Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and also the first time neither my elder sister nor elder brother was in Singapore to celebrate this special day. Nevertheless, the rest of us decided to uphold tradition and cook my mom a surprise breakfast.
She loves surprises so a few days before her actual birthday, we all came up with the perfect excuses…”I have a super important meeting that day”, “I have to be at work early” and with all these work-related excuses, Jon and I were successful in surprising my mom and her shocked reaction was priceless! For breakfast, I decided to create open-faced sandwiches. It was such a joy to make because it was not difficult, tastes so delicious and so aesthetically pleasing :) We placed a huge piece of parchment paper in the middle of the table like a table runner and placed the open-faced sandwiches in the middle.
I posted the above photo on facebook and instagram yesterday and received a number of requests for recipes. Truth is, I didn’t use any recipes :P They are really simple and i’m sure that with a few pointers, you should be able to replicate them!
For the bread, it is important to use somewhat of a firm bread. The ingredients are quite heavy so you want to make sure that the bread can take all the weight. For this batch, we made bread using bob’s red mill rye bread mix. My family is usually quite averse to using anything coming in a premix but my mom bought this and decided to give it a try. It was really really good and complemented the ingredients so well.
Ricotta cheese and grilled cherry tomatoes
You can buy ricotta cheese from the supermarket. This time, I decided to make ricotta cheese instead because the small supermarket didn’t have what I wanted. I followed this recipe from The Kitchn closely and having never made cheese before, I was really nervous! But, to my surprise, everything turned out so well and the ricotta cheese tasted really good!
To grill the cherry tomatoes, toss the cherry tomatoes generously with olive oil, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Grill until the skin has broken on the cherry tomatoes and is a little charred. To grill, you can either put it in a broiler, a toaster, or in the oven at 180 °C/ 350°F. It usually takes about 10 minutes.
Toast the bread slices till lightly browned. Generously spread the ricotta cheese on the bread. If you’re using store-bought ricotta cheese, it is quite easy to spread but if you’re using homemade ricotta cheese, its not that easy to spread. Instead, press the ricotta cheese down on the bread till you get a thick even layer. Lay the grilled cherry tomatoes on the ricotta cheese and press down lightly so they don’t roll off.
Avocado and grilled prawns
Remove the shells from the prawns, devein them and marinate it with lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. When heated, cook the prawns on a dry pan. You don’t need to add any oil on the pan and do not fry all the prawns at once. Instead, lay the prawns with lots of spacing and focus on a few at a time. Cook the prawns on one side and when browned, flip it over.
Slice the avocado thinly and set aside. Toast the bread slices till lightly browned and spread butter. Lay the avocado on the bread and lay the grilled prawns on top of the avocado.
Salad greens and fried egg
Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil. Crack an egg and cook until egg is slightly browned at the bottom. Wash your salad greens and dry them completely using a salad spinner or paper towels. Toast the bread slices till lightly browned and spread butter. Lay the salad greens on the bread, taking effort to make it neat. Lay the fried egg carefully on the salad greens. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top of the egg ( I didn’t do so during the breakfast but I highly recommend it as it tasted slightly under seasoned)
Smoked salmon and dill
Lightly toast your bread slices and spread a generous layer of cream cheese. Lay smoked salmon on the cream cheese and sprinkle fresh dill all over