There’s a fair chance you’re aware that Christmas is imminent.
There’s also a fair chance that you’re busy with shopping, wrapping, cooking and a million other preparations that spring to mind in these last few days…Or maybe not. In any event, I’m willing to bet that you’re planning a last-minute food shop or delivery to combat the understandable concern that you’ll starve over the next few days. It’s a very real danger, I know.
I wouldn’t want to tempt you to add to your already extensive grocery list, and indeed I shall not! Instead, you’ll be delighted to read, this corking little number can be assembled with little effort, and with ingredients that will most definitely be tucked away somewhere…probably underneath the sprouts.
This would make a tasty brunch over the Christmas period; you’re bound to have some smoked salmon knocking about after all – and all the ingredients are pretty staple stuff. United, however, they become a force to be reckoned with and definitely greater than the sum of their parts.
You can easily prepare the spiced béchamel sauce ahead of time – it keeps well in the ‘fridge – so the rarebit can be made in a trice when you fancy it. I think it’s a winner and well worth considering for The Big Day or, indeed, any day.
- Sourdough bread, sliced – or your favourite for toast
- Smoked Salmon
- Eggs, scrambled with coconut oil and/or butter
- Spinach, wilted with butter and nutmeg
- Spiced Bechamel * (see below)
- Parmesan Cheese
*Spiced Bechamel Sauce
- 50g unsalted butter
- 3-4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp English mustard powder (or sauce)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 500ml whole milk
- ¼ whole nutmeg, grated
- tomato puree / ketchup, a generous squirt
- Tabasco (I used the chipotle version), 8 dashes or so
- lemon juice, a squeeze
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the béchamel sauce by following the method here Savoury Mille-Feuille
Please note that I omitted the bay leaf this time, but feel free to indulge in this Christmassy leaf if you’re so moved.
Just add the extra ingredients and stir through. The lemon juice is important to balance out the richness, but you don’t want it to taste lemony so just use a little. When it’s nice and thick, remove from the heat and leave to one side.
Cook the eggs on a low heat with a good dollop of your preferred fat (I like a combination of coconut oil and butter) and season with salt and pepper. Pleeeease don’t overcook the poor eggs; they like to be soft soft soft (as the loo roll advert goes) and bare in mind that they’ll continue to cook in their own heat when you set them aside, so go a little under-done if anything. Leave to one side.
Wilt the spinach in a hot saucepan – again, with a knob of butter, salt, pepper and grind of fresh nutmeg. Leave to one side.
After you’ve toasted your crunchy sourdough to perfection, it’s just an assembly job. Preheat your grill to medium-high and get cracking:
Toast, layered with smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon, then the soft scrambled egg, followed by the spinach and finally the spiced béchamel. Top with a good grating of parmesan and pop under the grill until lightly browned.
Good served with fresh spinach, or some well seasoned slices of tomato.
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