The lost art of breakfast I: Green chilli omelette
We don’t breakfast in the UK like they do in Europe. When I worked in an office, many of my former colleagues opted to eat a bowl of cereal at their desk whilst checking through emails.
The sight of this made me sad, and I would think back to my days in Paris, where I could head to a cafe on any street and order croissant, tartine and cafe creme.
Breakfast in these places only cost a few euros, and they would always be busy with people stopping off before work.
The only places remotely comparable in the UK are Prets and Costas, where you can get a mediocre coffee and an industrially prepared pastry for £7.
I miss those languid mornings because they were a great way to start the day; gently prodding your brain into gear as you perused the morning’s paper and thought about what you wanted to achieve that day.
Much of what we do in our busy lives focuses on what’s next, and meals have slowly become quick pit-stops before carrying on with our loaded schedules.
Taking the time to make a meal and eat it slowly is a great way to pause, unwind and reset. A good breakfast sets you up for the rest of your day because it defines the attitude you will carry with you for the next 24 hours.
Having time to make breakfast work is a real luxury that we normally don’t have. However, you’re all trapped inside now and working from home, so why not make some time to spoil yourself and relax with a little bit of food that you lovingly took the time to prepare?
The recipes that we will be posting in this series are incredibly simple, and take only a few minutes to prepare, although I would stress that it can be very enjoyable to take your time, making sure everything is perfectly set before you start cooking.
In doing so, you can make cooking an activity that you do for its own sake, rather than rushing to quickly move onto the next thing in your day.
This first recipe is one of my favourites, and has taken me an embarrassingly long time to perfect. It turns out less is more for omelettes, and my attempts to cram as much in as possible ended terribly.
1 green chilli, thinly sliced (use a super sharp knife)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
A good chunk of butter
A few shavings of cheddar
A thumbful of salt
A load of ground pepper
Crack the eggs into a glass, add the salt, pepper and Tabasco and beat well with a fork (season as much as you’re comfortable with)
Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat (I used to cook everything on a high heat as quickly as I could, but this usually ends up burning things)
Once the butter is melted, add the chilli and spring onion so that they fry in the butter, moving them around the pan constantly
When you can smell the chilli and onion, it’s time to add the eggs
Arrange the chilli and onion so they are evenly spread over the middle of the pan, and pour over the eggs
Maneuver the pan so that the egg covers the base. You will find that the chili and onion has moved to the edge of the pan, simply use the spatula to drag it back into an even spread
Once you see that the outer fringes of the egg have solidified, turn the heat up high and lay the cheese in a straight line across the middle
When the cheese is part melted and most of the top of the omelette cooked through, fold the omelette in half and fry on either side (this is always the hardest part, and usually ends up with me swearing)
This omelette goes perfectly with a cup of black tea - think Lapsang Souchong or a cup of Earl Grey to cut through the fat and salt.
I’m still looking for a better cheese to pair with this, the cheddar melts well but can be a bit overpowering for the delicacy of the eggs. I’ve tried mozzarella, but the stuff we get in the UK is so rubbery. Any good cheese recommendations would be enormously appreciated!
We have a few more top breakfast recipes to talk through, so keep an eye out!
If you have any breakfast recipes you would like to share, then don’t hesitate to get in touch: email@example.com