Mary Jo's waffles
Mary Jo McMillan worked with us at the Cookery School on several occasions and she was a passionate and perceptive cook. This is her recipe for waffles which I enjoy much more than mine
Cooking Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
175g plain flour
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
50g butter, melted
350g milk, slightly warmed
2 eggs, free-range and organic if possible, separated
Preheat waffle iron. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a deep bowl. Make a well in the centre. Mix the warm milk, melted butter and whisk in the egg yolks.
Pour the milk and egg yolk mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir together to form a batter. Whip the eggs whites stifly and gently fold into the batter. Heat the waffle iron. Pour a 75g (scant ½ cup) ladle of batter onto the iron. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden on the outside.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve hot in a variety of ways both sweet and savoury.
Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce
This recipe is a combination of two, ‘forgotten skills’: poaching eggs and making Hollandaise sauce, creating the perfect lazy breakfast
Preparation Time 15 mins
Cooking Time 3 mins
Total Time 18 mins
4 slices good sourdough bread or 2 English muffins or 2 bagels
4 slices home-cooked ham or 8 rashers good bacon, cooked
For the Hollandaise sauce:
2 egg yolks
125g butter, diced
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
First, make the Hollandaise sauce and keep it warm. Put the egg yolks in a heavy, stainless-steel saucepan on a low heat or in a bowl over hot water. Add 2 teaspoons of water and whisk thoroughly. Add the butter bit by bit, whisking all the time. As soon as one piece melts, add the next piece.
The mixture will gradually thicken, but if it shows signs of becoming too thick or slightly scrambling, remove from the heat immediately and add a little cold water to cool it quickly. Do not leave the pan or stop whisking until the sauce is made.
Finally add the lemon juice to taste.
If the sauce is slow to thicken it may be because you are excessively cautious and the heat is too low. Increase the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens to coating consistency. It is important to remember that if you are making Hollandaise sauce in a saucepan directly over the heat, it should be possible to put your hand on the side of the saucepan at any stage. If the saucepan feels too hot for your hand, then it is also too hot for the sauce.
Another good tip if you are making Hollandaise sauce for the first time is to keep a bowl of cold water close by so you can plunge the base of the saucepan into it if becomes too hot.
Next poach the eggs. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat, swirl the water, crack the egg into a tiny bowl and slip the egg gently into the whirlpool in the centre, with the water temperature bubbling gently at just below boiling point. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the white is set and the yolk is still soft and runny.
Meanwhile, toast or chargrill the bread, muffins or bagels. Slather a little butter on the hot bread and lay a slice of ham or freshly cooked crispy bacon on the base.
Lift out the poached egg or eggs on a perforated spoon; drain and place on top of the toast.
Coat generously with the Hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.
This breakfast burrito is one of my favourite brunch recipes
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
½ an onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tin of mixed beans
1 tbsp butter
5 eggs, beaten
3 tortilla wraps
3 tsp spicy tomato salsa
75g cheddar, grated
Preheat the grill to medium. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
Stir in the beans, reduce the heat and leave to simmer while you scramble the eggs.
Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and pour in the eggs. Cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until the eggs are scrambled but still nice and moist.
Remove from the heat. Spoon half of the bean mixture into the middle of each tortilla wrap. Follow with equal amounts of the scrambled eggs, salsa and Cheddar.
Fold the sides of the wraps over the filling, then roll the wraps up from the bottom to top to enclose the filling completely. Place the wraps folded-side down on a baking tray.
Place under the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted.
Mascarpone and lemon pancakes with blueberry compote
The key to making light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes is to fold well-whisked egg whites into the batter just before you make your pancakes
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
350g plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1tsp vanilla extract
250g mascarpone cheese
A little butter to cook the pancakes
250g fresh blueberries
50g caster sugar
Some toasted flaked almonds
Combine the flour, two teaspoons of caster sugar, baking powder and grated nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Separate the eggs. Lightly beat the egg yolks and add the buttermilk, mascarpone, vanilla, and the zest of both lemons. Whisk to combine everything well. You can do this by hand. Do not use an electric whisk or mixer as you just want to combine everything, not whip it.
In a separate bowl, this time using an electric whisk or food mixer, whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy and form stiff peaks. Now combine the dry ingredients and your buttermilk mixture. Stir it well to ensure you remove any lumps and have a smooth batter.
Time now to fold in your egg whites. This is how you will incorporate all the air in the egg whites into the batter and make it really light and airy. Use a flexible spatula with a wide base to add one-third of your whisked egg whites to the batter, just place it in on top of the batter. Do this in a big mixing bowl, you need a bit of room to do it properly. Get the spatula in under the batter and scoop some up, folding it in over the egg whites. Repeat this until the egg whites are well combined, using slow folding motions. Take your time and do not stir the batter or you will knock the air out of the egg whites. Once the first third of egg white is folded in, repeat twice more with the second and final third. A little patience is required, but this will only take five minutes or so overall and doing it properly makes the world of difference.
Now, to make the blueberry compote. Wash the blueberries and pop most of them into a small saucepan. Keep about fifty grams of them to one side for now. Add the sugar and the juice of one of the lemons to the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let that cook for about ten minutes until the blueberries break down a little and you begin to get a nice syrupy texture. I like to keep some shape to the fruit for this compote, so do not over stir it or crush the berries while it is cooking. After about ten to twelve minutes, take it off the heat and add in the remaining blueberries. Just stir them in gently to coat the fresh berries and set the compote aside off the heat.
Toast some flaked almonds in a dry pan until they are lightly browned a few handfuls are plenty. When they are ready, just set them aside in a bowl until you are ready to serve. Add a few tablespoons of maple syrup to the crème fraiche and set that aside now too.
Warm a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat, throw on a knob of butter and let it melt until the butter foams. Turn the heat down to medium and spoon on some pancake batter. You want each pancake to be about eight to ten centimetres in diameter. I usually cook them in batches of three as that is a perfect portion for one, but that will depend upon the size of your frying pan.
As soon as you see the surface of the pancake bubble, flip them over. The underneath should be toasted and golden. Cook the other side for about three minutes. If you can’t wait to try them, taste one of the first batch - you can say you are just checking to make sure it’s fully cooked!
Serve a stack of three pancakes per person, with a dollop of maple crème fraiche on top, lots of the warm blueberry compote and finish the dish off with some toasted flaked almonds.