Breakfast Hash

I am determined to represent Australia in the One Pan Cooking Olympics and when I do, this ‘Breakfast of Champions’ may well be my secret to winning gold – it’s certainly a winner in this household. It’s a winning combination of golden potatoes, flecks of bacon and gooey fried eggs with the subtle perfume of fresh herbs, best enjoyed with a fine blend of tea while watching the rain fall outside from your bedroom window. This is the ultimate one pan lazy weekend breakfast in bed food, so I beg you all to make this and Instagram your foodporn photos with hashtags like #neverleavingthisbedexcepttomakemorehash – and of course tagging @aldo_cucina!

I don’t have too much more to say about this except for the fact that you probably already have the ingredients in your fridge, pantry and garden, and that you can cut down the cooking time by half if you use a pan that you can cover with a lid. If you don’t have a lid for your pan, try covering it with some aluminium foil. I recently bought a new Tefal 30cm hard anodised non stick sautee pan on sale at Harris Scarfe for half-off which is perfect for this recipe.

Also, fresh herbs are necessary, so if you don’t at least have rosemary growing in your garden, get some. It is unkillable and will add a subtle woodiness to recipes like this. I have made this with dried herbs before and I find the flavour too intense and almost soapy.

Don’t fear middle rashes of bacon as the fat will render and give even more salty caramelisation to the potatoes; having said this, short cut bacon works just fine, and the ultimate indulgence is to substitute the bacon with chunks of chorizo which will pepper the hash with its fiery juices. Go on, I dare you!

Right, that’s it. Best get cracking!

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Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium potatoes good for frying (like Royal Blue or Red Delight), peeled and cut into roughly 1.5cm cubes
  • 150g bacon, chopped roughly into 1 – 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup pecorino, finely grated
  • pinch of kosher sea salt flakes
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan, preferably one with a lid, over medium heat.
  2. Tumble in the potatoes and add a pinch of salt. Mix to cover evenly in the oil. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning, or until the potatoes are evenly golden and tender. (You can cook the potatoes for longer – they will take about 30 minutes, so cover with foil if you your pan does not have a lid)
  3. Remove the lid an add the bacon pieces and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the bacon is evenly coloured and cooked to your liking.
  4. Add the fresh herbs and toss through the potatoes and bacon.
  5. Use your mixing spoon to create four wells in the potato mixture, evenly spaced. Crack an egg into each well and cover the eggs and potatoes with a good sprinkling of grated pecorino. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the whites are firm and the yolks still soft.
  6. Remove from the heat and season with cracked black pepper and some extra fresh rosemary, thyme and pecorino.
  7. Lift the eggs and potato and bacon hash out of the pan with an egg slide. Serve immediately.

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Pear and Berry Bircher

If I want to feel particularly virtuous, I make sure that I am totally prepared for the day ahead the night before: the gym bag is packed for that commitment to the gym after work, the house is spotlessly cleaned, lunches are packed, and I have committed to a day of healthy eating by preparing a healthy and satisfying breakfast before I have even gone to bed! My Pear and Berry Bircher ticks all the boxes – healthy, nutritious, delicious and made in under 10 minutes.

Unlike many other bircher muesli recipes, this one does not contain fruit juice which is a good thing if you are conscious of hidden empty calories and sugars.

Be sure that you use rolled oats – not quick oats – you want the coarser texture of the fuller oats so that they almost become a little plumper as they soak in the liquid overnight. Quick oats will absorb the moisture quicker and turn your muesli into a gloopy sludge.

Be adventurous with your fruit toppings. My mother in law gives us a bucket of apricots from her tree every summer, so I poached a whole batch in some water, a cinnamon stick, star anise and a little sugar and kept them in the fridge to have on our bircher every other morning. Frozen berries are a busy person’s godsend, though, and letting them defrost on your muesli overnight allows them to bleed a little extra juice which adds a fresh flavour to your breakfast. If you’re not such a fan of the tart acidity of the juice, defrost your berries on a plate lined with paper towel in the fridge and just add the berries to your muesli in the morning.

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PEAR AND BERRY BIRCHER
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 pear, grated
  • 1 Cup Low Fat Natural Yoghurt (I like the creaminess of the Tamar Valley Natural Yoghurt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • Handful of mixed frozen berries
  • Chopped nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds

METHOD

Combine oats, pear, yoghurt, water, cinnamon and honey in a bowl.

Divide mixture between two bowls.

Top with frozen berries, nuts and seeds.

Cover with cling wrap and place in fridge overnight.

If you like your bircher creamier, stir through an extra tablespoon of yoghurt before eating.

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