Wanted: simple, warming winter morning recipes |  Food

Wanted: simple, warming winter morning recipes | Food

What is a good, easy winter breakfast that is not porridge?
Sarah, Ludlow

This sounds like a job for Guardian perfectionist Felicity Cloake, who has worked his way through a breakfast buffet in the name of research for his latest book, Red Sauce, Brown Sauce: A British Breakfast Odyssey (coming out this summer). “Beans on toast, of course,” she says. “Fast, filling and delicious.” Cloake can customize the canned things with Worcestershire or chili sauce, or smoked peppers or wilt in a handful of baby spinach. “Or make your own baked beans from canned beans [eg, haricot] with a dab of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of lemon juice and some chili flakes or chopped herbs. “

If oats float Sarah’s boat but porridge does not, Cloake suggests touching some spicy stewed apples or rye flakes the night before. Alternatively, you can use oats (plus for example chopped nuts and cinnamon) in the pancake batter or sprinkle over breakfast muffins. Guardian baker-in-residence Benjamina Ebuehi is partial to an apple, cardamom and buckwheat number, which she sifts 130g of buckwheat flour, 75g of powdered sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of bicarb and a pinch of salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk an egg, 60 g melted unsalted butter, 100 ml milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, half a teaspoon of crushed green cardamom pods and a grated peeled apple. Fold the wet ingredients in the dry, then place them in a muffin tray lined with paper boxes. “Top each one with a diced apple, push it a little into the dough, and add a sprinkle of oats, pumpkin seeds and demerara sugar.” Bake at 220C (200C fan) / 425F / gas 7 for eight minutes, then turn down to 180C (160 fan) / 350F / gas 4 and bake for eight to 10 minutes until raised. You then get breakfast sorted for days.

It is a truth that is universally recognized that most breakfast bindings can be solved with eggs. Omelettes, Cloake says, are “faster than porridge and can be customized indefinitely,” while chef Josh Katz prefers shakshuka. “It’s a dish that is rooted in simplicity, but you can play with it,” says the chef-owner of Carmel in London. “At the core are lots of garlic, onions, peppers and spices [paprika or cumin, say] softened in olive oil, then [add] tomatoes, be it puree, canned or fresh. Reduce, then balance with sugar and spices. “Make some wells, crack your eggs in, then put a lid on the pan and, when cooked, top with chopped coriander, spring onions, yogurt, tahini or whatever else you fancy and have at hand.

Alternatively, you can turn dinner into breakfast. If you have a leftover mash that is knocking on (and not overdosing at Christmas), there is bubble and squeak that needs to be topped with a mandatory fried egg. “Or cook extra rice when you make dinner and turn it into fried rice the next morning with an egg and a little chopped greens,” Cloake adds. “All of these things feel like a big hassle, but can actually be on the table in 10 minutes, and – bonus! – a frying pan is much easier to wash up than a porridge pot!

Do you have a culinary dilemma? Send an email to feast@theguardian.com

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