English Fry ups are definitely bottom of the bunch. Irish or Scottish trump them, with the Ulster Fry possibly beating them all. Its he quality of pork produce that makes the difference... had some amazing black pudding last week down in Kerry - sweet, soft and crumbly.
Only tea for a fry-up is a cup of Lyons. English tea is far too effete!
What what WHAT???
It *has* to be English sausages in a good fry-up - Sainsbury's Taste The Difference or equivalent quality. And I as for your queer notions about tea - well, I'm just flabbergasted, really...
Pffft!Crikey. No wonder Mr Tea pissed Padraig off.
Don't knock 'em 'til you've tried 'em! They are awesome.
In fairness, I can't recall having tried Lyon's, but I've heard Irish friends of mine say the tea over there is a bit manky. Perhaps, when I have the time and cash, I'll do a tea-and-sausage-tasting tour of the world.
I kind of agree that trying to get every item into a fry-up can result in gilding the lilly.
It's like at Xmas time when you get so many silly little side-dishes that the taste is a bit of a Chinese buffet where you can't really focus on anything in particular.
I had the discussion of what five ingredients I would put in a fried breakfast with some friends and one came up with this detailed mission description.
1 Crumpet £0.06
1 Large Free Range Egg £0.18
7 Button Mushrooms £0.43
3 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon £0.54
4 Hash Browns £0.42
1 Lemon £0.19
½ Black Pudding £0.30
Total cost: £2.12
The only preparation that needs doing here is to slice your mushrooms and black pudding. And, of course, to cut the hole out of your crumpet, about the size of a normal egg yolk.
First things first, I got those hash browns under the grill as they'd take the longest to cook.
I decided to fry the mushrooms separately first so that I wasn't having to juggle two pans. It's quite easy just to chuck them back in the pan at the end to heat them up. I fried the mushrooms over a high heat to boil off any liquid they emitted, and salted them as they were frying. I also added some chilli powder and a squeeze of lemon here, though in retrospect this was too much. I think I'd done that for some more mushroom-centric recipe previously, but since this exercise was all about me learning to speak out of a nicer orifice, I felt I had to stick to the recipe described on Top 5s.
Once the mushrooms were cooked and set aside, I added some more oil to the pan and added the bacon, the black pudding, and the crumpet (with hole). Also, I turned the heat down. I rubbed the crumpet about the pan so that it soaked up some of the oil. Once the crumpet is looking a little browned on either side, it's time to crack that egg into it. I like to go with the crumpet holey side up, so that the egg will fry into the holes. Come to think of it, I've never tried the other way, so I don't know what it would be like. Having cracked the eggshell on the side of the pan you need to hold the egg directly over the hole as you break it. The yolk should fall nicely into your hole and the white should spill across the crumpet. You'll lose some white on to the pan surface, but there should be a nice film of transparent white across the crumpet's holey face.
So, after about a minute of frying, I felt the egg-in-the-crumpet was ready to be flipped. When I'd flipped the crumpet (which needs to be fairly swift by the way) I was a little worried by the fact that the yolk could be seen clearly on the underside of the egg-in-the-crumpet. It was, in fact, slightly burst. Then, when flipping the crumpet back over a minute or so later, disaster struck! The yolk simply refused to remain in its hole and oozed out defiantly. This was a first for me. I've burst the yolk many times when cracking it into the hole, but the nature of the concoction means that this is mostly irrelevant, the yolk retaining its runnyness via its bread suspension.
Contemplating my failure, I tried to think where the problem may have occurred. Had I been too eager to flip the crumpet, before the white had solidified and attached the yolk? Had I had the pan on too high/low a heat? Was I simply a poor chef?
Resolving not to let this setback defeat me, I finished off the bacon and black pudding and set them aside. I decided that the most likely cause of the yolk's escape was the structure of the hole. It had been too wide, and its walls had been too vertical. So I prepared a new crumpet with a smaller, more conical hole, so that the opening on the bottom was narrower.
When it came to flipping this new crumpet, you could see immediately that the seal on the underside was better. There was a nice white skin firmly spanning the hole. When flipping the crumpet back over, the yolk had been broken, but it didn't matter. It was nestled nicely in the hole, still deliciously yellow and fluid.
I think the reason why the conical shape is more effective is that it helps keep the yolk just a smidgen further from the pan. If the hole is of uniform diameter the yolk can rest directly against the pan surface, but being raised allows some of the white to seep underneath and create the desired seal.
With the crumpet now complete, it was time to assemble the breakfast (which, I might add at this point, was being prepared at 8pm). To my eternal shame, now that I had not one but three components to reheat, I used a 30 second blast in the microwave to do so. I laid the bacon rashers across the crumpet and arranged the other ingredients in a circle around it. This rather ridiculous presentation was actually somewhat off-putting, but by this point I was feeling frivolous.
Well, it was certainly enjoyable. But overall the combination lacked cohesion and balance. I would have liked some beans or tomato to offset the dry greasiness of the dish, which was on the heart attack inducing side of things. And, as mentioned previously, the flavouring on the mushrooms was unnecessary. I have to say though, the bacon and the egg-in-the-crumpet combined fantastically. I certainly think egg-in-the-crumpet with bacon on top is something I'll have in the future. Also, I'd recommend the Co-op bacon I bought, it was lovely and thick, though predictably it seeped injected Potassium (the white stuff) when frying.
Overall? Perhaps 5/10. Individually the ingredients were good, but as a whole the dish was flawed.
white pudding is usually pretty nondescript in my experience, though i'm prepared to believe i've just not had a good one yet. as black pudding is made with blood, i also really don't like to consider precisely which bodily fluid is used in it, either.