What to have for breakfast? The first decision of the day, unless you are grappling with more existential problems, then it is why am I here and what is the point of getting up? Assuming that is not the case, then, what to have for breakfast? Breakfast is not really a meal most of us spend much time on. It tends to be as assemblage. See what is lurking in the fridge and check the cupboard. You don’t look at a recipe book for breakfast and most people just have three or four favourite meals that they endlessly recycle.
This morning I cooked breakfast. Oat hotcakes and ate them with fresh fruit and yoghurt. There is a wee bit o’ Scots in me so I was looking for a way to eat oats outside of porridge in winter. Here is the recipe.
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of rolled oats
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of buckwheat flour (or plain flour if you don’t have/like buckwheat)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
To make the batter, first soak the oats in the milk for 10 minutes. Then add the sugar, olive oil and egg and mix together. Sift in the dry ingredients and combine. Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat, add some olive oil and put in a couple of ladlefuls of the batter. Cook each hotcake for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. The mixture should make about 8.
Drizzle with honey and serve with berries, banana or other fresh fruit and yoghurt.
There are some classic food combinations such as tomato and basil, peaches and cream and, I think, duck with olives. With some friends coming for dinner I cooked Neil Perry’sHoney braised duck with orange and olives . This recipe is a clever mixture of the traditional French duck recipes with a middle eastern touch. Neil Perry’s addition of cinnamon and coriander to the French duck flavours of orange and olives makes for a modern dish which can happily be served with cous cous or more traditional vegetables.
After the dinner, a friend sent me the link to restaurant Allard in the rue St-Andre-des-Arts in Paris. Their reputation is built on their Canard de Chellans aux olives (though apparently not on their service, if you read the reviews on Trip Adviser). The French recipes tend to roast the duck first and when plating it up, pour the sauce and olives over. All of the recipes agree that the olives must be green, which also means being careful not to over-salt. The olives by themselves add enough additional salt.
Duck with olives is perfect dinner party fare. You can organise most of it beforehand, the meal is not too heavy and duck always imbues a sense of festivity. Then, as Brillat-Savarin says, the true pleasures of the table can be enjoyed where ‘at the end of a well-savoured meal both soul and body enjoy an especial well-being’.
The Sourced Grocer in Florence Street Teneriffe is an inner city oasis of seasonal food and good eating. Opened by owner Jerome Batten in June 2011, the grocery and cafe quickly became central to the life of many locals. There are many ways to approach the Sourced Grocer. For regulars, the cafe is the first stop of the morning, where after ordering at the counter, you can squeeze in at the communal table or find a spot out the front or on the stairs. The cafe is set up to assemble a range of fresh meals but it is not a full kitchen.
The Sourced Grocer specialises in fresh, quality produce and this flow through to the food prepared. For breakfast there is a choice of Farmer Jo’s muesli ($11), a breakfast trifle, Chouquette croissants or my favourite, the smashed avocado on Levain sourdough with labne ($11). For lunch, choose from a couple of healthy sounding salads made with freekah and quinoa, upmarket sandwiches ($12.50) full of Bangalow ham and mixed leaves as well as handmade falafel with a Moroccan dip, piles of baby spinach and cherry tomatoes ($12.50). Service can be slow on the weekends when the crowd builds before the doors are open, so if you are the impatient type, get down there early or go during the week.
After eating, it is time to cruise the shelves and see what has come in. Sourced Grocer Manager Willow Humphreys said they source as much produce from southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales as possible. This means there is a range of high quality meat including Bendale Farm organic chickens, Bangalow pork and Eumundi Smokehouse sausages. A whole fridge is taken up with Gundowring ice cream, which may seem a little excessive until you get your own flavour addiction going. Willow swears by the lemon curd.