Restaurants can't get breakfast right

The Food Bitch has a go about bad brekkers served at restaurants.

09 Oct 2012
bad breakfast food bitch

How many times have you heard the cliché 'It is only breakfast, they can’t stuff it up'?

And then they do…royally.

A traditional English breakfast often consists of dry sausage, rubbery bacon, oily eggs, raw tomato, boiled mushrooms and cold toast. Sound familiar?

One can only assume that cooks have given up on their dreams and just microwave the ingredients and slop them onto cold plates.

There are breakfast dives in North London that make a better breakfast than some of South Africa’s top hotels, and that is not a joke.

Breakfast abortion

Regular readers will remember my last breakfast abortion here. It was Kippers with mushroom sauce, I still haven't got over it and never will.

Here are my cooking tips for a traditional English breakfast.

1. Cook mushrooms in a super hot pan so that they do not boil in their own juices, but rather fry.
2. Cook the tomatoes well, so they aren't raw and cold in the middle. I like to char mine a bit for a caramelised flavour.
3. Use pork sausages where ever possible, beef sausages are just not the same.
4. To make bacon crispy, lie it down in a cold non stick pan and then heat, only turn the bacon when it has gone crispy on the underside. If you keep turning the bacon it will not go crispy but rather hard and rubbery.
5. Never offer margarine for the (hot) toast, it is just wrong and butter is better for you anyway.

Bad scrambled eggs and smoked salmon

That said, probably the most messed up dish is scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. This dish, when served well, is one of my favourites, but generally crappy at best. A combination of these errors are often made:

- Salmon trout passed off as smoked salmon - gah! This  is nothing short of fraud. It is easy to spot and has much less flavour than smoked salmon.

Restaurants pull this cheat as salmon trout is cheaper and they think that you won’t notice. I have often rejected the dish only to be told that ‘nobody has complained before’ (yes, they are still using that old pearler) or that it ‘tastes similar’. Have you blow-torched your taste buds you food philistines?

Others are:
- Lumpy egg due to slow cooking.
- Over cooked salmon that is floury.
- Freezing cold salmon draped on top of the egg.
- Cold plates.

My simple rules for making delicious smoked salmon and scrambled egg.

1. Tear up the smoked salmon and bring to room temp.
2. Add full fat cream instead of milk or water to thin out the beaten egg. This makes a huge difference, just try it.
3. Generous grinds of salt and pepper.
4. Cook on a medium to hot pan, not a cool pan and with butter, not oil.
5. Instead of chasing the egg around with a wooden spoon and making it lumpy, you use a spatula and scrape and fold
6. When the egg is 90% cooked (moist), add salmon and warm through for 30 seconds, no longer.
7. Serve on a warm plate immediately with some seeded toast or brown bread of your choice. Never use white bread…yuck!

Quick flavour tips:

You can add chives, capers or any greenery that compliments egg. For the brave, a few anchovies give it a nice kick.

Try it, you will love it.

Follow The Food Bitch on Twitter - @FoodBitch_SA

- The Food Bitch


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