Recipes for Easter Breakfast

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easterbreakfast2_cEggs and Easter are synonymous these days, so there is our starting point. It is mushroom season, so we'll add those to the mix. If it is barbecue weather, small spicy sausages will smell and taste good, especially if served with raw oysters and a glug of peppery sauce. Caramelised onions, too, are always good with sausages and can be prepared ahead. Should it be more of a brunch, a platter of crepes is a sweet touch, or cut to the chase and bring out the Easter eggs.


Indian eggs

A new take on eggs en cocotte. Makes 8. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp light cooking oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5cm fresh ginger, grated
1 x 250g can of tomatoes in juice, chopped small
1-2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped finely
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
8 fresh eggs
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Garnish (optional) coriander, chopped

Brush 8 small tians or ramekins with a little light cooking oil and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently cook the chopped onion, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes, chillies and spices and cook until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Divide the mixture between the tians/ramekins. Carefully break an egg over each dish, add salt and pepper and 1 tsp of water over the egg. Arrange the dishes in a roasting pan of hot water and bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. The whites should be set, but the yolks still soft. Garnish with coriander.


Baked eggs, spinach and mushrooms

Creme fraiche is used in this soft breakfast dish, but fresh cream can be substituted. It is a luxurious dish so serve only once a year. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp unsalted butter
300g freshly picked field mushrooms, or any wild mushrooms, thickly sliced. If wild are unavailable, buy swiss browns
2 cups well-washed young spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4 fresh eggs
2-3 Tbsp creme fraiche

Heat the oil in a lidded pan large enough to take four eggs easily. Add the mushrooms and cook gently until juices ooze, then increase the heat and add the spinach. Cook, stirring, until it wilts, then lower the heat and carefully break the eggs into the pan. Season well and spoon over the creme fraiche. Cover and cook over medium heat until the egg whites are set, about 5 minutes. To serve, use a fishslice and lift one egg out at a time onto the serving plate. Spoon a little mushroom-spinach sauce over and around.


Onion marmalade

This has a spicy, meltingly sweet, tart flavour. It is not a jam or relish, but is delicious with sausages, grills, pies and cheese platters. Makes two 250g jars.

Ingredients:
50g butter
1 Tbsp cooking oil
750g peeled brown onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup muscovado sugar
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp mustard powder mixed to a smooth paste with water
112 cup white-wine vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat a large saucepan. Add butter and oil, then onions and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until soft. Add sugars, lemon juice, mustard and white-wine vinegar. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 hours until thick. Add the balsamic vinegar, if using, to the simmering mixture.

Spoon into warm, sterilised jars and seal with sterilised lids. Best if kept at least two weeks, but even two days is better than using it immediately. Store in a refrigerator when opened.


Breakfast crepes

According to Handy Hints by Aunt Daisy, using a mix of wholemeal and white flour when baking will keep a body slim. Or maybe slimmer. It also adds a pleasant nuttiness to this basic crepe recipe.

Makes 12.

Ingredients:
50g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
1 large fresh egg
1 egg yolk
250ml milk
3 tsp fresh mixed herbs (parsley, chives, and tarragon are good) finely chopped
1 Tbsp melted butter or cooking oil

Food processor method: Put milk, eggs, herbs, oil or butter, flours and salt in the machine in that order. Whizz a few seconds, pause and scrape down any batter on the side of the bowl, then whizz again.

By hand: Sift flours and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre, beat in egg and extra yolk and half the milk and beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, stirring throughout.

To make crepes: Strain batter into a jug. Heat an omelette or crepe pan and wipe with butter paper or an oiled paper towel. Pour in 2 Tbsp of batter and tip pan to spread it out. Don't touch until the underside is browned, then lift with a spatula and flip. Stack the crepes and keep warm. For savoury crepes, add some smoked salmon before folding; for sweet, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar.


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