Food & Drink

The ultimate Christmas breakfast

Breakfast is the least considered meal at Christmas which is a shame, because as the first meal of the day, a stunning Christmas breakfast can set the mood for the whole day to follow. Instead of a quick bowl of something on your knees as the kids rip open wrapped gifts, why not make a Christmas breakfast the start of your family’s celebrations.

You can decorate the table, all sit together and plan the day or days  ahead. And in addition you can treat yourself to the sort of breakfast you really dream about, but never actually seem to eat.

Here is my suggestion for the ultimate breakfast to enjoy on Christmas morning.

Start with  a small glass of Buck’s Fizz (50% orange juice and 50% champagne). Give the kids orange juice and lemonade so they also get a fizzy start. Don’t drink too much early in the morning or you will feel rough for the rest of the day, but one glass is perfect to get you into a festive mood.

A little fruit salad or half a grapefruit is an optional extra to start your perfect Christmas breakfast. The day is going to be full of intense overwhelming flavour combinations, so you may find that a simple clean grapefruit is the perfect start. By the way, don’t be tempted to put half a maraschino cherry in the middle. People used to do that in the 1960s. It was stupid then and it is still stupid today.

Forget mass produced breakfast cereals (too ordinary) and forget a full British fry up (way too heavy considering what you are likely to be eating later today) . Instead, opt for luxury. how does smoked salmon,  scrambled eggs with black truffle shavings  and buttered sourdough toast sound to you?

Smoked salmon sliced thinly doesn’t need any cooking or further preparation. Just put it on a warmed plate. If you want to make it even more luxurious, a spoonful of dill sauce and half a spoon of caviar will lift it into the stratosphere. If you haven’t got any dill sauce a sprinkle of chopped dill is excellent.

Scrambled eggs are easy to get right, but also easy to get wrong. The trick is to cook the eggs in a small saucepan with plenty of butter on a low heat and stir constantly. It is the low heat and stirring that  makes all the difference. Season with salt at the start of cooking but don’t add pepper to the pan. The other trick is to take the eggs off the heat much earlier than you think is right. Over cooked eggs are rubbery, whereas perfectly cooked scrambled eggs are soft and flowing, with a porridge like consistency.

I mentioned sourdough toast. Why sourdough? Simply put it is better. It has more flavour, a better crunch and a more luxurious feeling as you eat it than any mass produced loaf. If you don’t believe me, try it and see.

Alternatively, croissants are a soft and flaky, indulgent start to the day and work beautifully with scrambled eggs.  If some of the party don’t like salmon, then have some wafer thin slices of ham and cheese to keep them satisfied. Mild Dutch cheeses are particularly good as they don’t overpower the rest of the breakfast.