The combination of Rosemary Shrager and Yorkshire Breakfasts is just about unbeatable. She is a lady that glows with passion for food, garnished with great good humour and generosity. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I have been known to graze for several hours on a copious spread of morning delights.
Yorkshire is celebrated for its well-laid tables at every meal, old-fashioned baked, fried, poached and grilled goods made with the best of ingredients and served in memorable quantities. Rosemary is an author made to write about this comforting subject. One can almost hear her rich warm laugh as she talks about the recipes. She encourages the reader to cook and enjoy these treats, often if they are the healthy platters and just a little less frequently if they are those packed with calories. After all it’s not what you eat that’s the problem it’s the exercise that you don’t take that causes difficulties.
The chapters start with The Full English. Yes we all know what constitutes the classic version and it is in my opinion the king of the cooked brekkie; but there are alternatives that are worthy of the accolade ‘Full’. How’s about Homemade Baked Beans with Crispy Bacon and Sautéed Potatoes? The beans can be frozen so it’s a convenient make-ahead breakfast for those weekends when you have a houseful of hungry guests. Leave out the bacon and you have a substantial vegetarian breakfast.
If you want to feel noble then Fresh Figs with Serrano Ham might well fit the bill, with a taste of the southern climes. It’s an almost instant start to your day but a great summer breakfast both for you and your guests, who are bound to be impressed with this classy plateful. Wait till you can get those luscious dark figs for best effect.
Rosemary has a chapter entitled Indulgence and I confess I turned to this one first. These are cracking recipes for rib-sticking fare that’s a bit out of the ordinary. Perhaps I should say that they are dishes that one might ordinarily enjoy later in the day but which are wonderful for breakfast particularly if you can persuade someone else to cook them for you.
Hands up who would not love Individual Yorkshire Puddings with Golden Syrup at 8am on a Sunday. Just as I thought – no hands showing. A good Yorkshire pud is light and airy and a delicious vehicle for a drizzle of Golden Syrup. It has to be Golden Syrup and it should be the one in the green and gold tin, you know the one. Yes, calories aplenty but you have got the whole day for hiking, or at least walking around the shopping mall.
One might not think of Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas as regular breakfast fare. I would have agreed with you till I had exactly that for breakfast in a hotel in Australia in the 1970’s. It works. We often have fish on breakfast menus and there are lots of potato dishes that are common morning offerings. Put those elements together and one has fish and chips.
I usually pick a favourite recipe from the cookbooks I review but I can honestly say that I would cook, eat and enjoy all of these Yorkshire Breakfasts recipes. The majority of the dishes do double or even treble duty as they work well not only for late-night fuelling but also for lunches. A brilliant book full of early-morning inspiration.
Cookbook review: Rosemary Shrager’s Yorkshire Breakfasts
Author: Rosemary Shrager
Publisher: Great Northern
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018