How to create perfect brunch

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I love what brunch stands for, writes Alasdair Nunn of RachAls Kitchen Ltd, the Halifax based caters.

According to the Oxford Dictionary brunch is “A late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch”. However, to me it’s far more than tha.

To me, brunch is an excuse to keep the curtains drawn, to stay snuggled under the duvet.

It’s an excuse to forget all your worries and concerns as you snooze during those precious few hours before you treat yourself (or ideally, you are treated) to a delicious late morning meal .

And for me it doesn’t get any better than a perfectly poached egg smothered in a rich, buttery hollandaise sauce.


(Serves 2)

For the Hollandaise

125g butter

2 egg yolks

1⁄2 tsp white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar

Pinch of salt

Splash of ice cold water

Lemon juice

Cayenne pepper (optional)

To Finish

2 slices of toast or 1 muffin halved

Blanched bunch of asparagus (optional)

2 poached eggs

Parmesan (optional)

Pea Shoots (optional)


lMelt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and skim off any white solids which rise to the surface. Keep the butter warm.

lPut the egg yolks, tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar), a pinch of salt and a splash of ice-cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over a small pan. Whisk the mixture for a few minutes then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until pale and thick. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

lRemove from the heat and very slowly (drip by drip) whisk in the warm melted butter, until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise. If you feel it’s too thick, add a splash of water.

lSeason with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. Keep warm until needed.

lTo finish, toast your bread or muffin halves, top each with a well drained poached egg and spoon over a generous helping of hollandaise. Serve with the optional blanched asparagus, pea shoots and parmesan.