Are you a morning lark, or a night owl? Do you function best in the morning without the aid of caffeine or do you envy the ones who can? Believe it or not, our circadian clock might have something to do with our genes. Some studies (read up here and here) have even suggested the nocturnal people are more intelligent, although I’ll probably take that piece of information with a grain of salt and wait for more solid evidence. But I do believe that some of us were born to be night owls. If you are interested in further reading, check here, and here.
When I was in University, or working full time, the worst thing was having to wake up early. Generally it takes a couple of snoozes, a shower, a couple of shots of strong coffee for me to be remotely functional. Needless to say when holidays or annual leave came, my body automatically reverted to my most comfortable sleeping hours: 4am until Midday (sometimes earlier, of course). I didn’t mind working night shifts, but my only complaint is that it was a lonely job, having to cover the whole department/ward on my own.
Now that I’m freelancing, I keep to my night owl routine. I still sleep 8 hours a day like everyone else, and I find myself functioning better this way. My mind’s at its optimum level around evening time. That’s when I brainstorm, write and create. I generally schedule meetings and rehearsals in the afternoons or evenings. On the rare occasion I do wake up for morning events, expect sunglasses and coffee cup gelled to my hand. Hehe.
Well, this brings us to the issue of breakfast. Naturally, my first meal of the day would be around 12 Noon-2pm. It also means that I essentially combine my breakfast and lunch. That’s why I have such a fondness for egg-based brunch dishes, especially poached eggs and baked eggs. You can check out some of my brunch recipes here too.
I like to be creative with my brunch and try out different combinations of ingredients. The other day, I went a little crazy and made this East Meets West concoction. Having just cooked Nasi Lemak the day before, I had plenty of sambal leftover so I thought why not make a Nasi Lemak inspired brunch dish?
This dish sounded so wrong, yet tasted so right! I don’t even know what to call it, but I love the different textures and flavours mingling on my tongue. By the way you did see “Purple Carrot Cake”. My mother made this with the purple carrots from Australia, courtesy of my sister. I have also made my own version and will post the recipe next (and link back to this post). I’ve ran out of cling wrap, which was a blessing in disguise because I finally had no excuse but to poach my egg the traditional way. Lo and behold, it turned out perfect!
To build this dish, here are the different components I’ve used:
Poached egg – Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a small splash of white vinegar, and gently stir the water into a whirlpool. Crack the egg into a ramekin or a cup, and drop the egg into the centre. At this point slowly stir the water to manipulate the flow if needed as this will shape the egg white. You’ll know it’s done when all the egg white has turned opaque, generally no more than 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the egg. Remove the egg with slotted spoon and serve immdiately. If you have to set it aside, you’ll need to cool it down so it doesn’t continue to cook, then reheat as needed.
Note that you’ll have to use very fresh egg or it won’t form nicely.
Smashed Avocado recipe
Homemade Vegetarian Sambal recipe
Roasted Tomato – Cut tomatoes in halves, sprinkle with chopped basil, salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in 170C oven for 20 minutes or so depending on what doneness you prefer.
Bacon – To achieve perfect crunch, best thing to do is cook bacon in the oven. I just threw them in with the tomato halves.
Cucumber – simply slice cucumber thinly and set aside until ready for serving.
Once everything’s done, just assemble and try to plate it neatly. And what’s the first thing I did? Apart from taking pictures of course.
Break the egg yolk!
You can come closer. It won’t bite.
So that was my weird and wonderful brunch. Admittedly most days I keep it simple and not quite as crazy, but it’s nice to pamper myself once in a while.
What did you have for breakfast/brunch today?