Thursday, November 01, 2012


After visiting New York City last year, I came back completely enamoured with the ritual of Sunday brunch, but so rarely do I stray from the weekend morning routine of a couple of eggs on toast, that it has taken an entire year to build this post... Scrambled eggs and Bloody Mary's just don't look that blog-able, even though they're delicious. However, all that cream and vodka before midday just doesn't seem like a routine one should endorse publicly (ahem), so here's something completely different.    

I busted out the bread-less brekkie this past weekend. No recipe needed, just some roasted rhubarb (sprinkled with sugar, in a 180C oven in a baking dish covered with foil, cooked for 15-25 minutes: it is ready when the knife slips through easily.) Cool the rhubarb, layer with toasted rolled oats, Greek yoghurt, and some toasted slivered almonds. Wakes up the palette in three seconds flat, even if coffee is still needed to put my brain into first gear...

Bill Granger's Coconut Bread from his first cookbook Sydney Food needs a bit more preparation, but it is easy to freeze slices of it, and have it at the ready for the occasional treat. Just defrost, toast and serve it with butter. 

Coconut Bread
(Makes 8-10 slices)

2 eggs
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
150g dessicated coconut
75g unsalted butter
to serve
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together.

Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, add sugar and coconut, and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture is just smooth. Don't overmix.

Pour into a greased and floured 21x10cm loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.

Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, and remove to cool further on a wire rack. Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar.

Poached egg, Asparagus and Smoked Salmon

Another favourite when I've jumped on the carb-free wagon for short-lived attempts at virtue, is a poached egg, smoked salmon and asparagus. 

I thought this might be a good change of habit, having just spent a week in LA eating a lot of pizza (more on that later). The West coast didn't disappoint in the brunch stakes either. This is 3 Square's twist on Eggs Florentine (which I'm such a sucker for it is all I ever order). The snow peas and spinach cover some fairly sinful brioche beneath, but as you can see they don't smother their eggs in hollandaise sauce. 

Ideally, I would eat this every Sunday, which is why I haven't skilled up to make a good hollandaise, or that Bloody Mary. Some things are best left to the experts, and to really special Sunday brunch dates. And to New Yorkers, who I hope will return to their routines soon.