I have a new obsession. Bigger than my addiction to trawling the internet for holidays I can’t afford. Bigger than my teenage love affair with the half-drowned Leo in Titanic. Even bigger than my obsession with shouting things at people on Twitter who think the whole Donald Trump thing was a good idea.
The obsession is brunch. Glorious, gooey-egged, buttery toasted, waffly-baconed brunch. Despite my best efforts, I’ve yet to find an all-inclusive alcoholic brunch than can measure up to Dubai’s standards of international debauchery. So instead of writing strongly-worded letters to the UK’s brunch association (I assume there’s such a thing), I’ve been skipping the booze part to focus on the food. Partly because it’s cheaper, partly because I’m a big fan of my liver but mostly because it means I can stay indoors and hibernate for the rest of
my time in Narnia British winter. From the eggs shakshuka I forced down the necks of my visitors last weekend, to this Saturday’s avocado binge, I’ve become a connoisseur of wanky breakfast items usually found in cafes frequented by the type of people who appear on the ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ page.
This recipe was actually inspired by one of my favourite Instagram accounts @whatiateforbreakfast. If you ever dream about pictures of runny yolks or wish you’d created the idea of the avocado pop-up menu, this is the procrastination stop of your dreams.
After seeing a recipe for pizza soldiers, I decided to create chilli pizza eggs. (Essentially the same concept, but spicier and less likely to result in me dribbling egg down my jumper in between dips.)
To serve two people you will need:
250g of baby plum tomatoes (I’m a fan of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pomodorinos, but choose whatever you fancy).
One small red chilli (as hot as you can handle without needing to run your tongue under a yoghurt tap. Spice wusses like me might want to use half a chilli or replace with some mild chilli powder.)
Grated mature cheddar cheese (volume optional. I recommend lots.)
Four large slices of thick white tiger bread. (You can choose any bread really, I just think there’s something magical about bread you can imagine coming to life in the night.)
A tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Two to four large eggs (one or two each, depending how hungry you are.)
Optional: Four rashers of finely chopped bacon
1.) Finely chop your chilli and tomatoes and cook on a low heat in the olive oil. Throw in a sprinkle of salt and cracked black pepper for an extra kick. If you’re going to add bacon, pop it in now.
2.) Turn the grill to maximum temperature, put a pan of water on to boil and pop your toast into the toaster.
3.) By the time your toast has popped, your tomato and chilli mixture should be looking a bit gooey. (It doesn’t need to be on for more than 10 minutes in total.)
4.) Put the toast on a baking tray or grill pan, load on your tomato goo and cover with grated cheese. Pop under the grill.
5.) While you’re waiting for your cheese to melt, put the eggs into the boiling water (ensuring the water is deep enough to cover.) To be honest, eggs are a tricky little badger to get right. (Who hasn’t had a split fried egg experience on a Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day hating life?) From my careful experimentation, I’ve found 5 minutes 30 seconds to be exactly the right time to cook one soft boiled egg in boiling water. (A decent boil, not too simmery, not to aggressive or your eggs will crack.) Make sure you keep an eye on your toast.
6.) When your five minutes 30 seconds are up (or longer if you’re one of these weird people who only eats solidified eggs) pop them into a strainer and rinse with cold water for about 10 seconds before peeling.
7.) Depending on how fast your grill is, your pizza toast should be ready now. Whip it out, plate it up and cut your peeled eggs open on top. And there you have it, breakfast of dreams. You should now be thanking @whatiateateforbreakfast and following her on Instagram.