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Potato waffles with smoked salmon

I love potatoes and I love waffles - and I have no idea why I've never made potato waffles before. It's a delicious way of using leftover potatoes. To be honest, I didn't really have any leftover potatoes, but it was still worth making them.

Potato waffles are perfect for brunch. You can serve them with smoked salmon, yoghurt and chives. Surely, it's not the lightest bite you can imagine, but you have to eat something on those cold, rainy mornings, when you crave something hearty to cheer you up.

Recipe: Potato waffles with smoked salmon

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • one cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tso ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • one cup potato puree
  • one cup buttermilk
  • 85 ml melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
Method
  • Sieve flour into a bowl, add baking powder, soda, nutmeg and salt. Combine.
  • Combine oil, whisked eggs, buttermilk and potato puree in another bowl.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and set the dough aside for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat a waffle maker.
  • Cook each waffle for 3-4 minutes (or accordingly to the waffle maker manual).
  • Serve with smoked salmon ang yoghurt. Top with chopped chives and coarse black pepper.

Pho soup

Delicious, aromatic and wonderfully warming, Vietnamese pho soup is a perfect remedy for a spring cold and a bad mood. As you can probably imagine, there are numerous variations and regional modifications of the recipe. The one I propose is my way of quickly making a satisfying bowl of soup.

I’ve made mine with shrimp, but you could use thin slices of beef instead. If you want your version to be vegan, go for cubed tofu. You can substitute mint and cilantro with your favourite fresh herbs and spice things up with Sriracha sauce.

It is consumed at any time of day in the North of Vietnam, whereas Southern Vietnamese usually serve it in the morning. It might seem weird to have a bowl of soup for breakfast, but trust me - it really is the best way to start your day. Especially on Mondays.

Recipe: Pho soup

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • one piece (ok. 5 cm) ginger
  • one green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 anise stars
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • To serve: rice noodles, raw shrimp, green chili, lime, fresh mint and cilantro
Method
  • Char the onion and ginger over an open flame.
  • In a large pot, dry-roast cloves, cinnamon, anise, coriander and cardamom.
  • Add onion, ginger, chili and stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, for about an hour.
  • Season with sugar, soy sauce and lime juice.
  • In each bowl, place some noodles, shrimp, sliced green chillies, lime wedges, fresh mint and cilantro.
  • Top with hot broth.

Duck and waffle

Hot, cripsy waffles, duck leg marinated in maple syrup and fried egg with a perfectly runny yolk - can you imagine a better way to celebrate the upcoming weekend? Being a fanatic lover of all things brunch, I acknowledge many dishes that combine breakfast and lunch, but this particular one is by far my favourite.

The combination of sweet waffles and meat comes with, as you can easily guess, a "made in the USA" label. Chicken and waffles have been paired up by American diners for a while now. I mean American "while", which is closer to 100 and not 1000 years ago. Sadly, the exact origins of this delicious dish remain unknown. It could have been created anytime between the end of the 18th century, when Thomas Jefferson purchased the first waffle iron from France and the 1930s, when chicken and waffles became available in several places around New York's Harlem. There are two traditional versions of the dish - one with fried chicken, served with butter and syrop, the other one with stewed pulled chicken topped with gravy.

My recipe wasn't inspired by the heritage of the Founding Fathers, but by London's Duck and Waffle, with a finger-licking menu by Daniel Doherty. The flagship dish, duck and waffle, is not even the only reason to visit this place. The restaurant is situated on 40th floor, which reportedly guarantees unforgettable views of the London skyline. Reportedly, because upon my visit, all there was to see was a really thick fog. But fog doesn't really matter when you can sample spicy ox cheek doughnuts and crispy duck leg confit with perfectly fried duck egg and a comforting waffle. The place is open 24/7, so next time you have the midnigh munchies, you don't have to rely on what the nearest gas station has to offer.

If London is not on your way at the moment, make this deliciousess at home. There's no better way to start the weekend.

Recipe: Duck and Waffle

Serves: 2

Recipe: Duck legs

Ingredients
  • 2 duck legs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. coarse mustard
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • a pinch of coarse salt
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients of the marinade.
  • Carefully coat duck legs with marinade and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours (preferably even 24 hours, so if you have more time, let them marinate longer).
  • Remove the meat from the fridge at least half an hour before roasting. Preheat the oven to 170C. Place duck legs in an ovenproof dish and top with remaining marinade.
  • Roast for 2-2,5 hours, until the meat falls from the bone.

Recipe: WAFFLES

Ingredients
  • one cup flour
  • one tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs (yolks and whites separate)
  • 85 ml vegetable oil
  • 225 ml milk
Method
  • Sieve flour into a bowl, add baking powder, sugar and salt. Combine.
  • Add whisked yolks, oil and milk. Combine until smooth using a mixer or a whisker.
  • Beat the egg whites and delicately combine with the batter.
  • Preheat a waffle maker and cook each waffle for 3-4 minutes (or accordingly to the waffle maker manual).
  • Serve waffles with duck legs, fried egg and some maple syrup mixed with coarse mustard.

Duck egg and chorizo in tomato sauce

Duck eggs have been my favourite breakfast item for a while now. Personally, I don't think there's much difference in taste between chicken and duck eggs, although the latter are supposed to be more intense. I like them for two reasons. Firstly, they're larger, whiter and simply prettier. Secondly, a larger egg means a larger yolk. And I really love yolk!

Recipe: Duck egg and chorizo in tomato sauce

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 duck eggs
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • one small onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • one red bell pepper, sliced
  • 50g of Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • one tsp of sugar
  • a handful of fresh cilantro
Method
  • Melt butter in a skillet, add onions and saute them.
  • Add chorizo and red bell pepper, cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and sugar, simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • In the meantime, fry the eggs in a separate pan.
  • Place eggs on top of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is by far one of the most popular brunch spots in London. Every Saturday and Sunday morning (ok, early afternoon) you will see hungry Londoneers, craving coffee, Mimosas, poached eggs and maple pancakes and queuing in front of each of six locations of the restaurant. The wait is at least half an hour, but, personally, I don't mind waiting for food (unless it's in a heavy rain, which is not that uncommon in London). You could always try and outsmart the system and come for a midweek breakfast or lunch. But that would be spoiling the fun, wouldn't it?

Pancakes and berries, with maple syrup and vanilla cream

Huevos al Benny: poached eggs, chorizo, roast peppers, avocado, fresh chillies, spicy hollandaise on toasted English Muffin

The Breakfast Club, 2-4 Rufus Street, London

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