My husband and I have an exercise routine in the morning that usually consists of running around our sofa ten times to catch my son just to change him when he is waken up…its just a big game to him. Then after breakfast, one of us need to run around the sofa another ten times just to change his nappy/diaper. Let me emphasise that this is before the real activity starts! For example, Saturday mornings involve approximately 20 laps around the sofa, followed by soccer and then swimming. This might put the little guy’s energy at bay for say half the day, but then there is the entire afternoon remaining!
So, sometimes my only remedy is to put my faith in food to deliver abundant energy sources and the addition of a little coffee (as you might have read from an earlier post).
For those days when you need to load up on energy stores or a little comfort in a hearty meal, here is a fiery dish to get your day underway.
The first is inspired by one of the best breakfasts I have had…ooh, going back about sixteen years or 5,840 breakfasts ago! It was in Budapest, Hungary and I was invited to a friend of a friend’s home for breakfast/brunch. It was a typical hungarian spread; crusty bread, scrambled eggs with the flavours of paprika, peppers, salami, tomatoes or should I say lecsó. Lecsó is a hot and spicy dish of tomatoes, peppers, onions, paprika, garlic, sugar, salt and there are many varieties. I was in heaven and this was so exotic compared to anything I had enjoyed for breakfast back home that it made an impression needless to say. It is though rather simple and really hits the spot.
I will just note though, that my breakfast is the ‘healthy version’ as the condition of my arteries is more important to me than it ever was in my early twenties! I have included something called ‘bacon dust’ in my recipe which all credit for this idea goes to Valli Little, Food Director of delicious. magazine again because she is well – AWESOME!
The other recipe is a no fuss canapé for summer entertaining. They are not only beautiful to look at but are light and almost guilt-free. You can prepare them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature or simply re-heat slightly for a crisper texture.
4. Kale lecsó and scrambled eggs (serves 4).
Lecsó (This can be pre-prepared a day or two in advance and warmed up. It is best to add the kale fresh though).
1 bunch kale (stems removed)
2 rashers of bacon with fat removed and cut into small pieces
1/2 small brown onion sliced
1-2 peppers (yellow and orange) sliced finely
2 ripe roma tomatoes finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 garlic clove crushed
2.5 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of sugar
4 pinches of salt
1 tablespoon of water
6 large eggs
2 rashers of bacon
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1. Wash kale and leave to soak in warm water with some lemon juice. After 10 minutes remove and dry.
2. Add bacon to frying pan for a few minutes to soften on medium heat. Add onions and peppers for 15 minutes on low heat.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic sugar, salt, paprika and cook over medium heat until peppers are soft and tender. Add a the water if a little dry before peppers are soft.
4. Add kale leaves to frying pan to soften for a few minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
1. Place two rashers of bacon in frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Dry on paper towel to remove all moisture.
2. Place bacon in food processor until it resembles a fine consistency or dust.
3. Crack six eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly adding milk half way through.
4. Place butter into clean frying pan on low-medium heat.
5. Add eggs to pan and start with a wooden spatula, gently push outside edges into centre until you start to see eggs looking creamy and thickening (approx 3 minutes). In the last minute, break up carefully and remove from heat.
6. Serve eggs with sprinkled bacon dust on top, kale lecsó on the side with lightly toasted sourdough bread. Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil on warm lecsó.
5. Potato and kale nests with smoked salmon (makes 24).
250gm white or yukon gold (starchy varieties) potatoes peeled
12 leaves of kale
40gm butter, melted and cooled.
1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise (I use an organic whole egg variety)
1/3 cup light/fat free sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill
150gm cold smoked (lox) sockeye salmon
sea salt and cracked black pepper
olive oil spray
dill fronds or coriander leaves to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 390F/200C. Lightly grease a 24 capacity mini muffin tray with olive oil spray.
2. Using a mandolin, thinly slice potatoes (please watch fingers!) and then finely cut small matchstick size; about 4mm thick and 6-7cm in length. They certainly don’t need to be perfect match sticks, I just stack my slices and then cut lengthways into the strips.
3. Chiffonade the washed kale leaves and blanch them in almost boiled water for 15 seconds and then place in cold water, drain and dry with paper towel.
4. Place in a large bowl the egg, butter, potato and combine well adding some salt and pepper to taste. Add kale at end.
5. Press approximately a tablespoon into muffin tin to create a nest and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.
6. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and chopped dill in a bowl. Squeeze juice of half a lemon over salmon.
7. Spoon a small amount onto nests and top with smoked salmon. Garnish with coriander leaves or dill fronds.