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Ainsley's Banging Brunch

 

Ainsley Harriott's banging brunch. Sweetcorn fritters with pancetta-wrapped asparagus, soft poached egg, vine-roasted cherry tomatoes, cornmeal muffins with chilli and chives, served with brava sauce and aioli - made using 10p of energy. 




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Energy cost: 9.53, Serves 4, Prep: see recipe, Cook: see recipe

Sweetcorn fritters with pancetta-wrapped asparagus, soft poached egg and vine-roasted cherry tomatoes

Prep: 8-10 mins, Cook: 20-25 mins

What you'll need:

1 x 418g tin creamed sweetcorn
1x 198g tin sweetcorn (drained)
75g plain flour
25g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 finely chopped spring onion
Sunflower oil for frying
8 rashers pancetta or streaky bacon
8 large trimmed asparagus spears 
4 cherry tomato vines (each with 5-7 tomatoes)
4 eggs
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven 220c gas mark 7
2. Place the creamed sweetcorn and sweetcorn kernels in a mixing bowl, stir in the flour, baking powder, spring onion and some seasoning.
3. Wrap the pancetta around each asparagus spear.
4. Pop asparagus and tomatoes on a roasting tray and put in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the asparagus is tender,
pancetta crispy and the tomatoes are tender and their skins have split.
5. Heat 3-4 tbsps of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. 
6. Add 4-6 spoonfuls of the batter (depending on size of pan - they need to be spaced well apart) and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until richly golden and cooked through.
7. Remove from the pan, place on absorbent kitchen paper and keep warm while you make the remaining fritters.
8. Heat about 6cm of water in a separate pan until little bubbles appear on the surface, then add the vinegar and ½ tsp salt.
9. Break an egg into a teacup and slide it gently into the water simmering gently for 3 ½ minutes until lightly poached. Repeat with the other 3 eggs then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
10. Put the pancetta wrapped asparagus on the plates, and then place 2 or 3 fritters slightly overlapping on top.
10. Top with a soft poached egg and a grinding of black pepper and serve with the cherry tomatoes on the side.




Cornmeal muffins with chilli and chives

Makes: 12
Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 20-25 mins 

What you’ll need:

50g butter, plus extra for serving
150g self-raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper (coarsely ground is fine)
150g yellow cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml carton cultured buttermilk (or milk mixed with juice of 1/2 lemon)
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 5.
2. Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave.
3. Use one tablespoon to grease a 12-hole muffin tin, lined with paper cases. Set the remainder aside.
4. Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl, then tip in the pepper and cornmeal, stirring to combine.
5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and quickly stir in the eggs, buttermilk and remaining butter until you have achieved a smooth batter.
6. Fold in the chilli and herbs until just combined.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
8. Serve with butter for spreading.





Brava sauce

Prep: 4 mins
Cook: 45 mins

What you’ll need:

3 tbsps olive oil
1 finely chopped small onion
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
½ finely diced green pepper
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
¼ tsp each of dried oregano & thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
½ glass white wine
1 x 400g tin tomatoes, whizzed to a pulp
pinch each of sugar, salt and ground black pepper

Method:

1. Heat oil in pan
2. Add onions, garlic, pepper and gently sauté until lightly golden on the edges.
3. Add the spices and herbs and continue to cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
4. Add white wine, tomato pulp, pinch of sugar and continue to cook for about 20 minutes until it’s nice and pulpy but not too thick…add a little water if necessary. 
5. Check seasoning and serve.


Aioli

What you’ll need:

2 egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon
2-4 cloves of crushed garlic
Salt flakes
100ml sunflower oil
100ml extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Whisk together the egg yolks with the lemon, crushed garlic and salt flakes in a large bowl.
2. Now slowly whisk in the 100ml each of extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil, drop by drop to start. 
3. When the thick emulsion begins to form, add the oil with more confidence.
4. Season to taste. You might need to add some more lemon juice.


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