I honestly am a massive fan of breakfast. Well – mostly the idea of it, because as appealing as all that eggs and bacon is, I hardly actually ever eat what my Enid Blyton books always call “a hearty breakfast” (always a prelude to characters called Dick and Fanny going off and solving a mystery where inevitably some hardened smugglers are thwarted by a parrot). No, the reason I like breakfast so much is mainly because, on the incredibly rare occasion that a girl suffers a complete judgement failure and decides to spend the night, it gives me something to do to fill the inevitably awkward “morning after” vacuum (other than…you know, the obvious).
I always feel like breakfast is one of those completely neutral activities you can use to avoid those weird dissections of the night before, or lame inquiries as to what you’re going to do for the rest of the day, or nervous second guessing as to whether or not this is going to extend into the rest of said day, because it’s insanely hard to concentrate on any of those things when there’s bacon frying. Plus, it makes you look awesome and that’s always a win. In fact, pretty much everything becomes less threatening when there are eggs being mulled in a bowl, or coffee brewing and strawberries being sliced. And so, to help uncomfortable morning-afters everywhere, here is the first of what will eventually be a three-part series on Breakfasts for Lovers. Or more accurately: Breakfasts for People Who Stayed The Night And Now You Need Something To Break The Ice The Next Morning And Maybe Impress Them Enough For Some Early Nookie At The Same Time.
For the pancakes:
1 cup of flour
2 cups of milk
A couple of leaves of rocket, very finely chopped
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
5 rashers of streaky bacon, finely cut
2 ice-cubes of fresh chicken stock
fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stalks
fresh brie, sliced
What to do:
Before we kick off, the essence of this recipe is the use of stock and the quality of your brie. Firstly, try and get fresh, good quality cheese (you know, as opposed to crappy stuff made in the back garden), and secondly I really, really insist that you try and use fresh stock, frozen into cubes in an ice-tray – it really makes all the difference.
In a bowl combine the flour, egg, milk, rocket and salt and beat it until it’s a smooth batter and then set aside.
In a pan, heat a tablespoon of butter, then add the tomatoes, bacon and thyme. Let everything sizzle away for a bit, and then add the two ice-cubes of stock. The stock will melt in no time and very quickly reduce into a satisfying sauce. Season with some salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
Heat a good non-stick pan and lightly lightly grease it with some butter. Pour in a cup of batter and make sure the pan is coated in an even spread of the stuff. When a whole bunch of bubbles have pushed through the batter, flip it and do the other side. Usually the first one or two will be duds (they soak up any excess butter you might have used and are usually soggy and a bit horrid-looking), but then you should start turning out great-looking pancakes.
Once you’ve got a couple going, spoon some of the tomato/bacon sauce in a streak down the middle, top with two or three slices of cheese and more fresh thyme, then roll the pancake around the mixture. Carefully transfer it back to the hot pan and use the heat there to almost ‘set’ it into shape on both sides.
Serve hot with whatever breakfast liquid you have handy (coffee if you don’t know the person you’re serving it to that well, champagne if you do), and hop back into bed to…um, enjoy.