Full English Breakfast - Tuck In
My father ran his own restaurant for decades - if you were to survive in London's West End, competing with fierce outlets that were fighting for the 'same piece of bacon', so to speak, then you had to prove your own 'bacon' (pardon the terminology, no pun intended). I saw those early morning breakfasts being dished out, and my father sweating over the high temperature cookers - but he made a mean bean breakfast - and the queues were very impressive. So for me the challenge of something so 'traditional', so pleasant, couldn't pass me by without an attempt to emulate the great feeling of culinary pleasure, but without the pain (animal cruelty, cholesterol, etc). A naughty but nice nostalgia that, well, never quite left my psyche.
The secret behind a proper Full English Breakfast is mastery of serving it all hot at once, good quality produce, and preferably only eating it once in a while, as a treat. That said, this breakfast is far from the 'greasy spoon' that we imagine from our bygone non-vegan days. Here it is, in all it's glory, and all veganized for your culinary pleasure. It's quite an art form to get all this ready, with hot tea and toast too - but the challenge really is worth it.
olive oil (or other or your choice)
6 vegan sausages (I use Linda McCartney)
4 slices vegan bacon (such as Redwood **see below), cut into squares, and fried for quick 'fork pick-up' convenience
1½ cups baked beans
8 to 10 large chestnut mushrooms, cut into thick slices - I cut each one into 3 pieces
a handful of whole cherry tomatoes - I don't suggest cutting them
a pinch of curry powder - add this to the beans
a drizzle of maple syrup, for the sausages and mushrooms, whilst frying in the griddle pan
1 tsp vegan margarine (optional)
thick 'egg-style' cheesy omelette - see my cheese omelette (link below) - make as described, but add 2 teaspoons of tahini to it. Then, heat a slightly greased non-stick pan, and, using a ladle, fry a ladle-full 5 minutes on each side, being careful not to let it burn).
Condiments for Dolloping :
HP sauce (brown sauce)
(I didn't have any vegan bacon, so I marinated for a few hours some vegan 'pork/garlic' slices I had in the freezer, in smoked paprika and ketchup. Other brands you can find in the US and Canada are Morning Star, Lightlife and Yves Veggie)
- Start off by preparing the batter for your 'cheese' omelette – see above link, and add 1 teaspoon of tahini to it.
- Heat up your serving plates in the oven, or microwave - you choose.
- You will need a griddle pan to fry your vegan sausages. Once your sausages have a few griddle imprints (which will increase as the minutes pass by), then chuck in your mushrooms, and stir them on a medium heat. Once they also have some griddle marks, chuck in your tomatoes and let them do the same. If you see anything getting too much colour, have a warm plate on standby to remove them on to – you can then re-heat them back in the pan, at the last minute. If you are careful, there should be no need for this. My griddle pan is huge - around 15 inches in diameter.
- Now heat your beans in a saucepan on a low heat, with a pinch of curry and vegan margarine (if using).
- Having cut your ‘bacon’ into small pieces, you can fry it in a separate frying pan, until it's a little golden (I slightly over-did mine).
- Now make your omelette in a separate pan. Keep everything on the lowest possible heat, or switch the heat off until you have flipped your omelette.
- Having brewed some tea or coffee, and maybe made some toast, some marmalade is a wonderful extra treat to have on the table, as is freshly squeezed cold orange juice.
- If it's a Saturday or Sunday, then this can be a huge treat for yourself, friends and/or family - a celebration of culinary fun food, full of Flavour and Fun.
- Lay it on, tuck in and Enjoy !
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