A slap-up brunch on Christmas morning evolved as a family ritual after the grandparents moved to Garde. The kitchen is always a hive of activity, with one person (wo)manning the egg-poaching station, others grilling bacon, laying the table, picking at beigli or sneaking off for last-minute present-wrapping. Liverpool tops, Bloody Marys, chocolate coins from stockings and potato preparation often feature too. Allow a good hour and a half to prepare and consume all this before Father Christmas arrives growling hőha.
Ingredients for 6
6 English muffins
1 pack unsmoked back bacon
200g smoked salmon
2 bottles champagne
1 litre orange juice
Ideally there will be several people mucking in, who between them need to do the following:
1. Make the hollandaise
2. Grill the bacon
3. Arrange the smoked salmon artistically on a serving plate, dress with lemon juice and black pepper
4. Lay the table
5. Make Buck’s Fizz: half fill a large jug with orange juice and top up with one bottle of champagne
6. Make coffee
7. Wilt and season the spinach: put it in a colander and pour a kettle-full of boiling water over it, then season and add lemon juice at the last minute
8. Split and toast the muffins
9. Poach the eggs: you should be able to manage four at a time in a large pan of boiling water with a dash of vinegar; give the eggs three minutes at a gentle simmer, then drain on kitchen paper.
Allow everyone to help themselves, building their own eggs benedict/florentine/royale as a vehicle for lashings of hollandaise sauce. Wash down with Buck’s Fizz, straight champagne or just coffee. Follow with satsumas, beigli and mince pies to keep you full until the main meal of the day.
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