Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brunch- Belgian Style

Belgians take breakfast very seriously. When I first moved to Brussels and was still living in a hotel, I walked to the hotel cafe in the morning expecting a bounty of waffles and maple syrup. What I found was more akin to what I had so frequently enjoyed at my parents' wine tastings: fresh bread, cheese, jams, and chutneys. There were, of course, some of the staples: eggs (scrambled and soft-boiled to order), croissants, breakfast sausages, etc. But these were complimented by roasted tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, and yes, more cheese. Waffles are far too whimsical for this serious meal. 

When Matt finally joined me in Brussels, I couldn't wait to give him my spin on a Belgian breakfast: the green drink (more on that next time); a fresh baguette; cinnamon raisin croissants; chevre, gruyere, and a delightfully stinky goat cheese; chutney procured from my last trip to London; dates; fresh fruit; and soft-boiled eggs. Needless to say, it was devoured.

See my recipe for soft-boiled eggs below!

Erin's Perfect Soft-boiled Eggs: 

Bring a small pot of salted water to boil and gently drop in your eggs. Set the timer for 4:45, if you like your eggs on the runny side. For a firmer yolk, set the timer between 5:00-5:15. While the eggs are cooking, prepare your toasts. My favorite way is to cut them into "sticks", perfectly sized for dipping, with a touch of soy margarine. When the eggs are ready, carefully retrieve from the pot. Running them under cold water and peel back the top third of the shell. My trick is to hold them under cold water and gently chisel away while rotating. Place them in an egg cup, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy right out of the shell.

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