BILL’S

My ultimate hangover indulgence, for the past four years, has been a trip to Bill’s. Or, to be a bit more honest, it’s not just a hangover indulgence. I’d go there any day, in any state. I’d never bat an eyelid at the massive queue lining the walls which are overflowing with gourmet chutneys and oils that I’ll never buy but will forever lust after. I’m a sucker for the bustling atmosphere, cutesy farmers market blackboards and all day breakfast menu. We’re always seated within 20 minutes, and my oh my, is it worth it.

On my most recent visit, me and my two best friends were feeling more than a little worse for wear after drinking all the drinks the night before. But, of course, Bill’s came to the rescue. I have tried almost every breakfast item that they serve, but their vegetarian breakfast really hits the spot.

Not the standard cardboard sausages and hash browns with some measly eggs (that plate we’ve all seen which reaffirms why we are not vegetarians), Bill’s veggie breakfast is a quasi-mediterranean feast. It’s so colourful, it’s absolutely delicious, and is a treat for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Made up of toast, poached eggs, guacamole, red pepper hummus, mushrooms, tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce it’s everything you could possibly desire. And if you’re super anti-vegetarian, then whack some bacon in with it and satisfy those carnivorous urges. Oh, and did I mention it comes with bubble and squeak? A tasty potato and cabbage patty that can be easily made from leftovers.

There are branches of Bill’s all over the place, not just in Brighton and London, so check out their website and see if you can pop into their local. http://www.bills-website.co.uk/

If you ever want to wake somebody up with a treat – don’t forget about this recipe.

Let’s get to it.

Bill’s Vegetarian Breakfast

A couple notes : 
  • I made this a breakfast for two but there was lots of leftover hummus and guacamole – so save it and you could try making some hummamole (the best word ever) or make yourself some crudités and be prepared to snack all day.
  • For the bubble and squeak, I made the savoy cabbage mashed potato the night before and left it in the fridge. At Bill’s they add mustard seeds – however when I tried this, the taste wasn’t quite right, so I’ve substituted that for Dijon mustard instead.
  • It’s a good idea to make the hummus and/or guacamole the night before if you’re looking for a quick breakfast, but it doesn’t take long if you do it all at once either. You also could just buy hummus and guacamole if you are after a quicker fix.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredients list to start off with. I guarantee it’s worth the effort.

Here’s what you’re going to need :

For general breakfast-ings: 

4 eggs
2 slices of toast
2 vine tomatoes
10 cup mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Aromat seasoning
Butter
Oil
Dash of white wine vinegar
Sweet chilli sauce (for garnish)
Basil leaves (for garnish)

For the guacamole : 

1 avocado
1/2 red onion
1/2 vine tomato
1 garlic clove
1/2 lime
Sprig fresh coriander
1/2 red chilli
Salt & pepper

For the hummus : 

2 red peppers
1 can chick peas
1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
Pinch of fresh coriander
Salt & pepper

For the bubble & squeak (enough to eat the night before too)

3 potatoes
1/4 large savoy cabbage
Splash of milk
Butter
Pepper
Aromat Seasoning
Plain flour

RED PEPPER HUMMUS

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First off, get your ingredients together. Starting with the red peppers, chop off the tops, and de-seed them

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Cut them into quarters and place on a baking tray.

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Put the peppers underneath the grill for about 10-15 minutes until the skins are wilted and blackened on the top.

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Transfer the peppers while they’re still hot into a plastic bag, and tie it up. Leave them in there for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re cold. This will make the skins much easier to peel off.

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Once they’re cool, using your fingers, simply peel back the charred skin and place in a bowl to the side.

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Roughly chop the garlic and halve your lemon.

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Drain the can of chick peas in a sieve or colander and then transfer the chick peas to your food processor.

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Add in the peppers, garlic and tahini sauce. (Tahini is a sesame seed paste which can be easily bought in the international isles of the supermarket)

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Add the olive oil and a generous tablespoon of Sriracha hot sauce (also easily found in the international section but you could substitute it for a fresh chilli)

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Add the juice of half a lemon, and blitz!

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Add a pinch of coriander, give it a quick final mix in the processor and then decant the hummus into a bowl and set to the side.

GUACAMOLE

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Gather your ingredients, and start off by halving the avocado and taking off the skin.

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Slice and chop the avocado.

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Half the tomato, and using a spoon, scoop out all the insides and discard them. You only want the outer flesh.

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Dice the tomato and then chop your lime in half.

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Chop half a red onion, and then half your chilli (I only say that because this one was huge.)

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Split open the chilli, de-seed it, and chop it up fine.

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Chop a clove of garlic and a sprig of coriander.

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Put everything in the food processor.

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Add the lime juice, turn on the food processor, and then it’s done.

BUBBLE & SQUEAK

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After you’ve got your ingredients together, peel the potatoes.

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Chop them into manageable pieces, and boil for 15-20 minutes, until they feel soft when you poke them with a fork.

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Drain the potatoes, and then pop them back in the pan, add a couple knobs of butter and begin to mash the potatoes.

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Meanwhile, quarter and shred the cabbage.

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Boil the shredded cabbage in salted water for 3-5 minutes, until it retains some texture but has softened.

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Add a dash of milk, and the cooked cabbage to the mashed potatoes. I’ve done the mashing away from the hob to ensure it doesn’t over-cook.

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Add pepper and some aromat seasoning and it’s all done. After enjoying this for dinner, put the leftovers in the fridge overnight.

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The next day, add a heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the mash, and after mixing, spoon some into your hand.

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Mould them into a circular, patty shape, and then place on a plate of flour to coat them. This will make them crispier on the outside.

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One at a time, add them to a pan with melted butter. They need 2 minutes on each side.

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Judge it by sight, but they should be golden and crispy. Remove them from the heat, place on side plates and they’re ready to serve.

EVERYTHING ELSE

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Chop your cup mushrooms in half. You can use any mushrooms really, but I think they’re good size-wise.

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Add some butter and a tiny bit of oil to the pan. This may seem excessive but it stops the butter burning. Add pepper and aromat seasoning. Aromat is my secret ingredient in pretty much everything – it’s like stock-salt, and it makes everything delicious.

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Once they’re soft, chop the tomatoes in half.

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Pop them on a baking tray, and put them under the grill, for 3-4 minutes on each side, until they’re soft and look like the second picture. I  grilled these tomatoes before frying them because they were absolutely massive and I wanted to make sure they were properly cooked.

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Then place them face down in the pan you cooked the mushrooms in to just give them a nice charring on top. Meanwhile, get a large pot of boiling water going, and add a dash of white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. This isn’t totally necessary, but it helps the poached eggs to retain their shape.

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Gently crack the eggs and lower them into the water. They’ll only need 2 or so minutes to stay soft, but keep an eye on them.

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Take them out with a slotted spoon, to drain off the excess liquid and now it’s time to put on your toast!

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On one piece, spread the hummus, and the other, guacamole.

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Cut the toast diagonally in half, and re-arrange them so there’s one of each kind on both plates.

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Start to assemble your plates.

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Add the decorative basil leaves and then lightly drizzle some sweet chilli sauce over the dish.

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Make a cup of tea, and serve!

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Delicious.

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