Q. After 23 years of toast and Marmite, I’m ready for a breakfast with a difference – any ideas? Lucy, 28
A. For me, breakfast is a real treat. During the week, I normally wolf down an Activia yoghurt with some gravel (the packet says nuts and seeds, but I’m not convinced) then head to work… but when it comes to the weekend, well, that’s when I like to take my time and indulge in a lazy morning.
The key is easy and delicious recipes that mean you don’t spend the rest of your Friday washing up. I kick off with a fruit smoothie: just whizz a couple of handfuls of frozen raspberries with some elderflower cordial, a small pot of yoghurt and a splash of milk.
While sipping on that, it’s time for the main event… If I’m feeling fat I’ll bypass bacon for smoked salmon and go for poached eggs rather than scrambled (check out my secret recipe). Grilled tomatoes are easy (and if you put on a huge batch then you can make some delicious soup afterwards) – just cut in half, drizzle over some balsamic, dried basil and olive oil and put under the grill until they brown (to make the soup, whizz them up and add some cream and seasoning). Make sure you’ve got granary bread to toast (I never get mine sliced as I like to decide on the thickness) and serve it all with hot mugs of English breakfast tea.
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Store-cupboard Essential: Paprika
Few of us have used the phrase, “I love the taste of paprika” but you’d be amazed at what the peppery spice can bring to a dish. Mostly used as a final flourish – I serve hummus with a sprinkling of paprika – it’s also great on coronation chicken or potato salad. Try adding it to tomato-based sauces for extra depth (it’s always in my spag bol). Or, for a creamy paprika sauce (a great side dish with fajitas), mix smoked paprika, plain yoghurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add cayenne pepper, oregano and cumin for extra bite or make it sweeter with grated cucumber.
Best Scrambled Egg Ever...
For one person, take three eggs (only eat organic – it’s the one thing I will always spend extra on), crack into a bowl, add a splash of milk, a couple of dashes of Tabasco (or some dried chilli flakes), salt and pepper. Whisk together while melting a big knob of butter in a shallow, small saucepan. Get it hot and before adding the egg mixture add another knob of cold butter into the eggs and put in the pan. Now you need to take your time (at least three minutes). Turn down the heat and let the eggs do their thing. You only want to stir occasionally to keep it thick but light. For a final flourish, sprinkle over some parsley and serve on hot buttered toast.