This isn’t as outrageous as it sounds – Breakfast for Dinner. Granted, the menu shouldn’t include cornflakes but there are so many dishes that do double duty – both savoury and sweet. Brunch straddles both and that’s an event that is increasingly popular at restaurants which have now appreciated our broad cravings.
Authors Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth have tapped into the notion that breakfast is good at any time. They have taken favourite morning items and have given them a spin. Somerset Maugham used to say that to eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day. Well, I admit that he was referring to the abysmal standard of British food at the time (a situation that has, thankfully, been rectified over these past couple of decades) but he could just as easily have been referring to our general love of what are usually considered breakfast foods.
Breakfast for Dinner contains an eclectic collection of simple-to-prepare meals from across the globe. There are some classics as well as familiar favourites that have been massaged, in a culinary fashion, into sustaining meals that are appropriate at any time of day.
Shakshuka is a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast dish that, without tinkering, naturally works well for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eggs are poached in a rich and spicy tomato sauce spiked with salty feta. The yolks of the eggs add a rich creaminess to the sauce. Nothing more needed with this, apart from some good crusty bread.
Maple Bacon Cupcakes might sound a little challenging but if one considers the popular North American breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup and a side of bacon then one can more readily appreciate that sweet-savoury combination. The cakes are flavoured with maple syrup and the buttercream icing with chocolate. So far so good. Candied bacon is the unforgettable garnish (recipe supplied), although some crumbs of crisp salty bacon would also work.
Habanero-Cheddar Bread Pudding is a punchy and sustaining bake that would work with sausages or bacon as part of an any-time meal, although this savoury bread pudding just needs a salad, a squirt or two of good tomato ketchup or some chutney for an economic dinner. It’s ideal for breakfast when one has guests as it can be assembled in advance and put into the oven to serve fresh for your visitors, who will doubtless be impressed by a hot and flavourful start to their day.
My pick-of-the-book is a Crepe Cake, a very classy confection that gives a nod to the celebrated Bananas Foster of New Orleans. This is a stack of 20 thin crepes sandwiched with a sweet banana paste laced with dark rum. It is another dish that can be made in advance so it’s ideal for entertaining at a breakfast buffet or as a striking dessert. This doesn’t cost much but it offers plenty of delicious impact.
Breakfast for Dinner is a delightful book full of inspiration. The recipes are thoughtful and unique and they will help to encourage the home cook off the beaten culinary track, and that’s got to be a good thing.
Breakfast for Dinner
Authors: Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth
Published by: Quirk Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018