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Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year Breakfast Tradition

As a child growing up in Holloway, North London to a Protestant father and Catholic mother, my brothers and I rarely had a breakfast during the week.  We did, however, have fried porridge and bacon on a Sunday.  And on Christmas Day we would have a special breakfast.  I have no idea where it originated, but I grew up calling it mushrooms and bacon.  And since meeting Dawn, I moved this meal to New Year's Day, as we have another tradition for our Christmas breakfast.  Also this year, as we became vegetarians last year, I had to find an alternative to the streaky bacon that went with this dish so well. 

300g Organic button mushrooms
80g Organic salted butter
375 ml Organic full cream milk
200g Smoked Tofu (found at Waitrose)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt
Tsp black pepper

As you can see from the ingredients, it may feel like you've busted a New Year resolution with the first meal of the year.  But we feel it's worth the pain.  It's a rich meal that you won't want to repeat too often in the year.

Making this meal is as easy as it gets.  First pour the milk into a saucepan and add the butter. Then slice the mushrooms (in large chunks, not too thin) and add them to the milk.  Add the salt and pepper, stir, and then bring the milk to a boil.  Once the milk has boiled, reduce the heat and let the milk simmer for around fifteen minutes.

While the milk is simmering and the mushrooms are soaking up all the juices, add the olive oil to a frying pan and then slice the tofu into thin slices (about 3-5mm in thickness).  Once the pan has heated up and the oil is hot ,add the tofu and cook it until it is nice and crispy on one side (this should take no more than 3-4 mins).  Then turn the tofu over and repeat for the other side.  Once both sides of the tofu have been cooked and are now crispy, drain any excess fat on a kitchen towel.

Finally, cut the tofu strips into three even pieces (around 2 cm long) and add them to the mushroom and milk mixture and remove the sauce pan from the heat.  The meal is now ready to dish up.

Now all you need to do is ladle the milk, mushroom and tofu mixture into a bowl and serve with some home-made bread.  This year we had a couple of slices from a walnut loaf I'd made yesterday with the new Kenwood Chef that my personal Santa got for me.  This too tasted fantastic.  However, the credit for this needs to go to Holly Bell.  I used her recipe and it can be found on her website by clicking on this link..

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