Breakfast & Brunch Sept 29, 2012 14:03:11 GMT 10
Post by Deleted on Sept 29, 2012 14:03:11 GMT 10
For breakfast or brunch, can't beat bacon
By GRAHAM HAWKES - The Southland Times | Thursday, 18 August 2011
NATURALLY GOOD: The most popular and versatile accompaniment for bacon for either brunch
or breakfast would have to be free-range eggs. — ROBYN EDIE/The Southland Times.
MUM always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day and she was probably right. Breakfast (from the expression "to break fast") gives you the energy to get going after a night's sleep.
It should provide at least one quarter of the calories and nutrients consumed during the day.
Sadly, breakfast is often an on-the-go, rushed experience, hence the popularity of takeaways, of breakfast-style sandwiches, jumbo muffins and coffee.
Brunch, on the other hand, is that wonderful leisurely experience combining breakfast and lunch into a great social occasion.
Brunch menus often include traditional breakfast foods along with almost anything else. Unlike breakfast, brunch is often accompanied by Champagne or other alcoholic beverages and concludes with a pastry or sweet meat. Brunch can be quite a grand affair.
Weekends, public holidays and really any day off offer the perfect opportunity to move away from breakfast and enjoy a satisfying brunch.
And what would any brunch, or breakfast, for that matter, be without some great New Zealand-grown pork turned into bacon?
With the 100% New Zealand Bacon 2011 competition results now available, we know where we can get the best bacon in New Zealand.
Bacon of the Year winner is Corey Winder, of Ashby's Butchery in Christchurch, who took home the Supreme Award for his gold-winning Dry Cured Middle Bacon, and won gold in the Middle Bacon category.
"I still can't believe we won two gold medals. To be honest, it's just the boost we needed. After the Christchurch earthquake, we lost customers, including a number of restaurants. Hopefully, winning these awards will remind people that we're still here, creating traditional, quality, New Zealand-grown product," he says. The bacon competition had five categories:
- Middle: bacon from a whole loin (including the belly).
- Dry cured middle: bacon from a whole loin, including the belly of the pig, that has been cured by means other than injecting brine. The bacon must be raw. It can be either non-smoked or smoked.
- Shoulder: bacon from the shoulder of the pig.
- Streaky: bacon from the tail end of the loin or belly of the pig.
- Middle eye: bacon from the loin with the skin off.
The results are interesting, with 11 medals presented to South Island butchers and just eight to North Island butchers. Also interesting to note is that the South Island entries received five gold medals, while the North Island entries reached only silver-medal status.
The winning bacon was described by the judges as having all the attributes required of great bacon, with a fantastic balance of curing and delicate smoke.
The first thing I noted when I opened a pack of the winning bacon was the clean, fresh aroma of light smoke. When cooking, the bacon was crisp, leaving no watery residue in the pan.
Let's make a very simple, great-tasting brunch dish using Corey's now-famous bacon. The most popular and versatile accompaniment for bacon for either brunch or breakfast would have to be free-range eggs. So we will put the two together for a stunning breakfast dish.
Using a dry-heat method, we will bake the eggs (better known as shirred). You make these as individual portions or sufficient for all in a single dish. Once ready for enjoying serve alongside some fresh, crusty ciabatta bread.
STREAKY BACON WITH SHIRRED EGGS
- 50g melted butter
- 16 slices of dry-cured middle bacon
- 8 free-range eggs
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60ml cream
- 60g grated tasty cheese
- Brush the interior of a 180ml ramekin (single-serve dish) with the melted butter. Line the ramekin with 2 slices of bacon.
- In a non-stick pan, cook the remaining bacon rashers until nice and crisp. Roughly chop ready for their next step.
- Break the eggs into a cup to check they are all good, then pour them carefully into the ramekin on top of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with the roughly chopped rashers of bacon. Bake in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius until the eggs begin to set. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add the cream and grated cheese and return to the oven until the eggs and bacon are cooked and the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately from the oven with some crusty baguette (great for dipping).