spirit.
MeTHOD Heat to a simmer the Mead and Cider together, try not boil or it goes all over the place, for 5 minutes. With an electric hand whisk, whisk up the eggs, the yolk and sugar until creamed and pale in a large glass bowl. Gradually add half the hot mead and cider, whisking all the time. Add the rest of the Mead and cider and place the bowl over simmering water in the saucepan. Whisk up the Egg Flip and warm through for about five minutes. Serve warm in thick glasses. It is pretty alcoholic and lovely, but if you do not like alcohol in the morning, substitute the Mead for apple juice and the cider for low-fat milk and the sugar for honey.
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Christmas Frothy Vanilla Coffee INGREDIENTS You will need a food or soup blender. For 4 Latte glasses 200ml hot full-fat milk, heat to just as a skin forms before it boils. 300ml very strong coffee – or weak, depending how you and your beloved likes it. 1 tablespoon sugar less if you do not have a sweet tooth. 2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract. 1 large egg – break into a teacup
A cross between a Latté and a hot milkshake. Not for the strong coffee lover, but for us namby-pamby Latte lovers.
MeTHOD Put all the ingredients – except the egg – into the blender. Make sure the coffee and the milk is piping hot. Put on the blender lid and (with my health and safety hat on) drape a folded teacloth over the top of the blender and hold the lid down – just in case the hot liquid erupts, the lid flies off and hot Latte goes all over you. Start up the blender, gradually to full power. Take out the centre poring lid and, whist the motor is running, pour in the egg and replace the pouring lid. Leave the Latte to blend for at least 30 seconds to a minute. Turn off the motor, take the jug off the motor and pour the frothy coffee into four Latte glasses or coffee mugs.
You could use other flavours, two tablespoons of maple syrup instead of the sugar and vanilla, for example. A dusting of cinnamon over the froth is an option but I prefer just froth.
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A Tomatini - Bloody Mary Cocktail This is borrowed from the ‘B&B Book – The Book of Breakfast & Brunch’ page 105. I thank ‘Captain’ for coining the name of this Brunch drink. Tomartini is a sort of refined Bloody Mary that uses ‘tomato water’ as opposed to tomato juice.
MeTHOD Put 500ml (17fl.oz.) tomato juice through 3 thick, coffee filters. Leave to dribble through overnight. If you have room to do this in the fridge, all the better. It should yield about 250ml (9fl.oz.) of Tomato Water. For 2 Tomatinis: In a cocktail shaker, put in 6 cubes of ice, 1 egg cup full of good vodka, 3 egg cups of Tomato Water, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 3 drops Tabasco and about 2 to 3 teaspoons egg white; (add a drop of water to the egg white, it makes it easier to handle). Put on the top of the shaker and shake vigorously for about a minute. Pour through a cocktail strainer (keeping the ice out) into 2 chilled cocktail glasses with a stuffed olive to decorate. The egg white will produce a froth on top – if it does not get through the strainer, spoon some out onto the cocktail.
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Champagne Christmas Cocktails These are a few of Champagne or ‘Camel Valley’ Sparkling wine cocktails I have found over the years in cocktail books. I cannot drink sparkling wine or Champagne as gives me instant headache but made into a cocktail
and it slips down nicely. Camel Valley Brut sparkling wine is one of the best sparkling wines in the world – not just in Europe – the world!! Which includes Champagne. If you can find it, buy it, it is wonderful and from Cornwall.
Formosa SparKling Cocktail A type of classy Bucks Fizz: MeTHOD Pour 150ml ( ¼ pint) champagne or sparkling wine into a large brandy balloon half full of ice cubes. Fill with 300ml ( ½ pint) freshly squeezed orange juice about 3 large oranges. Top off with a dash – a teaspoon - of Triple Sec or Cointreau. Serve with a twist of orange zest – shave a slice of the orange skin with a sharp knife or a potato peeler, twist the zest over the glass so the oils sprinkle over the surface of the drink and then drop it into the glass and serve with a straw.
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Brunch Blush A strawberry and Champagne cocktail
INGREDIENTS ½ punnet (about 12 small) fresh strawberries or any red berry. ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon sugar A strawberry sliced for garnish Champagne or sparkling wine.
Now we can get strawberries throughout the year, it means we can have this wonderful Brunch Cocktail for Christmas and the New year.
MeTHOD Wash and hull the strawberries. Put all the strawberries, except one big one for decoration, in a blender. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and sugar, and puree, it should yield about 100ml of puree for two cocktails. Pour into a champagne flute half-way (more or less to taste). Top with champagne or sparkling wine, and stir gently. Slide the remaining strawberry onto edge of the glass. Serve with a straw
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Champagne Christmas Sunrise
MeTHOD If you are making the Mango, Orange and Clementine Granita on page 4, this makes a great treat. Fill a large red wine glass half full of the Granita and immediately pour in to the top of the Granita with Champagne or sparkling wine. A straw is essential. For extra sweetness, pour into the centre of the Granita and sparkling wine two to three teaspoons of Cassis or Grenadine. Make sure the cassis is reddy purple as some old cassis can start going brown. This will sink to the bottom and produce a sunrise effect. Serve with a straw.
For a non-alcoholic version but still pretty â€˜grown-upâ€™ make up about 300ml of Elderflower Cordial with soda water (sparkling water will do but not as fizzy) and pour to the top of the Granita and then add the Cassis or Grenadine.
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Apricot Compote Crumble INGREDIENTS 1 large or 6 small gratin dishes: The fruit: 350g ready-to-eat dried apricots 200g fat sultanas 100ml orange juice 300ml water 2 tbsps granulated sugar
Simple and very modern! I enjoy this hot, but it can (leftovers) be eaten cold.
MeTHOD Preheat oven to 200Â°C (180Â°C Fan oven), bottom-right Aga oven or Gas mark 6. The fruit: Place all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Then place into a glass bowl to cool.
2 tbsps maple syrup (or sugar)
The crumble: 100g butter
Melt the butter in a microwave or in a saucepan. In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients gently together so it forms a crumble. Donâ€™t mix too much.
70g Demerera sugar
75g porridge oats
You can make everything the day before. Forty five minutes before you want to serve, place the cooked and cooled fruit mix into a large gratin dish or up to 6 gratin dishes and spread the crumble evenly over the top. Place the gratin dishes onto a flat baking tray and put into the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Leave for 5 minutes to firm up.
100g self-raising flour To serve: Thick yoghurt or clotted cream Pomegranate seeds
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To serve; put the gratin dish onto a plate, spoon on some yoghurt (if desired) or even clotted cream and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. I like quite a lot of these pretty little berries: they are not only good for the heart and blood, but they are in season over the Christmas period.
‘Mango, Orange & Clementine Granita’
‘Maple Roasted Salmon’ 15 Maple Syrup
C Camel Valley Vineyards
‘Oats & Sultana Pancakes’
‘Orange & Pecan Eggy Bread’
‘Poor Knights of Windsor’
‘Prune & Maple Syrup Muesli Bar’
D Dairy free Drinks
T ‘Thunder & Lightning’
‘Frothy Vanilla Coffee’ 21
G Gluten Free
‘Wee Three Piggies’
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Designed by www.hudsonarmstrong.com
A BIT ABOUT HUGO Hugo Woolley is a chef and restaurateur by training and profession. He was badly injured in a car accident in 1995 and was forced to retire from his beloved cooking. He has run restaurants in London, had sandwich shops in the City of London with his brother, Ol and a specialist sausage business in Kent and Sussex. All had to be sold after the accident. Then, Hugo and Pippa, decided to move to Cornwall from their house in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. It was warmer for Hugo’s legs and Pippa could run a B&B – something she has always wanted to do.
Copyright © Hugo Woolley 2011 Breakfast Book Ltd. Woodlands Country House, Treator, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8RU Phone: 01841 532 426 Email: email@example.com ISBN 978-0-9555930-4-8
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Hugo’s culinary passions have always been breakfast, sandwiches, pies, good sausages and cured meats. Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugo enjoys curing his own air-dried ham, making his own sausages, experimenting with making Pancetta and smoking ham. Also encouraged by local chefs like Rick Stein, Adrian Oliver of Margot’s and Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, he has developed regional breakfast and brunch dishes and adapted some of the old favourites. Since Pippa started Woodlands Country House, they have been very busy with breakfasts – Hugo writing about them and Pippa cooking them for hundreds of appreciative guests. Hugo and Pippa have huge support not only from their new Cornish friends in Cornwall, but also friends and family abroad.