Scotch Egg

As the weather gets nicer and nicer, I like to go out and have picnics. There are a lot of things you can bring, sandwiches, salad, skewers, and more, but one thing people don’t make very often anymore is the Scotch egg. Which is weird because if you think about it, it is the ultimate picnic snack, the crispy breaded shell with a satisfyingly runny center is just the perfect combination, no sauce needed! This recipe makes 8 Scotch eggs

You’ll Need:

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1.75lb or 800g sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
  • all-purpose flour
  • 5oz or 150g breadcrumbs

How to make this:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then soft-boil 8 eggs for about 6 min, then rinse the egg in ice water, this will make sure that the eggs’ yolk stays runny. Peel the eggs and let them chill in the fridge
  2. Mix together the chopped parsley leaves with the sausage meat, you can use any sausage you want (I used sweet Italian sausages, but breakfast sausage works great too), then divide the meat mixture into 8 same size balls
  3. Flatten one of the sausage balls into a pattie, then roll a peeled egg in flour, then place it in the middle of the pattie, and gently shape the meat around the egg with your hands, at the end, wet you hands to create a smooth surface, like this:ezgif-1-3822834f3c.gif
  4. Roll the sausage-covered eggs in the flour, soaked it in the beat eggs, then cover it in bread crumbs
  5. Heat up half pot of oil to around 170C or 340F, then fry the breaded, sausage-covered eggs for about 5-6 min, take them out and let it rest for about 10 min before eating
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Japanese-Style Pancake

Even though I always prefer waffles than pancakes, however, if there’s one type of pancake that I will always get whenever it is available, it’s the Japanese-Style pancake. It’s thick, fluffy, light, and jiggly, and super fun to eat & make. This recipe makes about 4 pancakes

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You’ll need:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup pancake mix
  • 4 egg whites

How to make this:

  1. Mix together the egg yolks, milk, and pancake mix until it turns smooth
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until it has a stiff peak, add the sugar while you are whisking
  3. Carefully fold the egg whites into the pancake batter
  4. Grease a 3.5-inch metal ring mold and set them in the middle of a pan over the low heat, fill the molds about 1/2 of the way full, then cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, then flip it over, Cover and cook for another 5 minutes
  5. Serve it with butter, syrup, and berries

Haddock & Salmon Kedgeree

The first time I had this dish in Hong Kong, I was quite confused as for why am I having curry for breakfast in a British restaurant. Turns out that this is a classic colonial dish the Brits brought back from India, and to be honest, the sweetness of the fish worked really well with curry, and with some light and fluffy rice and a soft boiled egg, it’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. Don’t get me wrong, you can have this for all three meals if you want, it is truly a simple, delicious and healthy (somewhat minus the butter) dish.

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You need: 3 eggs; 1 clove garlic; 1 shallot; 3 tbsp butter; 2 tbsp curry powder; 1/2 lb long grain rice (basmati rice would be the best); milk; 1 fillets smoked haddock (or fresh); 1 fillets smoked salmon (or fresh); 6 large prawn; 4 cups chicken stock; 1/2 lemon; 5 tbsp chopped parsley

How to make this:

  1. Melt half of the butter in a deep pan with a lid, mince the garlic and shallot, cook them on medium heat for about 4 min
  2. Heat up a pot of milk, bring it to a simmer, then poach the smoked fish for about 3 min, if you are using fresh fish, poach it for about 5 min. Cook the peeled and cleaned prawns for about 1.5 to 2 min
  3. Mix the rice into the pan with butter & shallot, stir for about 2 min so that each grain is covered with butter, then pour in the chicken stock, cover the pan and let it cook on medium for 13 min (if the chicken stock is hot) or 17 min (if the chicken stock is cold)
  4. In another pot, boil some water and cook the eggs for 9 to 12 min (depends on how tender you want your eggs), when they reach the cook time, place them in cold water
  5. Take out & dry the fish from the milk, then gently press the meat so that it would break into flakes, then after the rice is almost cooked (at 13 -17 min), carefully fold them in with the prawns, at this point the dish should have the same consistency as risotto, mix in the rest of the butter and juice from 1/2 lemon, add salt to taste
  6. Cover and cook for another 3 to 4 min, then turn off the heat, mix in the chopped parsley
  7. Sever it with sliced boiled egg, and some more parsley, try to fluff the rice with a spatula for a light texture

Cheese Blintzes

Hey, do you know what holiday is coming up? Valentine’s day! Yes, I know it’s still 1 month away, but for a lot of these brunch dishes, you need to practice a couple times before you make it on the big day.

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You need:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 6 tbsp cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Few gratings fresh lemon zest
  • 2 egg yolks

How to make this:

  1. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, then let the melted butter brown in the same pan, creating what the French call “nutty butter” with a hint of the sweetness of caramelized sugar
  2. Then in a blender, pour in the milk, eggs, flour and browned butter, then blend the mixture until it becomes smooth
  3. Let the batter chill in a fridge for 30 min to 1 hour
  4. While the batter is chilling, mix ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, fresh lemon zest and egg yolks, whisk it until it turns smooth, then chill it in the fridge
  5. In a 10-inch pan on medium heat, lightly butter the pan, then pour in a ladle of batter, quickly swirl the pan until the batter covers it, cook for about 1 min or until the surface is dry, you can make 10 – 12 crepes with the batter
  6. Place a full tbsp on the edge of the crepe, then fold it like you would fold a burrito(but smaller & more delicate)
  7. Then pan fry them in some butter on medium heat, for about 2 min each
  8. Serve it with some fresh fruit, or any sweet fruit sauce, I used a homemade strawberry coulis

Shakshuka with Moroccan Meatball

This spicy North African dish is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner! You can serve it with toasted bread or couscous, and the poached egg is cooked to perfection, with a spicy, warm stew. With this recipe, you can either make the classic shakshuka, or this version with meatballs, which my friend’s Moroccan grandma made for me when I visited their home. I like both versions, but the meatballs make it a much heartier meal.

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You need (for 2 dinner serving, or 4 breakfast serving):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • (OPTIONAL: 1 lb ground beef; 1/2 lb ground lamb; 1 egg, 3 tbsp bread crumbs; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; 1 teaspoon turmeric; 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg; 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)

How to make this:

  1. Chop the onion, slice and seed the red bell pepper and jalapeno
  2. In a heavy duty deep pan, heat up the olive oil on medium, toss in the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno, cook them for 5 min
  3. Mix in the cumin, paprika, turmeric, ground black pepper, cayenne into the pan, lightly toast them with the vegetables for about 2 min
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and water, cook it until it simmers
  5. OPTIONAL: mix the ground beef, ground lamb, egg, breadcrumbs, chopped fresh cilantro, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper, salt, ground ginger. Form them into little 1-inch balls, and bake them in an oven for 10 min, then place them into the stew and cook for another 10 min
  6. Crack each egg into a bowl, then gently pour the egg into the stew, close the lid and cook them for about 5 -7 min or until the egg is just barely cooked, then turn off the heat and let it sit for about 10 min (where the egg will continue to cook), sprinkle some chopped cilantro and serve it with some toasted bread of your choices

Pain Perdu (French Toast) + Brioche Bread

This is going to be one of the heaviest recipes featured here, there’s going to be lots of sugar, butter & cream, and that usually results in a very, very high-calorie count. But don’t be afraid, we are going to do this properly, from scratch.

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First, the bread. Yes, you can just use normal sandwich bread, but those bread are bland & textureless, so, instead of that, we are going to use Brioche. It’s light and slightly puffy with a dark, golden, and flaky crust, which makes it perfect for this recipe, a bread that’s not too chewy, but can still hold its shape. I know that Brioche is often made with fruit or chocolate chip and served on its own, or served as a base for canapés, or soak it in syrup, and bake into a Bostock (which some claims to be better than French toast and they have a point), but trust me on this one, the result is worth the effort.

You’ll need these for the Brioche bread:

  • 500g flour
  • 3 eggs (2 eggs for bread & 1 egg for the egg wash)
  • 50g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 10g dry active yeast
  • 100g butter
  • 200mL milk

How to make this:

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, stir in the sugar & salt, then cut the butter into small cubes & rub them into the flour, this will create the flaky crust on the outside
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, room temp milk, and yeast, then gradually add the liquid into the dry mixture, about 1/4 at a time. Then place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth, which takes about 5 to 7 min
  3. Place the dough in a sealed container and let it proof for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size, then punch it down, cut it into 3 equal portions, stretch them out and braid, and place it into a loaf tray. Cover it and let it proof again for another 45 min, or until the dough reaches the surface of the tray
  4. Brush on a layer of egg wash, then place it in a pre-heated 200C/390F degree oven for 20ish min, then let it cool for at least 20 min

 

So, 4 hours later, you have a loaf of the most beautiful bread among the 100+ types of bread out there, and your kitchen smells like what I imagine “happiness” is like, what are you going to do next? Well, the unfortunate truth is that you have to wait, about 6 hours to be exact. The reason why the French calls it “pain perdu” or “lost bread”, it’s because they used it as a way to reclaim stale or “lost” bread, let it absorb the egg and cream, pan-fried it in butter until it turns golden. So, just be patient, and wait until the loaf to slowly dry. And after 10 hours, let’s make some French toasts!

You’ll need these for the French Toasts:

  • about 10 slices 1-inch thick brioche bread
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cream
  • pinch of cinnamon & a tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter

How to make this:

  1. Whisk together the eggs & egg yolk with the sugar, vanilla extract, cream, cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of salt
  2. Place a butter in a pan over medium-low heat, soak the bread for about 2 sec then flip it and soak for another 2 sec
  3. Place the soaked bread on the pan, cook for about 2 min, flip and cook for another 2 min, sprinkle with some sugar, then repeat and cook each side for another 2 min, the total cook time should be around 8 to 10 min over medium-low heat
  4.  Serve it with powdered sugar, syrup or some fresh fruits

 

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(Brioche Bread)