Breakfast like a king

Our guest chef shows how to start the day with a flavour blast with these recipes from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course.

NORTH AFRICAN EGGS

Eggs poached in tomato, capsicum, chilli and onion is a typical breakfast or brunch dish all across north Africa.

CAPTION

SERVES 2-4

olive oil, for frying

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced

1 green capsicum, deseeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 eggs

To serve

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1 spring onion, trimmed and finely chopped

crusty bread

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add a dash of oil and sweat onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add capsicums and continue to sweat for 5 minutes, then add garlic and chilli and fry for 1-2 minutes until soft and tender. Add cumin and fry for 1 minute, then add tomatoes, season and cook for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have completely collapsed (add 3-4 tbsp of water to the mixture if the tomatoes aren't that moist). The mixture should be the consistency of a thick sauce. Stir to mix well, taste and adjust seasoning.

Make 4 wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each. Cover the pan and cook gently over a medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, until the white is set and yolk is still a little runny. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and chopped spring onion, plus plenty of crusty bread on the side to mop up any juices. makes 6.

BLUEBERRY AND RICOTTA PANCAKES WITH YOGHURT AND HONEY

If you beat the ricotta with a fork first, it will be easier to fold into the batter. This recipe will make enough for the next day, too.

CAPTION

MAKES 8

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 eggs, separated

100ml whole milk

125g ricotta cheese

100g fresh blueberries, plus extra to serve

oil and butter, for frying

Greek yoghurt and runny honey, to serve

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl and mix together. Make a well in the middle and tip in egg yolks. Gradually add milk and whisk slowly, bringing the flour in from the edges until it is all combined. Fold in the ricotta and blueberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until they almost reach soft peaks. Fold a spoonful into pancake mix to loosen it, then fold in the rest.

Heat a wide, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add a dash of oil and a small knob of butter. Once butter has melted, cook pancakes in small batches, using 1 heaped tbsp of batter per pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and fluffy and hot all the way through. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

To serve, divide between serving plates, top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, a sprinkling of fresh blueberries and a drizzle of honey.

SPICY PANCAKES

These are traditionally served for breakfast in India.

CAPTION

MAKES 6

1-2 tsp cumin seeds

olive oil, for frying

½-1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

125g plain flour

1 large egg

275ml whole milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spiced potato filling

olive oil, for frying

1 tsp mustard seeds

½ onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp ground turmeric

4-6 cold, peeled boiled potatoes, roughly chopped

To serve

6 tbsp natural yoghurt

2 tbsp chopped coriander

Toast cumin seeds with a pinch of salt in a dry, medium-hot pan for about 1 minute until aromatic. Add a dash of oil and sauté the chilli, garlic and ginger for a further 2 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat.

Put spice and garlic mix into a bowl. Sift in flour, season and make a well in the middle, then break in egg and add half the milk. Whisk flour in slowly until well incorporated, then gradually add remaining milk. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and has the consistency of double cream. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of oil, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Rest batter for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add mustard seeds and cook for 1-2 minutes until the seeds begin to pop. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft and golden brown. Stir in turmeric and boiled potatoes and season, adding a dash of olive oil if necessary to aid frying. Fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened. Leave to one side while you cook the pancakes.

Heat a large frying pan, then add a little oil. If batter has thickened too much, add an extra 1-2 tbsp of milk. Pour in a ladleful of batter and tilt the pan to spread. Cook for a minute on one side, then flip and continue for a further minute. Keep warm while repeating with the remaining batter.

To serve, place potato filling in middle of each pancake, add a dollop of natural yoghurt spiced with chopped coriander, if desired.

Photography by Anders Schønnemann. Recipes from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course by Gordon Ramsay (Hodder & Stoughton, $40)

The story Breakfast like a king first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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