With Mother’s Day less than a week away, what better excuse to spoil that very special person with a very special Mother’s Day breakfast. Here are some ideas straight from the De Beauvoir Deli and a recipe which is one of the best things you can eat for breakfast – Omelette Arnold Bennett.
For many, breakfast isn’t breakfast without coffee – so why not make it a great coffee. We use Monmouth espresso blend for all our coffees in the deli, but we also have an ever-changing selection of single origin coffee that you can grind to your liking. My favourite at the moment is the Finca Santa Catalina from Guatemala. Medium bodied, with citrus and hints of dark chocolate make it perfect for your French Press on a Sunday morning.
Toast is good, especially if you use a Dusty Knuckle sourdough, but it’s infinitely better with a scraping of butter and a generous helping of our very own Seville orange marmalade. It’s not scientifically proven, but it is fact.
Charbonnel Et Walker truffles
I know they’re not technically ‘breakfast’ but this is a special occasion, and mum can save them for later when there are fewer people to share them with. Charbonnel Et Walker’s Pink Marc De Champagne truffles boxes are a great gift and are absolutely delicious.
Whether it’s our Paul Herard Champagne, San Guiseppe Prosecco or Court Garden English Sparkling Wine, nothing says ‘I love you Mum’ quite like popping a cork before the Archers Omnibus. The Court Garden English Sparkling wine is made in East Sussex and has won lots of international awards, putting it up there as a really special wine and one to celebrate with.
The saying goes, ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ which is true, if completely meaningless otherwise. What it doesn’t tell you, is that you can’t make a great omelette without breaking great eggs – it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, but it does matter! They taste better, chances are the hens are treated better and have a better life, and they’re probably better for you. I’m not a doctor, but they probably are. We stock both Fenton Farm free range* and Rhug Estate free range from their organic farm, and they are both delicious.
Speaking of eggs, here’s the recipe for Omelette Arnold Bennett – possibly the best of all omelettes. It’s a little bit of work but great for spoiling someone who means a lot to you.
Named after… Arnold Bennett during his residence at the Savoy hotel in the late 1920s. It’s one of those where everyone has their own way of doing it. Some recipes push the boat out so far that it’s just a tiny dot on the horizon. I love my mum very much, but there’s absolutely no way that I’m making hollandaise, béchamel and whipping double cream before 9am. If you want that version, I suggest you go to the Savoy and have it there, because by the time you’ve made it, it will be nearly lunch time and you’ll be so angry at the 15 pots you’ve got to wash up that you won’t enjoy it. Here’s my version – still rich and luxurious (and you still have to make a little bit of béchamel) but easily doable. It also serves two because there’s no point in being completely selfless.
4 free range eggs
1 extra yolk (you can throw the white in with the other eggs if you haven’t got anything else to do with it)
30ml double cream
1 shallot (optional)
1 bayleaf (optional)
6 peppercorns (optional)
A rasp or 2 of nutmeg (optional)
200g smoked white fish – originally haddock, but make sure it’s sustainably sourced. Smoked pollack just as good.
A handful of chopped chives
Start with poaching your fish. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat gently. Add the bayleaf, peppercorns, and nutmeg. Hack the shallot into bits and add that too. When the milk is at scalding point (nearly at the boil, but not quite) take it off the heat, add the smoked fish to the pan and leave it be. The fish will poach gently and be perfect by the time you need it. The poaching milk will also take on a lovely smoky flavour which you’ll use in your béchamel. Now’s the time to put the coffee on.
It’s time to break some great eggs into a bowl, leaving one egg yolk aside for the béchamel. Give them a thorough beating and leave to one side so that all the little air bubbles can settle.
. Hopefully now your fish is perfectly poached so that it flakes to the touch. Remove the fish from its poaching liquor and put to one side. Pass the poaching liquor through a sieve to remove all the solids. They’ve done their job.
Now take a small saucepan and put it on a medium heat. Melt 25g of butter and add the flour. Cook the roux out for a couple of minutes so that you lose that raw flour taste in the final sauce. Bit by bit, and stirring all the time, add the infused milk into the roux. You’re looking for a fairly thick consistency to your béchamel so you may not need all the milk. Take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk and double cream – as if it’s not rich enough already. Flake your fish and add to the béchamel, folding carefully to keep those lovely flakes.
Preheat your grill to about medium.
It’s omelette time. Put a frying pan on a medium heat, add the remaining butter and once melted add the beaten eggs. Make sure that the eggs completely cover the bottom of the pan and leave for 30 seconds. Now’s the time to season the eggs – careful not to over season as you already have some punchy salt from the fish. Take a spatula and draw the eggs from the side of the pan into the middle so the uncooked eggs in the middle can spill out towards the sides. When nearly cooked, but still very gooey in the middle, take the pan off the heat. Add the béchamel with your smoked fish already in it on top of the eggs. Add the grated parmesan and get that pan under the grill and cook until golden brown and delicious. Throw on the chopped chives for a pleasing oniony hit and colourful garnish. Eat straight from the pan – you’ve got enough washing up to do without plates to worry about.
Mum, you’ll have to ask Dad to make you this one. I’m working on Sunday. Sorry!
*You might have heard about issues with calling eggs ‘free range’ at the moment. There was a bird flu scare and hens have been housed for their own welfare until it is safe to let them our again. – here's an article about it which sheds a bit more light.