Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scrumptious Breakfast

Breakfast can easily become such a boring quickie as if the most insignificant endurance, especially if ones seduced or rather entrapped by the cereal is best brigade - usually marketing ethos as opposed to healthy regimes - yet a 'Breakfast' leisurely enjoyed with great textures, treats & taste is an  indulgence served with pleasures in mind. It doesn't take much to create a real tasty treat out of the typical breakfast cupboard ingredients, to turn the cereal banality into a delicious dish which will not only awaken all taste buds & make you smile ... but its  so aesthetically pleasing.
During the sultry Summer we were the appreciative recipients of some gorgeous plums given to us by neighbours & family. Never have I tasted such exquisite plum. this year they were exceptionally delectable! We had soo sooooo many to enjoy. One day we decided to stew some & decant into jars to keep in the fridge so we could have them with desserts, snacks & for breakfast. Any fruits we have to hand - in season - suits this dish. However it especially suited the plums.  Although I'm not  great lover of cereal, its quite a handy base upon which such moreish treats can be served.

Ingredients
Cereal
Pecan & Maple Clusters are our usual favoured base but equally as good are Muesli
and also the more general cereals like Cornflakes, Branflakes etc
Fruit.. Victoria Plums
Natural Greek Yogurt
Maple Syrup
Method
  • Rinse the plums beneath running cold water
  • Halve & remove the stone
  • Add the halved plums into a small saucepan, add a drop of water 
  • Place the saucepan on the heat & cook the fruit until it softens to a stew like consistencey
  • Remove from heat, allow to cool then decant into jars. 
  • Store in fridge until needed.
  • Take a handful of your favourite cereal and add it to a small bowl
  • First stir the Greek yogurt, then take a large tablespoon full of the yogurt and add the dollop on top of the cereal
  • Next take a large spoonful of the stewed plums adding the fruit onto the yogurt
  • If preferred, you can now add a drizzle of Maple Syrup which just rings a lovely completion to the flavours, texture & taste.

  • If not eaten immediately  the yogurt softens the cereal & the flavours become merged creating an almost caramelised flavour.
  • Also Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Melon, Grapes & Apples are also sooo tasty. So do try all of them.
  • Mmmmmmmm absolutely delicious 
  • Experiment & enjoy but much more than pleasure its quite a good wholesome ways to eat cereal for those of us who don't really enjoy the taste of cereal drowning in milk.
This post is dedicated with love to Imi :)  who graced our breakfast table & thoroughly enjoyed the wee bowl of clusters, pecan nuts topped with yogurt, chopped apple & maple syrup. "Imi, you see I knew I had some old photos on file somewhere  ..  so here we are ..  now Imi you show your nearest & dearest the tasty treat, the great recipe for those dreary mornings which need a little fruity awakening" xXx


Ham'mmmmmmm

Traditionally at Christmas time we would have a huge joint of ham.. alongside the turkey. For days after we would have the most gorgeous teas. Sandwiches with turkey & ham, ham with stuffings, ham with cranberry etc. Its silly really we have ham all year round but its this time of year which seems to lend itself so beautifully to ham & all its multiple uses & flavours. Ham stock, ham & lentil soup, ham sandwiches with lentil soup. It's just an all round full flavour which can be gently persuaded to become infused with any  preferred fragrance or flavour. Often bathed in cider, coated in maple syrup or black treacle, showered in cloves & garlic. If you haven't much time, try chucking into the pot  a mulled wine tea bag :) he he  it actually adds great flavours to the ham.  'Ham' or is it Gammon .. anyway really does allow much experimenting. Do try the multiple ways ham can be enjoyed & served.
This particular time we enjoyed a marinated ham simply served with one of my favourite accompaniments . . cauliflower cheese  & a pile of green veggies :D   Mmmmmmm so soooo good, hearty warming, sustaining & yes  a little naughty but very nice.  Great news too the supermarkets seem to be selling off their little gammon joints often 2 for the price of 1 so its hard not to indulge frequently :)

Large Saucepan
Cold Water
Unsmoked Gammon Joint

Marinating Cooking Flavours
Apples
Cloves, Cinnamon
Garlic, Ginger
Black Treacle, Maple Syrup
Cider,  Apple Juice
(these are just a few I use (not all at the same time) of course you can add any flavours you prefer)

Melody of Greens: Green Beans, Runner Beans, Petit Pois, Leeks, Broad Beans etc etc

Large Cauliflower
Cheese SaucePlain Flour
Butter
Milk

Strong /Mature Cheddar
English Mustard Powder
Paprika

Method
  • Rinse ham in cold water.
  • Place in container full of cold water & store over night. Change water a few times to remove excess salt (even unsmoked ham is too salty)
  • Remove ham from water rinse again then add to large saucepan. 
  • Cover with cider, add spices & treacle
  • Pop onto stove add lid & bring to the boil
  • Allow to simmer for a couple of hours or after an hour remove from water & roast.
  • I sometimes just leave mine in the marinade & serve when needed.

For the Cauli Cheese: 
  • Remove all of the outer leaves.
  • Score a cross in the base of the cauli stalk
  • Plunge into boiling salted water & cook for around 7 minutes.
  • Remove from boiling water & rinse beneath cold water until cauli feels cold (this prevents it from further cooking & becoming too soft)
  • Add large lump of butter into saucepan, melt down then add a handful of flour
  • Gently stir in flour & cook it out over the heat  til it bubbles
  • Add little flows of milk to the flour & butter until all the milk is used & you have a lovely thick but pouring consistency to create the sauce
  • Add a large pinch of English mustard
  • Once you have a lovely creamy white sauce grate the cheese and add
  • Keep stirring until the cheese melts into the sauce. Remove from heat to use .
  • Place the whole cauli into a tureen, pour the cheese sauce over the cauli
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Place into a pre heated oven for around 45 mins
  • Serve immediately with the gorgeous ham & a melody of greens
  • ENJOY!!!
  • Also remember the chutneys made in the Summer, well they're now ready to have with the remaining cheese as sandwiches :)
  • In the Summer its great as a ploughman's lunch in our cold Winters the ham sarni is equally delicious with lentil soup, chutneys etc 
 

Mmmmmmmm indulge & enjoy xxx