How to make a breakfast grazing table
Grazing tables are huge right now, but why not mix things up by creating an amazing breakfast spread for your next gathering?
Ok, you got me, it’s just a good old fashioned buffet spread, right? But it sounds so much more interesting calling it a grazing table!!
10 things to include on your breakfast grazing table:
EGGS!! Whether you prefer them fried, scrambled in a little butter or poached, i’m sure we can all agree they are a breakfast staple!! TIP: Add a dash of vinegar to your hot water when poaching eggs. The vinegar helps to set the protein in the egg white, ensuring that it holds a beautiful teardrop shape and doesn’t fall apart. Looking for an animal free alternative? Tofu scramble is the way to go! Get yourself some soft (I prefer silken) tofu, sautéed an onion, capsicum and tomato, add your tofu, scramble, season and spice it up with a little curry powder or paprika.
BACON!! Crispy versus ‘like ham’. I’ll leave this decision up to you. What I do recommend is that you source a quality smoked bacon from a local butcher. Why support a large corporation when your neighbours are struggling to make ends meat (no pun intended). If you’re in the Newcastle area be sure to check out Darby Street Meats, their house smoked bacon is to die for.
AVOCADO!! For breakfast tables like yours, I recommend smashing the avocado with a few simple ingredients. Firstly, salt & pepper. Avocado is NOT the same without a little love from my two best friends. Lemon is the next ingredient to rock up at to the party. Lemon adds a beautiful acidic zing to smashed avo which breaks through the saltiness of the bacon and the richness of the effervescent egg yolk, but it also prevents the avocado from oxidising (where oxygen discolours the top layer of the avocado. View it as the ‘rust’ of the food world.) You can also add a little chilli or cayenne so some spice or some finely chopped mint to freshen it up.
MUSHROOMS!! We wouldn’t be offering the full spread if we weren’t to include these little fun guys (fungi). Keep it simple by roasting them whole with a little olive oil, salt & pepper or add a little depth of flavour with some fresh garlic, thyme or rosemary from the garden. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try slicing them about 4-5mm thick (too thin and the moisture will cook out and you’ll be left with hardly anything), sauté them in some hot olive oil, season and then add a splash of sherry or port. The sweetness pairs beautifully with the earthy flavour of the mushroom. Don’t stress, the alcohol will be burnt off in a matter of seconds leaving you with guilt free shrooms. My favourite are portobello or swiss brown mushrooms. These guys are a little firmer and denser than your everyday button or field mushroom which means that they hold their form longer and remain plump and tasty. Butter or no butter? For me it’s simple, vegan/dairy free or not? There is no denying that buttery mushrooms are delicious but you can still make incredible tasting mushrooms without the naughtiness of dairy.
SOURDOUGH!! What else would we use to sop up our egg yolk and mushroom juices? PLEASE visit your local artisan baker and treat yourself to some quality, authentic bread. Whether you prefer sourdough, ciabatta or a simply white high top, if it comes in a plastic bag, its not bread! Simple…
PANCAKES!! Where I am from we have a tradition called ‘Pancake Sunday.’ It is simple; each Sunday, we eat pancakes! If it’s not Sunday….we still eat pancakes but we feel a little more guilty about it. Pancakes are great, no matter what but if you’re after something a little different, try adding a small amount of ricotta to the batter before cooking it, you could also pair this with some fresh berries (Ricotto & blueberry is my favourite.) After something not quite as sweet? Replace the milk with butter milk (this is a slightly sour, buttery biproduct of whipping cream into butter. For a gluten free & vegan alternative, I have had buckwheat pancakes on my cafe menu for years! Buckwheat flour is gluten free & adds a lovely nutty flavour to your pancakes, replace milk with soy milk and you’re ticking all of the dietary requirement boxes.
SEASONAL FRUIT!! That’s right, seasonal. There is no point in purchasing Californian grapes from a large supermarket in Australia. They are horrendously expensive, are NOT fresh, have been treated with various sprays simply to make their way through customs and have as much nutrients remaining as they do flavour…zilch! Where possible, source fresh fruit from your local farmers market or fresh food grocer. If this isn’t logistically possible, at least purchase Australian, in season fruit and support our friends and family back home. My breakfast favourites are watermelon, pineapple, bananas, stone fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines, etc.), grapes, dates, all types of berries.
PASTRIES!! Crossiants, danishes, galettes, biscuits, morning buns, banana bread, scrolls, muffins…the list of pastries goes on! Whether they are freshly baked from your local baker or popped in your oven that morning they satisfy both the sweet & savoury tooth and are a real crowd pleaser.
MUSELI/GRANOLA!! I can hear you asking already, ‘what is the difference.’ To put it simply, if its soaked/wet it is muesli, if its baked/dried its granola. Either tastes great, either can be reused tomorrow and either has a million different flavour options.
YOGHURT!! Yoghurt pairs with all good breakfast sweets, muesli, granola, pancakes, pastries and even just fruit!! Try vanilla bean yoghurt for some extra flavour, coconut yoghurt for a dairy free alternative (and it tastes great too) or greek yoghurt for a slightly sour, acidic tang. I love sprinkling demerara sugar on greek yoghurt and setting it aside for 10 mins. Pick up a slice of watermelon, dip it in this yoghurt and even the kids will be scoffing down their fruit for the day!
And a bonus, number 11, your guests may get a little thirsty:
COFFEE!! Don’t forget what breakfast is all about! French press is a great way to serve a great brew to multiple people.
Remember, caffeine isn’t everyones cup of tea, so be sure to offer an alternative.