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Weekend Brunch

I think we already know that brunching is a bit of a hobby of mine; in my previous life as a PR person I have eaten far more than my fair share of swanky egg based breakfast dishes. At one point I expect I was probably averaging about a pint of hollandaise a week thanks to the temptations of the Wolseley, Charlotte Street Hotel and all of the Soho House group establishments - Cafe Boheme even gave me a 50% off loyalty card to go with the stone I packed on. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good eggs royale or eggs florentine (the benedict has never been my thing), but sometimes it is necessary to step away from the refined carbs (oh, those dense, chewy English muffins) and the truly heart stopping quantities of butter required to make that heavenly hollandaise. Think of it more as a birthday treat - here's the very delicious one I enjoyed on my birthday this year at Aubaine in Hampstead:


Yes please.

But these are more austere times, and having recently procured some very good smoked salmon* from Lidl which is fat and gently smokey and not horribly fluorescent with dye, I wanted to see if I could make something just as indulgent but with rather less saturated fat and a bit of a lower GI. I recently ate a rather odd brunch dish of 'Bubble Benedict' at Chez Bob in Belsize Park. I like it there very much, but the combination of bubble and squeak with maple bacon, maple syrup, poached egg, and BEARNAISE sauce - not even hollandaise - was fairly remarkable and not in a good way. Here it is:

che bob.jpg

However, I do think they are onto something with their bubble base, and potato is always the preferential carb source to refined white bread. I decided to morph this more into a latke because hey, this is Golders Green after all. To make a latke (which is like a rosti), you just grate potato and perhaps a little bit of onion and mix with egg before shallow frying or baking. I did a bit of both. I then topped with plenty of rocket, the said smoked salmon, poached egg (have pan of water boiling away, dash of white wine vinegar and tip in egg from ramekin) and then whizzed up a hollandaise replacement. I wanted something lighter and greener, so used a tbsp of creme fraiche, a dash of water, small handful of rocket and a heaped tsp of hot horseradish. It was perfect and really cut through the saltiness of the latke and salmon. Take a look for yourself below:


Its difficult to see the latkes from this angle, so here's another shot:


Let me know what you think and if you have any other tricks or dupes for healthy hollandaise. Remember you must always have champagne or at least a bucks fizz with every brunch, it is mandatory.

*Denotes PR sample

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