The term ‘fry up’ conjures all sorts of images of greasy spoon cafes offering calorie laden breakfasts with tea so strong that you can stand a spoon upright in it but this is a completely different take on this. Rather than a meat heavy breakfast this makes the best of two of my favourite things which are both in season in the UK at the moment- Jersey Royal potatoes and asparagus. Each year I eat the best part of a family’s asparagus quota to myself and I hope this year will be no exception. My tray bake ‘fry up’ is much lighter and healthier than the usual fry up but it is perfect not only as a breakfast but also as a brunch or even a midweek dinner. It’s speedy but also is low on washing up which is always a bonus in my mind!
Ingredients- serves 2-3 Glug of vegetable oil
Jersey Royals- as many as you want depending on hunger!
1 red or white onion
1-2 garlic cloves
4-6 rashers of streaky bacon
Bag of baby spinach
200g asparagus spears
Cherry tomatoes on the vine
4-6 Portobellini or Portobello mushrooms
1 tsp chilli flakes
1. Start by preheating the oven to 200c/ 180fan and bringing a medium pan of water to the boil. Take the tray that you will be making the majority of the meal in, add a splash of oil and heat on the hob over a medium heat. Meanwhile simmer the potatoes until just tender; drain well. Take a separate tray, add another small glug of oil and toss the potatoes in it. Season with salt and pepper and roast until golden whilst you crack on with the rest.
2. When the oil is warm, add the onions and garlic and fry until softening. Shred the spinach and add to the tray; stir until combined with the onion and garlic and continue to cook over a lower heat until wilted. Remove from the hob whilst you assemble the rest.
3. When the potatoes are golden, use a slotted spoon to remove from the tray and use the back of a fork to lightly crush them. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes to the pan. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and season well. Brush the vegetables with a light coating of oil so they don’t catch in the oven and bake until just tender. Make a couple of hollows in between the vegetables and crack an egg into each; return the tray to the oven and cook until the eggs are set.
4. While that is in the oven, fry the streaky bacon in a dry pan or even wipe out the tray that you used to roast the potatoes and use this on the hob to minimise washing up further! Streaky bacon has a high fat content so you won’t need any extra oil. Fry until golden and remove from the pan. Towards the very end of cooking you have a bacon related decision to make… You can either serve the bacon on the top of the tray bake in whole rashers or you can do as I did and crumble a couple over the top whilst keeping a couple whole so it’s up to you. Serve immediately.
Tray bake ‘fry up’- just as delicious but minus the calories!
This recipe basically includes a whole host of my favourite things! I was sat trying to think of what I fancied for a late breakfast one day this week, looked in the cupboard, raided the fridge and came up with this! I loved how the earthiness of the artichokes balances with freshness of spinach and the saltiness of the feta. Marinated artichokes are a thing of beauty and so versatile so it’s always worth having a jar to hand. This recipe is for one person who fancies an indulgent treat but simply multiply the ingredients to share it with others. If you make it for more than one, I would suggest baking them in individual dishes as you simply won’t want other people to share this!
Ingredients- serves 1
Splash of olive oil
1/2 white onion- finely chopped
1 garlic clove- finely sliced
Approx. half a dozen marinated sliced artichoke hearts
Handful of baby spinach- roughly chopped
2 tbsp ricotta
1 large egg
Chilli flakes (optional)
1. Start off by preheating the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. If you are using ceramic baking dishes which are quite thick then you can preheat these too. Take a frying pan and heat a small amount of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes (if using) and cook until starting to soften but not until they are colouring.
2. Take the artichoke hearts and blot with kitchen roll to remove any excess oil. Slice the artichoke into slivers which are going to be easy to scoop up with bread. Add to the pan with the onion and cook along with the chopped spinach. Allow these to have a minute or so to themselves.
3. Next up goes the ricotta into the pan with a small splash of water to loosen it up. Give this a couple of minutes. Crumble in the feta and stir well to combine. Take the baking dishes and spoon the mixture into it carefully. Use the back of a spoon to make a hollow in the centre of the dish and crack the egg into the centre.
4. Bake for around 15 minutes but this will vary according to the size of the egg you use so do check from time to time. In the meantime toast some sourdough bread. When the artichoke is heated through and the egg is done to your liking, serve immediately. I finished mine off with a few more chilli flakes for a little bit more of a kick.
Artichoke, spinach and ricotta baked eggs- light, sumptuous and one of your soon to be new favourites!
The lovely people at Adjustamatic have launched a new eBook which gives you all the breakfast inspiration you need for a lazy start to the day. The book includes recipes from a range of food bloggers, including this red pepper and nduja baked eggs recipe from me so get cracking those eggs and get dipping! Download your free copy here.
Now there’s no excuse not to grab some breakfast before a busy day with these simple breakfast bars. This recipe can be tweaked to your heart’s content so I have given you the basic recipe so play around with different combinations of dried fruit, nuts and seeds to find your perfect bar. It may not be the healthiest bar in the world but everyone needs a treat now and again!
Ingredients- makes approx. 12 bars 100g butter
3tbsp golden syrup
85g demarera sugar
135g porridge oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g roughly chopped mixed nuts and raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 160c/ 140fan. Start by melting the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan over a gentle heat before folding in the rest of the ingredients. Combine well and place the mixture in a lightly greased or lined baking tin which is around 20cm in size.
2. Bake for half an hour before removing from the oven and allowing to cool. As the mix cools it will firm up and then it is ready to cut into bars. Store in an airtight container and they will keep for a week- not that they will last that long by the time your family tries them!
No festive season would be complete without liberal lashings of this marmalade! This could not be easier so give it a try even if you’re not the usual preserve making sort of person. This recipe makes plenty for you to keep at home but also to give as presents. I mean who could resist the look of these little beauties bobbing around?…
1.5kg preserving or granulated sugar
2 litres of water
1. To start with, halve the clementines and lemons and squeeze the juice from them all. Remove any pips as you go but hold onto them! Tie the lemon into a muslin bag or square along with the reserved pips.
2. Slice the clementines to your preferred thickness. I recommend keeping it in the style of thin shred so it is easy to eat. Place the slices into a pan before adding the fruit juices, muslin bag and 2 litres of water. Bring it up the boil before reducing the heat to a simmer for one hour.
3. Remove the muslin bag from the pan and add the fresh cranberries and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until it is all dissolved. You can use either granulated or preserving sugar here; if you want a clearer marmalade then preserving sugar is the one for you.
4. Bring the mixture up to the boil once more and boil for 20-35 minutes until it reaches the setting point. To test it, simply coat the back of a spoon and set it on a saucer. If it ready then it will appear wrinkled if pushed and the marmalade should not run back. If you need to give it a couple more minutes then put the pan back onto the heat and then test again. When it is ready, allow it to cool before spooning to sterilised jars. The marmalade will keep for around 2 months in the fridge.
A festive marmalade to keep everyone happy this Christmas!