Friday, 18 April 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The (Ottolenghi) brunch next door

Muesli Lover was rather delighted to be a)invited around for brunch at the neighbours (the most civilised meal of the day AND mini Muesli Lover-friendly) b) find that our neighbour was a rather superb chef, c) find out that our neighbour was an Ottolenghi fan and d) enjoy convivial conversation to boot.

See my snaps above, which don't do it justice, of a chard pancake, sweet potato fritters and sausages.

Thank you neighbours for many breakfasty reasons to be cheerful.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Recipe: Hermione's smoked trout kedgeree

Huge thanks to my friends at local blog, Kennington Runoff, for sharing a family favourite brunch recipe...

This kedgeree recipe is a staple of Mother Kennington Runoff (also called Hermione), and is traditionally a breakfast dish, although it can just as well be enjoyed at other mealtimes.

Kedgeree was first seen at breakfast time as a star offering on the Victorian sideboard, having been brought back to the UK by British colonialists from India. A very comforting start to the day, this recipe is adapted from Delia Smith's classic kedgeree (a little lighter, and thus healthier than Delia's, a bit spicier, and also quicker).

1 1/2 lb thick smoked haddock fillets (you can swap smoked haddock for smoked trout, but you'll need less)
1oz butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 level teaspoons hot (Madras) curry powder
Long-grain white rice measured up to the 8 fl oz (225 ml) level in a measuring jug
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and freshly milled pepper

First place the haddock fillets in a saucepan and cover them with 1 pint (570 ml) cold water. Bring to the boil, lower the hear, put on a lid, and simmer gently for about 8 minutes.
While the haddock is cooking, add the chopped onion to 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and soften it for about four minutes. Then add all the butter and soften for a further one minute. Next add the rice and stir for half a minute, and at this juncture add the curry powder.

Once the haddock had cooked for 8 minutes remove the skins and flake the flesh into the saucepan containing rice, onions and curry powder, also adding in 16 fl oz (450 ml) of the haddock cooking water to this pan. Stir once then, when it comes up to simmering point, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook, very gently, for 15 minutes or until the rice grains are tender.

When the rice is ready, remove it from the heat and mix in the hard-boiled eggs (you can save one to use as a garnish if you wish), the parsley and the lemon juice. Now cover the pan with a folded tea towel and replace it on very gentle heat for 5 minutes. The tip the kedgeree quickly onto a hot serving dish, season to taste and serve

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

White coffee masquerading as a flat white

ML rant alert...

You work at a coffee bar. I was going to say provincial, but actually some of you city/airport/station 'baristas' are just as bad. You offer a range of coffees from latte to cappuccino and perhaps even flat white.

... But you don't know what a flat white is. Regardless of the order you make the same coffee, faffing about at a machine for a while then sloshing in some hot milk... The coffee is a touch bitter, the milk is probably burnt and any texture evaporates in seconds because it was a bit of thin froth.

Yes, Kilver Court cafe in Somerset I am talking to you.

Ever seen an advert for a barista in a proper coffee shop that requires milk texturing skills? You don't know what that is do you?

...Then take flat whites off your menu.

Aaaaand breath.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Best cafes: Kalaset, Copenhagen

Every now and again a pancake comes along that just has that edge. That little bit fluffier, that perfect balance of light and dense and a simple topping that isn't too sickly sweet.

I went back to Kalaset two day's running just to be sure and can confirm that the walnut pancakes with raspberry compote are divine. I only wish I had been in Copenhagen another day for a third and final check...

The little cafe is in the city centre, close to the fashionable Norrebro district across the inner lakes, and a few minute's walk from the major shopping streets. It has quirky decor with mismatched furniture, vintage magazine covers and old radios on the walls and friendly staff. The feel is laid back and cosy with outdoor pavement seating when the weather allows.

The other breakfast options include the Danish classic, a sort of breakfast smorgasbord, or smorresbrod as it's known locally, that means you don't have to choose between fruit and fry-up, but can have the best of both worlds. It includes a little pot of yoghurt and toasted muesli, slices of fresh fruit and a choice of meat (bacon and spicy sausage) or falafel, humous and grilled veg, both served with potatoes, scrambled egg, and of course, rye bread.

There are juices and smoothies too, good coffees, chais, herbal teas and hot chocolate. Other dishes include muesli, pastries and toast. But don't waste your time, go straight for the pancakes...

Details: Kalaset, Vendersgade 16, 1363 Copenhagen, tel. +45 33 33 00 35; Open from 10am

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Favourite breakfast things: colourful dining chairs

Before these came along, our dining table was a rather serious affair. I love our old Victorian style school chairs, but it was a bit brown.

I saw these in a magazine (they were £85 from BHS) and thought they looked rather designer-y. As well as adding a touch of colour...