Our creative kitchen: what you can whip up with only a microwave and a George Foreman…
If we’ve learned anything this Breakfast Week, it’s how adventurous we’ve been able to make our recipes despite limited resources. Yesterday Joe poached two eggs perfectly using just water and a microwave. Today we’ve dined on toasted banana bread and even made pizza! Who’d had thought it? There are no limits to our office kitchen.
Before you ask about the George Foreman, we’ve had to resort to grilling our bread after numerous ‘toaster-incidents’ – think smoke alarms and shorting out the entire electrical circuit for the office.
Sally’s Breakfast Week Chef
I’ve always admired James Martin, ever since he hit our screens on Ready Steady Cook in the late 90s – he was my daily after-school treat. I love his hearty, honest approach to food, his delicious dishes, his easy-to-follow recipes and the fact that he’s something of a dish himself.
Although the original banana bread recipe suggests accompaniments of vanilla ricotta and raspberry compote, I have gone for the slightly more breakfasty (quicker) option of natural yoghurt and fresh raspberries.
I always make sure I eat breakfast, as I suffer from acute ‘hanger’ (that’s hunger-anger to those lucky enough not to have experienced it). It’s normally a bowl of granola, three pieces of fruit and a cup of tea. Alternating cereal with James’ banana bread – on which you could breakfast every day for a week – is a great way to inject a little variety and indulgence into my morning daily routine.
Sally’s banana bread with yoghurt and fresh raspberries
140g butter, softened
140g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 very ripe bananas
Zest ½ lemon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base of a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, add to the bowl with the lemon zest, vanilla and buttermilk, and stir.
2. Mix together the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Fold into the banana mix, one-third at a time, until just combined and add to the tin.
3. Bake for 1 hr until firm, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out nearly clean. Leave in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To serve, toast a slice (a normal toaster will do in the absence of a George Foreman), and top with fresh raspberries and low-fat natural yoghurt.
Top tip: Take the cake out of the oven when there’s still a little bit sticking to the knife. The cake will keep cooking in the tin and taking it out a little early means it will stay moist.
Dom’s Breakfast Week Chef
Ever since eating one of Hannah’s bacon-maple doughnuts on Monday, I’ve been on a sugar rush so extreme that it simply couldn’t continue. So, for my breakfast, I thought I would have to make something nice and savoury.
After looking around for a Jamie Oliver pizza recipe for dinner last night, my idea was quickly born. I could continue my pizza eating into another meal, without guilty reheated leftovers.
So, in the Jamie Oliver vein of keeping things quick and simple but also tasty – I’ve written before about how much I support that particular campaign of his – I grabbed some bagels, cheese and tomato purée and put them together much as you’d expect. It’s not quite as quick as my normal brekkie, which comprises eating a banana on my sofa. The advantage of this is that I got to dispatch bagels around the office whilst doing my Wallace impression of “cheese, Gromit, cheeeeeese!”
Dom’s breakfast pizza bagels
Ingredients (makes enough to feed the office)
5 plain bagels
250g grated mozzarella (low-fat cheddar is also okay)
200g double concentrate tomato purée
Sprinkling of black pepper and mixed herbs
1. Halve and toast your bagels. You’ll want to toast them a little more than your usual preference, as the cheese will soften it back up a bit.
2. Spread each half with the purée.
3. Cover each half with the cheese.
4. Pop the halves under the grill (our microwave has a grill option) until the cheese is sufficiently melted.
5. Crack over some black pepper and a fine amount of mixed herbs, and then serve at the temperature you like best – these are great hot or cold.