Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Kali's New (Years) Project

My new years project; to create a full English vegan breakfast.

A full English is also known as a fry up, or as bacon and eggs, although I'll be leaving those ingredients out.  To be honest, when I hear full English, I don't think "bacon and eggs", although I gather I'm a bit weird in that.

Wikipedia lists several items it can include, many of which overlap - ie, potato cakes, hash browns, potato waffles, sautéed potatoes, chips, etc.  I'm not about to make all of them for one meal (and I'd be surprised if anyone were willing to eat that whole thing), so I basically need a short list.

Lots of pubs and cafés will sell all day breakfasts, which are basically a full English.  These vary from place to place.  Off the top of my head (since adobe is being a whiny little bitch, and won't let me view the menus right now), O'Neills, which is an Irish pub, serves theirs with soda bread and potato bread, but no hash browns.  Wetherspoons includes a fried egg, bacon, sausage, baked beans, hash browns, a flat mushroom and half a grilled tomato, but no kinds of bread or toast.

Personally, I don't think sweet ingredients - ie, scones, pancakes, or french toast - have a place in a full English.  When I travelled in the US, I remember noticing how much more sweet and savoury flavours seemed to be mixed.  For instance, our pancakes are more like European crepes, and are sweet, while our bread, as a rule, doesn't contain any kind of sweetener (my first US ham sandwich, back when I was an omni, was a very odd experience).  We wouldn't normally, for instance, eat ham with syrup, although, that said, I think we will sometimes glaze meat with honey.

I also don't think chips are breakfast, so I'll probably be going with hash browns.  I do love my hash browns.  I've never been a huge fan of fried eggs, but tofu scramble is always an option.  This bacon recipe looks interesting, I've already made baked beans, and these mushrooms look delicious (replace the crème fraiche and lemon juice with vegan sour cream, et voila).  I've also been planning on making Vegan Dad's sausages, and I love the look of Gizzi Erskine's sour dough bread griddle toast (see the mushroom recipe).  Since the baked beans include fresh tomatoes, it seems like overkill to include grilled tomatoes as well.

The baked beans I am snacking on while writing this.  Made with a fried onion, four whole tomatoes, garlic paste, tomato paste, brown sugar, vegetable stock, canellini beans and a pinch of thyme.  OMGSOGOOD.

I do want to focus on the English version, but I'm open to things from the other British variations.  I'm not about to try recreating black pudding or haggis though, interesting as the challenge might be.  I didn't eat those as an omni, I'm not going to start now.  Scots are weird.

While I'm making stuff from scratch and packing in the fresh veggies, I am also perfectly willing to fry the hell out of stuff (it's terribly easy not to get enough fat on a vegan diet). Apart from the things listed above, I'm easy.

So, my question is; what do other people consider to be quintessential to a full English breakfast?  Comment and tell me!  Don't worry about making it vegan, I'll do that bit.  Just whatever comes to mind.

1 comment:

  1. My experience with breakfast in America was quite wonderful, whenever I bothered to eat something other than Golden Graham's straight from the box, as over there you can douse a cooked breakfast with Tabasco. Fried potato cubes, poached eggs, thick cuts of bacon and lashings of Tabasco - quite wonderful and possibly superior to the Full English. Maybe.


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