St David's Day Brunch Suggestions

Melissa Jones who is originally from Caerleon runs The Pop Up Kitchen, a bespoke catering and events company in Beenham, Berkshire. Here she shares her recommendations for a St David's Day Brunch.


Eggs David or Eggs Nellie (a Welsh take on Eggs Benedict)


Homemade Traditional Welsh Cakes


Pour yourself a mug of Fab Four Coffee or Welsh Brew or a glass of White Castle Vineyard Sparkling White

RECIPES


Eggs David (with ham)

Serves 2 – 4


4 thick slices of Dai the Dough’s soda bread (see recipe)

The Preservation Society’s Apple and Ale chutney

Calon Wen lightly salted butter

4 Big & Welsh free range eggs

Hollandaise sauce (see recipe)

4 slices of Carmarthen Ham


Method

Poach eggs (Gently! See recipe)

Warm hollandaise (very gently!) if it has cooled

Toast the bread and slather with butter and chutney. Top with the poached eggs.

Dollop the hollandaise over the eggs (whisk in a teaspoon of boiling water to loosen if needed)

Season with a generous sprinkling of Pembrokeshire Sea Salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives

Eggs Nellie (with smoked salmon)

Serves 2 - 4


4 thick slices of Dai the Dough’s soda bread (see recipe)

Calon Wen lightly salted butter

4 Big & Welsh free range eggs

3 tbs crème fraiche

3 tsp creamed horseradish

4 slices Black Mountains Smokery smoked salmon

Fresh dill

Lemon wedge


Method

Mix crème fraiche and creamed horseradish

Poach eggs (gently!)

Toast bread and spread with butter

Top with smoked salmon, then eggs followed by a sprinkling of Pembrokeshire Sea Salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few snips of fresh dill


Toast the bread and slather with salted butter, pop on the poached eggs. Whisk the hollandaise until smooth. If you want your sauce a little thinner, whisk in a teaspoon or two of boiling water. Dollop the hollandaise over the eggs, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.




Hollandaise Sauce

2 egg yolks

120g/4¼oz unsalted butter, diced

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

a few ice cubes (optional)

Method

Put the egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and a tablespoon of cold water into a heavy-based pan and place over the lowest possible heat. If you do not have a heavy-based pan, put the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not come into contact with the water.


Using a balloon whisk, immediately begin whisking until the butter has melted and has combined with the egg yolks and liquid. Do not increase the heat or stop whisking at any point, and remove from the heat if the pan starts to get too hot.


Once the butter has completely melted, turn up the heat ever so slightly and keep whisking continuously until the sauce has thickened. If the sauce starts to split, it means the heat is too high: drop in an ice cube and whisk until it comes back together and thickens. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.


Recipe Tip

Don’t forget that if the hollandaise starts to split, the heat is on too high. Drop in an ice cube and whisk until it comes back together and thickens.

Poached Eggs

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and immediately the heat to the lowest setting, until the water is barely simmering: there should be no bubbling or movement in the water at all. Crack the eggs into a cup and gently lower into the water, tipping out the eggs. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the whites have set and the yolks are cooked to your liking. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.


Dai the Dough’s Crusty Welsh Brown Soda Bread

This recipe can produce one of the nicest loaves you will taste in less time than it takes to go to your supermarket for a plastic bag of sliced mush (i.e. less than one hour start to finish)


Ingredients

200g strong white flour

200g plain flour

400g Strong wholemeal flour

20g porridge oats

3 heaped tsp baking powder (24g)

1 tsp salt

240g plain yoghurt (the creamier the better but the cheaper ones work just as well)

120ml semi skimmed milk

300ml water (this will depend on the flours used).


Optional

One half teaspoonful of Bicarbonate of Soda (add to the flour if you require a more soda taste and to assist rising). A sprinkling of Jumbo oats or Porridge oats to put on as a topping.


Useful Info

Just a few things to mention before starting. Firstly this is a very forgiving recipe and you can alter the quantities to suit your taste. Also Soda bread does not rely on kneading but it does rely on speed. So don’t overwork it and try to get it into the oven as soon as possible (within minutes rather than hours). Don’t be tempted to leave it standing whilst you do ‘something else’. It is also worth noting that Soda bread is meant to be eaten immediately or at least within a day (or two) of baking. However it does freeze well and emerges from the deep freeze as fresh as when it went in. Finally when it appears to be going ‘stale’ a quick zap in the microwave for 10-20 secs can bring it back to its youth.


Method

Heat the oven to 200c or 180c for fan

Lightly oil a baking tray

Mix all the essential dry ingredients together

Aerate the mixture by sifting or teasing by hand

Gently add and mix in the yoghurt and the milk

Stir in the water slowly and continue until the dough starts to come together and develops a ragged appearance

Work the dough by hand at this stage to form the mix into a ball (add more water if necessary but do not allow the mixture to become too sticky or too wet)

Oil the oven tray. Place the dough ball on the tray and flatten slightly to give a base of about 7-9 inches.

Pat the top of the dough gently with your wetted hand and then sprinkle on the topping of Porridge oats or Jumbo oats.

Cut a cross on top of the loaf going from one side to the other with a large knife.

Cover with an upturned 10inch baking tin or a dome of aluminium foil which can be shaped around an (empty) mixing bowl.

Place the covered loaf in the oven for 35minutes.

Turn the oven up by 20 degrees and remove the cover. Bake for a further 15 minutes.

Test the loaf by removing and tapping on the bottom. If it makes a hollow noise, it is ready. If not return it upside down to the oven for a further 10minutes. Repeat this process until done.

Remove and place upside down on a cooling tray.

WELSH CAKES

325g of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

125g of golden caster sugar

125g of butter, chillled and diced

3 eggs

50g of mixed peel

25g of raisins

25g of sultanas

2 pinches of mixed spice

salt

1 dash of milk

TO SERVE

golden caster sugar

butter

Equipment

7cm round cutter

Method

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and mixed spice in a bowl

Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

Stir in the mixed peel, raisins and sultanas until well-combined

Add the eggs, one by one, and beat well. Add a splash of milk, if necessary, to bring the mixture together until you’ve formed a soft dough

Sprinkle flour on a work surface and roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out rounds with a 7cm cutter


Cook the cakes over a low heat on a skillet/cast iron frying pan for 8 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat and serve warm, spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar.



Yum. What are you eating on St David's Day?





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