Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday Brunch

It's been a while since I had a Sunday brunch, and it's also been a while since I made myself such a big early meal. There are several reasons why I haven't made big breakfasts or brunches that often since moving to live and work on my own:

  • Weekday mornings are all about getting ready for work; that limits time needed to make big meals until after work or during weekends.
  • During the weekends I end up doing weekly errands as I usually don't have that much time on weeknights thanks to work or other extra-curricular activities.
  • I'm usually not a fan of waking up early, and cooking a large breakfast or brunch can be time-consuming; considering one would also handle knives, stoves and other potentially dangerous things, it would be best for one to be wide awake as well.
When I lived with my family making brunch was a family affair; Dad or Bonita would make pancakes, Mom would make coffee or (something I do miss at times) Hong Kong-style milk tea, and I would fry bacon and sometimes make omelettes as well. The cooking responsibilities were all divvied up, so we could all spend more time together eating immediately afterwards. Now, living on my own means that it takes longer to get the final product, but boy, is it still ever worth it. Frankly, had I been able to play Ultimate today I wouldn't have made brunch, but a bout of bronchitis forced my hand. I'll take it as a blessing in disguise, though.

Voilà, my Sunday brunch! Going clockwise from the top I had the following:
  • Baby greens with maple balsamic vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds and Craisins (garnished with bacon);
  • Poached egg on smoked salmon and multi-grain harvest bread; and
  • Omelette with old-fashioned smoked ham, onions, sundried tomatoes and bocconcini.
I made my own vinaigrette by mixing three (3) parts extra-virgin olive oil with one (1) part balsamic vinegar along with maple syrup to taste.

Considering this was my first attempt at poaching eggs, I would say it was a relative success. The egg shown in the picture was actually the second egg I poached. The egg whites from the first one didn't hold together as well, and its size was reduced slightly. Alas, I don't have the capability nor know-how to bake bread, so considering this was store-bought, I thought it was of decent quality.

For the omelette, I diced my ham and onions, and sautéed the onions until they were soft and translucent. I beat three (3) eggs (mixed with some salt and pepper) and poured the eggs into a non-stick pan over medium heat. When the egg mixture was half-cooked (i.e. cooked along the pan bottom, still raw on the surface), I added the other ingredients to one half of the pan (if your stove isn't level, I suggest you put the ingredients on the "downhill" side of the pan), then flipped the empty half of the egg mixture to cover the ingredients. If one cannot fully flip it halfway across (as I failed to do this time), not to worry; let that one side of the omelette cook a while longer, then flip so that it'll roll on itself and create a seal when you cook the other side of the omelette.

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