Sporting breakfast

Having received an email from Mr-A earlier in the week exclaiming about the ‘epic’ day of sport on Sunday, I had already began to plan with glee an equally epic day of cooking.  Kicking off with Andy Murray in the final of the Aussie Open, what better way to start than a good old fry-up!

Well, that would of course have been my go-to breakfast for such an occasion, if it hadn’t been for my rigid calorie controlled diet (cough) following the longest ever build up to Christmas – 6 months of gorging myself silly.

Sister 1 came over and she and Mr-A settled in for the morning, as I set about producing a tasty, satisfying AND healthy dish.

Parma poached eggs

A Mediterranean twist on the classic poached eggs on toastParma poached eggs


Cookability: 8/10
Cost: 8/10 £20 brought food for 3, orange juice, two Sunday papers and some fresh coffee
Likelihood that I will have the body of Kate Moss if I eat every morning: 7/10 (so long as that’s all I eat)

Eggs (2 per person)
Parma ham (3 slices per person)
2 handfulls of fresh basil
A glug of olive oil
1 pack of baby spinach leaves
Baked beans
Granary bread

·    Blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water to soften. Drain immediately so it doesn’t become limp
·    Gently fry the parma ham in a teaspoon of olive oil, for about 5 minutes or until it begins to go crispy
·    Meanwhile add the basil to a small food processor with a glug of oil. Blitz for about 1 minute until you have a runny green mush
·    Slice and toast the bread
·    Gently cook the baked beans on the hob for about 2 minutes.
·    Poach the eggs, and prepare to plate up!

Perfect poached eggs:
Everyone has their own method to produce the perfect poached egg, here is mine:

·    Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and turn the heat down so it is gently simmering
·    Add a cap-full of pale vinegar such as cider or white wine
·    Crack each egg directly into the bubbling water, holding the eggs as close to the surface as possible
·    Boil for 4 minutes, scooping any residue off the top of the water with a spoon
·    Take off the heat and leave for a further 1-2 minutes
·    Remove each egg using a slotted spoon to allow the water to drain.  The white should be cooked through whilst the yoke is still soft and runny.

Plating up:
·    Place a slice of toast on each plate, and drizzle with a small amount of the basil oil
·    Next place a mound of spinach on top, followed by the 2 poached eggs, and finally the parma ham.  Drizzle with further basil oil
·    Pour the beans into a small ramekin dish – 1 pot per person, and add a few drops of the basil oil.  I like to have control of my beans.  There is nothing worse than a plate swimming with tepid bean-juice! This method also ensures the toast stays crispy
·    Serve with ketchup, hollandaise or mustard.

Murray may not have won the grand slam, but this dish certainly served up an ace!

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