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It appears to me that the age old saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is finally being listened to by UK consumers. I recently read an interesting Allegra report which stated that breakfast consumption is up 6.65% on last year and that consumers are eating out for breakfast 1.7 times a month. Having recently been at the Lunch! Show it was clear that breakfast is closing in on the gap on lunchtime, with an array of new and innovative breakfast products being exhibited.

Last week I attended a morning meeting at one of Leon restaurant in London where I found an interesting breakfast offering on the menu dedicated to poached egg pots. Beautiful combinations with ingredients such as truffles gruyere, smoked salmon, avocado and chorizo with perfectly poached eggs in a convenient take away pot. A great example of how breakfast time is becoming modernised and more aligned with other meal time dining, in terms of innovation and convenience.

It seems that the days of the greasy spoon fry-up are gone, and now modern, quality breakfast ingredients are fusing nicely with other concepts such as street food, resulting in such things as breakfast burritos, handheld take away breakfasts and breakfast hybrids. This month Starbucks is launching a series of baked goods into its breakfast offering such as the controversial “Duffin” (a doughnut/muffin hybrid).

In honour of this growing market, chefs and caterers across Britain are being asked to enter their breakfast offerings into a nationwide competition to find the country’s best breakfasts during the Farmhouse Breakfast Week, in the “Best Breakfast Award” running from 26 January to 1 February 2014. Good luck to all those entering, I think if I was to enter, this recipe using classic British ingredients would be a real breakfast time contender!

Poached eggs and Wiltshire ham on a potato rosti with watercress


Ingredients for 6-8 Rosti’s

  • 5 Large waxy Potatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 tsp Chopped Thyme
  • 100g Melted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Peel and then grate the potatoes
  2. Squeeze out a little excess water from the potato pulp, but leave moist
  3. Add the remaining ingredients
  4. Fill a hot, well seasoned or non-stick, 12cm diameter omelette pan with the potato mix and press down lightly. Gently shake the pan to prevent the mix from sticking
  5. Allow the under side to brown before flipping.
  6. Continue to cook until the potato is cooked through. This can be done in the oven
  7. To serve, reheat until piping hot.
  • 1 potato Rosti
  • 2 poached Eggs
  • white wine vinegar
  • 2 slices of Charcuti® Wiltshire ham
  • A sprig of Watercress
  1. Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer. Add a splash of vinegar
  2. Crack four eggs into four ramekins or coffee cups
  3. Stir the water slowly, before gently dropping the eggs into the centre of the pan
  4. When the egg is firm enough to remove from the pan but still very softly boiled, take out and place in iced water
  5. Remove from the iced water. Trim any excess white and place on a clean cloth on a tray. Cover and keep until required
  6. When needed, gently drop the required number of eggs into hot water for 45 seconds, then drain
  7. Heat the potato rosti
  8. Add the egg, ham and watercress and assemble the dish as pictured
  9. Season to taste and serve immediately