A Healthy English Breakfast

Published On 23 December, 2013 | Breakfast, KOL Foods, Kosher

The traditional English breakfast is also known as a “fry up” for one reason.  Everything on that plate, including the toast, landed there after starting life in a lard-laden skillet.  Next to Fish and Chips the fry up is one of England’s great (may I say great?) contributions to the international culinary stage.  There are regional differences but the essentials are always the same.  Bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding and  grilled tomatoes. 

Easy, unless of course you are in tune with good nutrition, gluten free eating or kosher food.  Near impossible if identify with all three.

Well here goes nothing.  My kosher, gluten reduced, healthy English breakfast.

Most sausages are used cured with nitrates to preserve them, either so they are shelf stable, or to create salami-style dried sausage.  KOL Foods don’t pump their products with anything artificial — all of their are perfect for the conscious consumer.   Their vacuum packs of 16 sausages have no nitrates or nitrites added AND they are 100% natural as well as being gluten-free.  Even the sausage casing is natural & edible so you’re not stuck peeling casing off before cooking. 

Healthy English Breakfast

I recommend ordering the turkey breakfast links or the lamb sausage.  The turkey sausage is delightful wonderfully seasoned notes.  They are also great for frying because turkey is leaner than beef or lamb so they are inherently less fatty.  The lamb sausage is delicious too and it reminds of that British Pub style sausage that would traditionally be the star of the “all-day-breakfast”.

Black pudding is often found on an English Breakfast plate.  It is generally made from pork blood and oatmeal and I’m not going there — The kosher cousin, kishke, makes an awesome alternative.  I recently shared my homemade kishke recipe at Joy of Kosher but if you’re looking for quick and easy, add a kiske to your KOL Foods order. 

Attention! Get everything you need for the perfect KOL Foods English Breakfast!

Keeping this breakfast on the lighter side of things, I avoided frying where possible. I scored the sausages so they would not burst, and placed them on a cookie sheet along with the kishke and tomatoes that I simply cut in half.  Sprinkle some kosher salt and zaatar over the kishke for depth of flavor and add a drizzle a little olive oil so that it doesn’t dry out.  Once the oven pre-heats to 425, bake everything for 30 minutes, covering just the kishke with foil after 20 minutes.

KOL Foods Lamb Sausage with tomatoes and KOL Foods Kishke

I skipped the fried bread, but if you’re looking to go all Full Monty on this meal, Eating for England has a great sums this up perfectly 

For ‘proper’ fried bread it’s best to cook it in a separate pan. Ideally, use white sandwich bread that is a couple of days old. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and cover the base with oil. Add the bread and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until crispy and golden. For a richer flavour, add a knob of butter (note: olive oil works perfectly if you want to keep this kosher and dairy-free) after you turn the slice. You know you want to. Alternatively, just toast the bread. Your arteries will probably thank me for that suggestion.

Hash browns or potato pancakes are another fried element of this breakfast that I wanted to substitute for something lighter.  It was no coincidence that I made my hot potato salad the day before and made sure to put some aside so that I could bake individual portions in my shallow terracotta ramekins.  

Hot potato salad in ramekins

Baking the potato salad for fifteen to twenty minutes gives it a wonderful golden brown top layer, especially if you drizzle some good quality olive oil over the top of it.  I season this with salt and malt vinegar before serving. 

Now… eggs and bacon… 

The art of the perfect poached egg has always been lost on me so I wasn’t able to avoid frying part of this meal. While the skillet was nice and hot it seemed remiss of me not to make some of the lamb bacon from KOL Foods and fry that too. The flavor and smell of this lamb bacon is sheer perfection.  As the lamb bacon sizzled in the skillet I could imagine the sounds of the seagulls that would complete the perfect early morning sea-front walk.

Hove’s West Pier – a piece of local history. Photo from my 2007 visit to my home town.

Make sure that your skillet is hot before you add the lamb bacon.  If the lamb bacon doesn’t start to sizzle instantly and curl up at the edges then your skillet is not hot enough yet.  Wait before adding another piece.  Space the lamb bacon evenly and flip after three or four minutes to cook the other side. 

Depending on the size of your skillet, you will likely want to remove the lamb bacon before frying the eggs.  We had a 10.00AM play date for our kids so I pushed forward with everything in one skillet and paid the price with less-than-perfectly-crispy lamb bacon — although the flavor was still impeccable. 

Eggs and bacon

I always add a touch of zaatar to fried eggs.

Sunny side up eggs take at least three minutes.  A hotter pan will cook the eggs quicker, but you don’t want them to burn on the bottom before the whites are cooked.  The more eggs you are frying, the eggs will take.  Don’t over-cook your eggs, part of the joy of an English Breakfast is that moment when you pierce the center of the egg and allow the yolk to paint everything on your plate.

Kosher English Breakfast

For the complete English breakfast experience, don’t forget the PG tips.  If you’re out of tea, just eat this breakfast while you’re looking at my photo of London’s Tower Bridge.  If you’d like to make this breakfast at home, you can order your KOL Foods Breakfast Kit right here. 

London’s Tower Bridge. August, 2007.

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