Breakfast, brunch & bread

Breakfast, brunch & bread

By
Ben Tish
Contains
17 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978 1 84949 715 2
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

I love weekend breakfasts at home. For me, this is a time for relaxation, family and the chance to cook something delicious.

Make your weekend breakfast an occasion and start the day as you mean to go on.

But would you really get the barbecue out for breakfast, I hear you ask. Well, why not? Once you’ve got your barbecue lit, popped the coffee on, maybe mixed a Bloody Mary, read the papers and got everything ready, the barbecue will be at optimum temperature and ready to roll. Just imagine cooking fennel-infused sausages, glistening, fatty pancetta and even frying golden-yolked eggs over the glowing heat of the charcoal, everything benefiting from the faint lick and wisp of smoke from the charcoal and wood… Cooking breakfast or brunch over a barbecue will make the weekend (or a weekday off) even more special. And it doesn’t have to be summer. If it’s nippy outside, just set the table inside and bring in the food (or get everyone to man-up and put on their thermals!), so you can still experience the amazing barbecue flavours.

We don’t offer breakfast at Ember Yard, but we do serve brunch, and some of the dishes in this section have appeared on our brunch menu at some stage or in slightly different guises – our takes on the classic English breakfast have become legendary with hungover weekend Soho-ites and hungry local shoppers. Try charcoal-grilled pancetta with fried eggs and chorizo ketchup for starters, then add a potato, honey and thyme flatbread for good measure!

There’s also a selection of pizzette, or mini-pizzas, which we encourage you to try. Once you’ve got the knack, diversify and experiment as much as you like. Flatbreads work brilliantly cooked over charcoal, as their large surface area means they take on plenty of smoky goodness. Serve them straight from the grill, nice and hot, doused in a punchy, garlicky pesto or our signature smoked butter, which is easily mastered using the coldsmoking technique. The Turkish pide, blackberries and creamed sheep’s cheese recipe is something I brought back with me from indulgent food-led holidays in Alaçatı, on Turkey’s Aegean Coast, where the breakfasts are second to none. Blackberries slowly simmered and turned to jam over charcoal take on a smoky note, while the hot, grilled Turkish bread and the cool, creamy cheese bring everything together beautifully.

There are also some deliciously healthy options, with mackerel and sardines making an appearance. Rich in omega 3s, both of these oily fish barbecue beautifully, their skins blistering and their natural oils self-basting the flesh. As they cook, they give off a heady aroma evocative of summers spent by the sea in Portugal and Spain, or on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, where charcoal-grilled mackerel sandwiches are served to what seems like the entire population on their way to work. When it comes to flavour and nutrients, sardines and mackerel are truly the champions of fish – and even better, they are currently very sustainable.

Finally, I couldn’t skip giving a nod to the US (we are barbecuing, after all), with some light and fluffy buttermilk-based pancakes – here given a whole new dimension with the addition of some char and smoke…

So, it’s the weekend and you’ve some time on your hands: get the charcoal lit, toss on a few chunks of wood and let the barbecue take care of breakfast. It’s a no-brainer.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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