Domini Kemp: delicious brunch recipes for cheats

Anything that makes cooking easier and quicker and gets us in the kitchen is a good thing, right

 Lazy egga florentine with smoked peppers. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Lazy egga florentine with smoked peppers. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

My aim, always, with this column, is to try and get y’all to cook when you might not otherwise feel like it, because to my mind, anything that inspires you to cook from scratch – the idea, taste or ease of a recipe – has got to be a good thing, right?

So, any recipe with the word lazy in it is always going to grab my attention and, I hope, yours too.

Lazy is such a good word in the right context – not when it’s used about ‘real’ stuff like work, say, or exercise, but certainly when it’s used about cooking. Those four little letters promise so much: shortcuts, practical tips, time-saving flourishes – and tasty results with minimal effort and, very possibly, with a glass of wine in hand.

Both recipes this week were devised very much in this spirit.

The first is for a lazy version of the classic brunch dish, eggs florentine, only this one does away with the English muffin (how I love them), and swaps it for a little nest of cheesy, creamy spinach that, when you bake it in the oven, functions like a mini electric blanket that gently cooks the egg nestling within.

The trick with this dish is to remember that eggs keep cooking once they’re off the heat, so you need to take them out of the oven early enough so that they don’t overcook.

I like my baked or poached eggs just set, and to pierce the yolk and see all that molten golden goodness burst forth, so just keep a close eye on things so you get the eggs you want.

The second recipe this week is for a salad of roasted red and yellow peppers tossed in fennel seeds and smoked sweet paprika. This could not be simpler.

You simply grill the peppers for about 10 minutes or so. When they’re gently charred on the outside, you remove them and decant into a bowl. Cover it with cling film and let all that trapped heat and moisture work its magic.

The peppers deflate slowing, wrinkling the skin so it can be stripped away easily, and as this happens, all those delicious, precious juices are released into the bowl and can then be used in the dressing.

As well as being a great partner to the spinach, this salad is fantastic with grilled meat or steak or some of the amazing artisan sausages that are available these days. dkemp@irishtimes.com

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