Cheshire Food Blogger

Fluffy Eggs and Mushrooms on Toast

Scrambled eggs on toast is a wonderful veggie option for brunch, especially at the weekend. Here is my recipe for a quick, simple and satisfying breakfast that you can rustle up in no time.

#bestofthebrunch
#bestofthebrunch

Weekends are all about a lie-in and a decent brunch – if you ask me. Here’s a weekend breakfast classic which is quick, easy and not all that unhealthy. Fluffy scrambled eggs with herby mushrooms on granary toast. Mmmm. A splash of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce at the end tastes great and helps if you have a hangover!

You’ll need a wok or a large frying pan for the scrambled eggs, and a little separate frying pan is perfect for the ‘shrooms.

This recipe serves 2, and takes about 10-15 minutes in total.

What you need:

  • 5 free-range eggs
  • a dash of milk
  • a small handful of finely chopped, flat-leaf parsley (or you could use thyme or coriander – whatever you fancy)
  • a big handful of sliced chestnut mushrooms
  • a shallot, very finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  •  2 knobs of butter or spreadable Lurpak
  • a little bit of olive oil
  • 4 slices of granary bread
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

What to do:

  1. prep your work station – get the wok and frying pan ready on the hob, toast in the toaster (but don’t toast just yet) and get your plates and cutlery out ready.
  2. crack your eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork, adding the dash of milk and salt and pepper. Mix in half of the chopped parsley.
  3. put one of the knobs of butter into small frying pan with the olive oil, and wait until it starts to foam. Then, add the sliced mushrooms and chopped shallots (if using). Leave them to fry gently, tossing every 30 seconds or so.
  4. add the other knob of butter to the wok and again, wait until it starts to foam (a medium heat should do it), pour in the eggs and using a wooden spatula start to stir them immediately, continuing to stir until they start to come together.
  5. pop the toast down in the toaster!
  6. as the eggs cook – turn down the heat, but keep folding them over with the spatula.
  7. check your mushrooms to make sure they are going nice and golden, and add the chopped garlic and the rest of the fresh parsley for the last 30 seconds or so.
  8. by this point you should be ready to bring it all together, get your toast buttered and serve the scrambled eggs on one slice, then a generous pile of the mushrooms on the other.
  9. season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of Tabasco hot sauce to taste! Enjoy!

Cheshire Food Blogger

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Cheshire Food Blog

Brunch at No. 12 Easton, Bristol

A couple of weeks ago, Bradley and I went on one of our road-trips to Bristol to visit close friends. It was a bit of a Glastonbury reunion and also an opportunity to see our friends’ really cool new house. It was a weekend of epic proportions; they were amazing hosts and we really did enjoy ourselves… probably a little bit too much judging by the enormity of the hangover that was to follow! But, hey, it was all worth it…

We arrived on the Friday evening, ready bright and early for Saturday’s antics. Our hosts, Becky & Craig, know how much we like cool and quirky places to eat, so they picked out somewhere to take us for brunch on the Saturday morning. We needed something tasty, hearty and filling to keep us going throughout the day… So we headed to No. 12 Easton.

A cool, down-to-earth little coffee house and Deli, situated in the Easton area of Bristol, not far from Stapleton Rd station. The place was busy when we arrived (always a good sign) and the girls on shift were quick to welcome us. They helped us find some seats (as there was 7 of us) outside in the, bright, sunny little courtyard.

IMG_4221

Cheshire Food Blog
Impressive selection of free range cured bacon, pork sausages, chorizo and free range chicken ❤
Cheshire Food Blog
Healthy selection of fine cheeses, butters, cooked meats and pickles ❤
Cheshire Food Blog
A stunning selection of cakes – the short bread was absolutely gorgeous ❤

We ordered a range of brunch/breakfast style dishes, and some of the guys opted for more ‘lunchtime’ options with sandwiches.

I opted for the sausage sandwich with mustard & red onion marmalade. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I have an unadulterated obsession with sausages. The bread was incredible, soft but sturdy slabs of white, bouncy bread – perfect to fuel a day of drinking alcohol in the sunshine! The onion marmalade was sweet and sharp, and the mustard was wholegrain which gave it a lovely, savory kick. The sausages themselves were thin, sliced chipolatas, but very meaty indeed. Delicious.

Brad opted for the waffles and bacon with maple syrup, of course! He tells me it tasted as good as it looked (amazing), even though the table was wobbly and he dropped it on the floor, quickly preceded by him picking it up and devouring the whole thing anyway… strictly adhering to the 3 second rule… of course.

Becky and Craig went all out for the sandwich option and both got the house smoked chicken and gammon sandwich with Pitt Cue sauce and pickles. It looked lush.

The cakes on offer also looked absolutely divine. We had a big slab of shortbread and it tasted amazing – chunky, sweet and buttery. It crumbled perfectly then just melted in your mouth as you washed it down with a cup of their delicious coffee, which they source from Extract Coffee  and Round Hill Roastery. I don’t know much about coffee – but compared to the usual Starkbucks or Costa, this stuff had such an epic depth of flavour somehow and really gave you a nice little wake-up buzz from the caffeine.

Cheshire Food Blog
Epic sausage butty and door-stop bread
Cheshire Food Blog
house smoked chicken and gammon sandwich with Pitt Cue sauce and pickles
Cheshire Food Blog
Coffee with a added art, which does look a little bit like a willy! ❤

Overall this place was great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee or cakes. If you’re in the area I would highly recommend!

Follow No. 12 Easton on Twitter.

No. 12 Easton, Bristol, 12 High St, BS5 6DL.

Lean Sausage Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish I really, really love. It pretty much hits alllll the mid-week dinner sweet spots: nutritious, check. Quick, check. Minimal washing up, check. It’s also perfect for a weekend brunch, especially when you team it with bacon and warm baguettes like I did with my ‘Hungover Breakfast.’ But, if you’re looking for something different and healthy to rustle-up in the evenings: then this variation of the dish for you.

This is probably as good a time as any to point out how versatile this dish is too: if you don’t like mushrooms, swap them for diced peppers, or leave them out. If you’re not keen on spice, skip the cayenne pepper. If you’re veggie, lose the meat and add more of the stuff you like. If you’re feeling naughty and fancy using all pork sausages then WHY THE HELL NOT! In this version, I use half pork sausage and half chicken sausage. This isn’t because only half of me was feeling healthy that day, honestly… It’s because my boyfriend’s ‘bulking’ and I’m doing exactly the opposite – so sometimes we just have to meet halfway. Using all of either sausage, or a mix of the two doesn’t matter. It still tastes great, so do whatever you fancy.

The possibilities really are endless with this dish. I’d love to see your creations, so make sure you tag me @sophiesscran if you try this one!

This recipe serves 2 hungry people and you should have some leftover for lunch (bonus). It takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook from start to finish. Equipment-wise, all you need is a large, heavy based frying pan and a working grill.

Lean Sausage Shakshuka <3
Lean Sausage Shakshuka ❤

What you need:

  • 2 chicken breast sausages, I use these ones from the mighty Muscle Foods
  • 2 lean pork sausages
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 60-70g sliced mushrooms (about a quarter of a punnet)
  • 2 heaped tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh coriander to serve (optional)

What to do:

  1. First of all fry (in a little coconut oil) or grill the sausages until just cooked through, then slice and set aside.
  2. If you’re using the same large frying pan, give it a quick wipe with some kitchen paper, then add some more coconut oil and gently fry the onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry until softened.
  3. Pre-heat the grill to medium (180° C).
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and stir well, then add the spices. Stir everything really well as the spices release their aromas.
  5. Add the sliced sausage back to the pan, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir. If the mixture looks a little dry add just a splash of water, and bring to a gentle simmer for 8 minutes or so while the sauce thickens.
  6. Make some space for the eggs, then crack them on top of the mixture and lightly season to taste. Transfer the pan to the grill and heat at 180° C for 3-4 minutes, checking them regularly to ensure the eggs are cooking gently. Reduce the heat slightly if needed.
  7. Remove the pan from the grill and top with finely chopped coriander, and if you like it spicier, some hot sauce on the side!

 

I was recently contacted by Adjustable Beds to see if I wanted to take part in their “Breakfast In Bed” eBook which is coming early 2016. I have submitted this recipe to be part of the eBook, as I think this is a lovely recipe to eat in bed with a brew on a lazy Saturday morning!

Keep a look out for the full eBook coming in January next year, I can’t wait!

Cheshire Food Blogger

Ollie’s Mulberry and Apple Jam

Morning Campers!

I’ve not treated you to one of these for a while, a lovely guest post plus special recipe, this time from Ollie Nuttall – Head Chef at Cheerbrook Farm Shop & Butchers in Nantwich, Cheshire. A local lad born and bred in the Nantwich area, Ollie started cheffing in his early teens and has learnt some of his craft whilst working in various well-rated establishments across Cheshire. He worked as sous-chef at Brunning & Price’s Old Hall in Sandbach and then went on to work at Cheshire Cat Pub Co.’s The Three Greyhounds, in Allostock, Knutsford. Both pubs serve delicious, creative, comforting classics that are consistently well-executed and both in absolutely gorgeous settings.

Being on the creative side of the academic spectrum, and with a passion for food that shone through from an early age, Ollie decided to pursue a career as a chef to follow his ambition. When I met up with Ollie to find out more about why he loves what he does (and to try his delicious jam) he was quick to tell me that no two days are the same. The job is always keeping him on his toes; coming up with new recipe creations based on the freshest, seasonal produce Cheshire has to offer and serving them up in the idyllic setting of Nantwich.

This recipe is fresh from the fruit in his garden – juicy mulberries and big cooking apples. As they were ripe and ready, he wasted no time in turning them into this scrumptious jam which is perfect on scones or even just a slice of toast. He admits, this is not something he’d usually make, but as it’s a great way to use up what nature’s provided (and save money on future pots of jam!) he thought, why not. It only cost £4 for the sugar, and 30p for the lemon the only gadget you might need to make the perfect jam is a big heavy saucepan and a jam thermometer

This recipe takes about 1 hour and makes about 2.5kg (5 lb) of jam, or 6 jars full.

What you need:

  • 1.5kg (3 lb) mulberries, washed
  • 600ml (1 pint) water
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 500g (1 lb) cooking apples (prepared weight), peeled, cored & sliced
  • 1.75kg (3.8 lb) jam sugar
  • A knob of butter

What to do:

  1. Wash 6 largish jam jars, and place on a tray in the middle of the oven at 100°c to sterilise them. Leave them in the oven at this heat, until the jam is ready.
  2. Place the mulberries in a preserving pan (large heavy based saucepan) with half the water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until soft and pulpy.
  3. Place the prepared apples, lemon juice and zest in a separate pan with the remaining water, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the apples to the mulberries in the preserving pan, and stir in the sugar.
  5. Continue stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, then add the knob of butter.
  6. Boil the jam for 10-30mins and use a jam thermometer to test the temperature (It could take longer than 30mins)
  7. Test for a set using the jam thermometer, and when setting point is reached, take it off the heat and remove the top layer using a slotted spoon.
  8. Remove the jars from the oven, and divide the jam into them equally then add the lids.

Do you have any fresh fruit growing in the garden, which you could turn into jam? Gooseberries are in season at this time of year, as well as red currants, blueberries and cherries!

Let me know if you’re making a jam this summer and use the hashtag #sophiesscran to show me your creations.

Follow Ollie on Instagram here for more food ideas and recipe inspiration.

Ollie's Mulberry & Apple Jam <3
Ollie’s Mulberry & Apple Jam ❤

Tabasco: #bestofthebrunch

Creamy Baked Eggs with Bacon, Buttered Toast & Tabasco

bestofthebrunch

When I was recently asked by Tabasco UK to take part in their #BestoftheBrunch challenge, I was really excited. How could I refuse?! Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love hot sauce, especially Tabasco Habanero, so I really couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

For the first of my #BestoftheBrunch recipes, I decided to go for something  a bit different. It’s not like me to choose a creamy eggs recipe (as I would usually have eggs with tomatoes for brunch), but I was keen to try this, and wanted to offset the creaminess with lashings of Tabasco Hot Sauce 🙂 who wouldn’t?!

The recipe is inspired by Rachel Khoo’s ‘Eggs in Pots’ from her show The Little Paris Kitchen, I have however pimped it up and used this as a great opportunity to try each of the 4 separate flavours; Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce (hot), Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (mild), Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (mild, with a slight kick – smokey BBQ flavour) and Tabasco Habanero Pepper Sauce (really hot!)

This recipe takes about 30 mins in total and serves 2 people.

What you need:

  • 4 rashers thick-cut smoked back bacon
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • chopped coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4 free-range eggs

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grill the smoked bacon to your liking (I don’t need to tell you how to do this!)
  3. Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  4. Place a tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by some chopped coriander and a generous splash of Tabasco sauce of your choice (don’t be shy).
  5. Crack an egg on top, add another dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and a final few drops of Tabasco.
  6. Repeat the above with three more ramekins (I swapped the Tabasco sauce used each time).
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.
  9. Serve with lashings of heavily buttered wholemeal toast (for dipping!) and the grilled bacon on the side…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Of the four sauces, my personal favourite this time was the Chipotle (it’s so rich and smoky – it worked really well with the warming nutmeg and creamy crème fraîche.)

Which sauce do you prefer, and why? Do you have any #BestoftheBrunch recipes you want to share? Feel free to get in touch by commenting below, or send an email to: sophiesscran@gmail.com

Enjoy, Scranners -x-

Grandad’s Sausages: Breakfast & Posh Dogs

Grandad's Sausages - Perfectly Packaged for #BritishSausageWeek
Grandad’s Sausages – Perfectly Packaged for #BritishSausageWeek – scroll down for more amazing pictures!

As you may have noticed from some of my previous recipes and social media posts, I am rather a fan of a good old sausage. Sausages are so versatile, tasty, quick and easy – if you’re a meat lover you’d be daft not to have a constant stash of good-quality sausages in the fridge. And these ones are awesome.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of Grandad’s Sausages as part of celebrating British Sausage Week, which was earlier this month 3-9 November. I got the chance to meet up with Matthew Woodward and his business partner Michael – we met in Chorlton; it was pouring down with rain and it turned into a sort of ‘drive-by’ pick up, which was very funny and felt a bit like we were doing something dodgy. But we weren’t, honestly, just casually picking up sausages… 😉

Both Matthew and Michael are really nice blokes. I will certainly be ordering more of their sausages in the future, and my own Grandad has already told me he wants some next year for his famous Summer family BBQ’s! Their sausages come in a range of different succulent flavours (the ones bold & italic were included in my sample):

  • Traditional British Pork
  • Olde English
  • Lincolnshire
  • Cumberland
  • Pork & Welsh Leek
  • Pork & Somerset Apple
  • Pork & Crushed Garlic
  • Pork & Fiery Chilli
  • Pork & Bury Black Pudding
  • Pork & Cranberry
Selection of Grandads Sausages
Selection of Grandads Sausages

 

Breakfast with Grandad’s Sausages:

First off had to be a traditional full-English breakfast/brunch. I just grilled them (hardly any fat came out) and served with plum tomatoes, fried egg ‘sunny side up’, black pudding & buttered toast. I had the Cumberland & Lincolnshire, and Bradley (boyfriend/partner in crime) had the Traditional Pork and Olde English. All super-succulent and perfectly seasoned, very meaty and even more morish. No need for bacon as well when the sausages are super tasty.

Grandads Sausages Full English Breakfast
Grandads Sausages Full English Breakfast

 

Posh-dogs with Grandad’s Sausages:

Next up was my take on ‘posh-dogs,’ where I used Pork & Fiery Chilli, Pork & Somerset Apple and Pork & Welsh Leek. I warmed a poppy seeded baguette in the oven at 150 degree for about 5 minutes, grilled the sausages in a griddle pan on a medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning regularly until cooked-through and crispy on the outside. I served them with a little rocket and plum tomato salad, some fried shallots, English mustard and a little ketchup. All of the sausages tasted brilliant, all with seasoning subtle yet distinct enough to be able to really appreciate the different flavours.

Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs served with poppy seed baguettes, rocket salad and fried shallots
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs served with poppy seed baguettes, rocket salad and fried shallots

Being a chilli lover, my favourite was the Fiery Chilli of course. Just the right amount of chilli for a nice little kick. So, so good as a ‘posh-dog’. I urge you to try it!

Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs - a taste sensation. Highly recommended!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs – a taste sensation. Highly recommended!

For more information visit grandadssausages.com!

The Hungover Breakfast

You all know the feeling. Slight nausea, banging headache, utter dehydration and, on some occasions, it even feels like every muscle in your body aches. Yes, it’s the dreaded hangover.

Hangover Breakfast 4

This recipe is my adaptation of Milton Crawford’s ‘Shakshuka’, from his brilliant ‘THE HUNGOVER COOKBOOK’, which my wonderful friend Rachel Ferguson bought for me one year for my birthday (go buy it, it’s amazing: http://www.miltoncrawford.com/).

Hangover Breakfast

Many of my hangovers start with an almost urgent requirement for paracetamol and a glass of cold water, followed by an extended period in bed waiting for the water and pain-killers to take effect. Then, once in a more ‘normal’ state, the next quest is for FOOD. During a hangover, the need for food is usually more pressing compared to the need for food on a usual day, especially as perhaps you may have skipped dinner the night before (after all, ‘eating is cheating’). Therefore, something relatively easy, tasty, filling and nutritious is needed, which will give you the kick-start you need to this rather grim day.

Hangover Breakfast 3

If you’re planning a big night out, check you have all the ingredients ‘in’ first (as to avoid any unexpected, disorientated trips to Tesco in your ‘onesie’). This recipe takes about 30 mins from start to finish, and serves 2 starving people, or 4 hungry people.

What you need:

  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked hot paprika
  • 1 tsp of crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 white baguettes
  • 4 thick slices of smoked back-bacon
  • a squeeze of tomato ketchup
  • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, to serve

What to do:

  1. Switch the oven on to 180* / fan-assisted 160*.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the bacon on each side, until crisp and golden, set aside on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat.
  3. In a larger frying pan, heat the oil on a medium heat and cook the onion until it has softened and turned slightly golden (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the bay leaves, cherry tomatoes and garlic and keep stirring for a further 1 minute.
  5. Add the cumin, paprika, and crushed chilli, continue stirring for about another minute.
  6. Stir in the tinned tomatoes and a generous squeeze of tomato ketchup, season with salt and pepper, leave to simmer on a low heat for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Place the baguettes on the middle shelf in the oven, to warm through.
  8. When the sauce has thickened, make 4 small holes in the sauce using a spatula, and break an egg into each hole.
  9. Then transfer the frying pan to a low-medium heated grill for 3-4 minutes, check them regularly – as the aim is for the egg yolks to stay runny.
  10. Remove the baguettes from the oven, and slice diagonally on a chopping board, place the previously cooked bacon onto the board, ready to serve.
  11. Once the eggs are ready, take the frying pan to the table to serve (on a heatproof mat or I use oven gloves). Garnish with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of the chopped parsley.
  12. Each hungover guest should pile their plates with some bacon, at least one egg, a generous spoonful of the spiced tomato sauce, and have plenty of bread to mop it all up with.
  13. Voilà, breakfast is served…. Happy hangovers, folks. xxx

Hangover Breakfast 2