Weekend Bites: Anyone for posh toast?
Anyone else fed up of the backlash against bread? Sure, some of us have genuine issues with gluten, but for those who don’t, it’s been fashionable to jump on the anti-grain bandwagon and put down one of the world’s most eaten foods.
Time for a revolution, to celebrate the loaf, and where better to start than toast?
Who doesn’t love the smell of hot, buttered toast? So comforting, so familiar, so homely. One of the world’s most satisfying fast foods, a simple and humble slice of toasted bread can be transformed into a fabulous feast with very little effort.
Food writer Emily Kydd has eaten her way through more than a baker’s dozen of crusty loaves to create a nifty new book on the subject, which includes over 70
recipes for posh toast.
Breakfast is the obvious place to start, with eggs making a big showing and Emily has drawn inspiration from around the world.
From classics like eggs benedict and bacon soldiers with your soft-boiled egg, she moves onto spicy huevos rancheros and the
irresistible lure of Turkish eggs on toast (Greek yoghurt, garlic, chilli flakes and sage are key ingredients!).
As any toast lover knows, toast is a good snack at any time of day. For lunch, she suggests mozzarella and kale pesto or mint and walnut babe gannoush on toasted pita or Turkish flat breads; havarti cheese with chorizo and red peppers is a gusty mix of Danish cheese and Spanish sausage.
Toast, by its very nature, is the perfect snack and there are lots of bite-sized nibbles that can served up to pals or munched on on the sofa with a mug of tea.
The chocolate spread recipe here can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. Whatever way you fancy your sourdough, bagel or rye, one flick through this fun new book will render that pot of strawberry jam obsolete.
‘Posh Toast’, with photography by Louise Hagger, is published by Quadrille, €20.55
Chocolate spread cream cheese
75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
75g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tbsp cocoa powder
75g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 slices wholemeal bread
175g cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/315°F/gas 4. Tip the nuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, shaking every so often, until golden brown. Leave to cool a little, then tip 200g of the roasted nuts into the bowl of a food processor.
2. Meanwhile, tip both
chocolates into a bowl and melt over a pan of barely simmering water, then allow to cool.
3. Blend the nuts to a paste in the food processor. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar, then add the cooled melted chocolate, vanilla
extract and a good pinch
of salt. Blend until smooth — about 10 minutes — scraping the mixture down from the sides every so often. Transfer to a jar, then leave to cool completely and firm up a little.
4. Toast the bread and spread thickly with the cream cheese. Top with some
spoonfuls of chocolate spread, then roughly chop the remaining roasted hazelnuts and scatter these over the top.
Mint and feta with courgettes and chilli
1 large or 2 small courgettes
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Few good pinches chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
Small handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
Zest ½ lemon
4 slices pane pugliese or other rustic bread
140g feta, broken into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Slice the courgette lengthways into thin ribbons using a
vegetable peeler or mandoline. Place in a bowl and toss through 1tbsp of the oil, the chilli flakes, most of the mint, lemon zest and some seasoning. Set aside to soften for five minutes.
2. Toast the bread and drizzle with the remaining oil. Top with the courgette ribbons and crumble over the feta, then sprinkle over a little extra chilli and the remaining mint.
Apple and hazelnut with black pudding
25g butter, plus extra for
2 small cox apples
200g black pudding, chopped
25g hazelnuts, chopped
5 sage leaves, finely sliced
Drizzle of runny honey
4 slices poppy seed bloomer
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Quarter the apples, then remove the core and cut into 1/2cm thick slices. Add
to the pan and sprinkle with salt.
2. Cook the apples gently, basting with the buttery juices until beginning to soften.
3. Push the apples to the side of the pan and turn up the heat. Throw in the black pudding and let it cook for about three minutes or until beginning to crisp and break up a little. Add the hazelnuts and sage to the pan and stir together.
4. Continue to cook for a minute, until the nuts have browned a little. Drizzle over the honey, season and toss everything together. Toast the bread and butter well, then top with the black pudding and apple.
Ask the Expert: Why is Dublin ready for a seafood shack?
Niall Sabongi, owner/chef at KLAW
BARE feet on weathered decks, an ocean view and a dilapidated shed serving crab by the bucket. That’s the image a ‘crab shack’ conjures up.
I fell in love with the casual-dining concept during summers spent along the American eastern seaboard.
Crab shacks come in all shapes and sizes, mostly cheap and cheerful and occasionally upmarket. But what they all do well is celebrate shellfish in all its guises.
There’s a tendency in Ireland to think of oysters and lobster as ‘posh’ food, but at a crab shack, it’s hands on, shore-side, stripped-down style — with not a linen napkin in sight!
Now at KLAW in Temple Bar, locals and tourists can enjoy the crab-shack mentality in the centre of Dublin.
Rock up and take your pick of
lobster roll, chowder, crab claws and more!
There’s three types of oysters with tasty dressings and even served torched, all washed down with craft beer or wine.
Linger if you like, or #ShuckNSuck and continue on your way!
KLAW, 5A Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2