Meals – Day 24: Cheese, egg and ham; return of the Sea Bream

25 Mar
Saturday breakfast time. It would have been a bit fancier than mid-week breakfasts, but it’s been a busy time last week because of leaving dues and personal matters, so I hadn’t done any breakfast groceries yet. I decided to keep it simple with a bowl of plain oats and make lunch a bit nicer.
Day 24 breakfast: Plain oats
Interestingly, while just oats isn’t exactly the most inspiring breakfast, I’ve come to appreciate them just as they are. I was never brought up with colourful boxes of factory-produced sugary breakfast cereals, and it’s just as well; as a result, I have no problem considering the occasional bowl of oats for breakfast as being Perfectly Adequate, as long as it’s not the only thing that’s for breakfast every single day.
Now lunch, that’s a different story. Lunch for day 24 was a bit closer to what I consider an indulgent breakfast. No need to look at me with that strange face thinking “why is this guy talking about having breakfast for lunch?” It’s something perfectly normal to do here in Britain. All-day breakfast, they call it. I’ve never seen anyone here have a Full English Breakfast for supper, though.
Behold my near-perfect indulgent breakfast of choice for the weekend:
Day 24 Lunch: Cheese, egg and ham
Fried egg on ham topped with cheese. It’s just a fried egg, sure. Everybody fries eggs and everybody has their own way of doing it. Mine involves frying one or two slices of ham using a small amount of oil, then adding in an egg on top of that. Once the egg white sets, I add some cheese on top. Finally, I cover the skillet with a lid, just after putting a few drops of water on the hot surface of the pan. This will steam the top of the egg, setting the egg white that’s covering the yolk. (I could use a large amount of oil and spoon the hot oil over the yolk, but I find pan-steaming gives a near identical effect without drowning the egg in even more fat than is already in the cheese). Once done, I like to grind some fresh black pepper over the egg – but in this case, a sprinkle of mixed herbs did nicely.
I reckon I’m going to repeat this in a few weeks time – but I’ll have some nice, fresh-pressed orange juice with it. And coffee. Let’s not forget the coffee.
During the afternoon, I went to the town centre with a friend, and was practically force-fed some donuts, even after making it clear I could no longer accept charity. I’m finding it quite a challenge to decide where exactly to draw the line; if someone insists, should you decline nonetheless? I noticed I got a proper sugar rush out of it- which isn’t typical for me. It’s probably a good idea to keep my sugar intake low, now that I’m not craving it all the time.
But let’s get on with supper. After asking around what to do with the liver, I got a few suggestions, one of which was to put it in a spicy context. As I’ve only ever seen liver being prepared in a Western European context, I thought that was an interesting idea, even though ultimately I gave it a slightly different twist. I was thinking Thai style, but obviously I didn’t have quite all the ingredients needed for that. Never mind not having coconut or lemon grass- those are pretty much beyond budget anyway. How was I going to get any Asian flavours into the dish at all, other than by using the same old ginger and garlic?
Fortunately, in a flash of insight, I had frozen the head and carcass of the sea bream a few days back. I actually had already forgotten about that and only ran into it because I was looking for the ginger, which I keep frozen as well. Well, some fish would definitely give a umami hit to the dish. As would dark soy sauce. I decided to go moderate on the ginger and garlic and focus on the umami.
While it was cooking, it didn’t look all too appetising though:
Day 24: Preparing supper
What mattered, however, was the result. I went quite heavy on the soy sauce, and the fish definitely gave a nice contrast of flavour. I reduced it down and added mixed vegetables and oats, but stayed relatively low-carb on the dish due to the amount of sugar I had in the afternoon. Once it was done, I found myself commenting, “Hmm!” on the result. Not bad. But of course it wasn’t a truly Asian dish. In fact, I think it would be rather hard to prepare any dish with liver and give it that specifically Asian kind of flavour – it’s got a pretty strong flavour by itself. Perhaps soaking the liver in coconut milk would help?
In any case, I discarded the now used fish carcass and plated up. It certainly much more looked the part now.
Day 24: Fishy pork liver with mixed vegetables and oats in dark soy sauce
So, I’m all out of liver now (except for a tiny bit of pate left in the freezer). Given the current state of my budget, I’ll probably be able to get some fancier protein next.
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2 Responses to “Meals – Day 24: Cheese, egg and ham; return of the Sea Bream”

  1. Ciaran McHale March 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Some people who think porridge oats are bland try to add flavour by mixing in something sweets, like sugar, honey or jam. But my wife found an alternative way. She puts some walnuts in a coffee/spice grinder for a few seconds, and then adds the result to porridge. (It doesn’t matter if you add the ground walnuts before or after cooking the porridge.) It certainly improves the bland taste and adds quite a nice texture. If you go to True Food again, then you could buy a small quantity of walnuts from one of the loose goods containers. Or perhaps you might find a more affordable source of some other type of nut to experiment with.

    • kleinebre March 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      I certainly can see that work. One of the ways I enjoy my oats is with a bit of yoghurt – which would normally also be the way I’d normally enjoy muesli. The step from there to adding a few walnuts is fairly small then.

      I actually haven’t been to the True Food the past two weeks, as I’ve both had other obligations and have slightly altered my rules, to no longer accept charity- it was starting to make things unfair. But I hope to be dropping by there soon and catch up with Chris on how things have been going.

      The last week is here!

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