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Liam Charles’ weekend brunch recipes

Pancake tacos (pictured above)

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 6 (makes 12 pancakes)

For the pancake taco shells
220g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1½ tsp fine sea salt
1 large egg
300ml whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
Vegetable or sunflower oil, for frying

For the salsa
4 large tomatoes, diced
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Juice of 1 lime
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper

For the scrambled eggs
12 large eggs
30g unsalted butter
60ml whole milk

For the add-ons
12 rashers unsmoked bacon
2 ripe avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
5 tbsp maple syrup
300g smoked salmon
, thinly sliced
80g pesto

To make the salsa, combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, give everything a good stir and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Pop the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In a separate jug, beat the egg with the milk, vanilla and melted butter. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined.

Add a little oil to a large frying pan, then give the pan a wipe with kitchen paper. Put the pan on a medium heat and cook your pancakes in the greased frying pan one at a time, using about 60ml batter (quarter cup portions) for each pancake. Flip the pancake when the edges seem dry and bubbles form and burst on top. Now flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for a further two minutes, and set aside – grease the pan for each pancake. Keep the cooked pancakes warm while you cook the rest.

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Add the bacon rashers to the frying pan you cooked the pancakes in and cook on a medium heat for about eight minutes, then flip them over and cook until crisp on both sides. Remove from the heat and put the rashers on kitchen paper to drain the excess fat.

Turn the heat to low. Beat the eggs, add the butter and milk, put in the pan and begin to cook with a spatula or a wooden spoon, melting the butter, continuing just until the eggs are still slightly runny and undercooked. Remove the pan from the heat, continuing to stir (the pan’s residual heat will continue to cook the eggs).

To assemble the tacos, fold each pancake into a taco shape and prop it up between two cups or glasses (or using a taco holder if you have one). Put some of the scrambled egg into the taco, slot in two bacon rashers between the egg and the pancake, top with a few avocado slices and some salsa, and drizzle with a little maple syrup.

For the fish taco, repeat, but swap the bacon for smoked salmon, and maple syrup for pesto. Repeat with the remaining pancakes. You can make these on the fly and experiment with different fillings, such as sausage in place of bacon.

Ice-cream brekky jar

Liam Charles’ ice-cream brekky jar.

Liam Charles’ Ice-cream brekky jar.

Prep 30 min
Freeze overnight
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

200g mixed berries
200g natural yoghurt
honey, to serve

For the clustery granola pieces
90g unsalted mixed nuts
225g rolled oats
25g sesame seeds
25g sunflower seeds
60ml sunflower oil
50ml runny honey
80g mixed dried berries

For the porridge
200g rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
400ml unsweetened almond milk, plus extra to serve
100g raisins
1 tsp fine sea salt

For the banana ice-cream
4 large bananas, cut into chunks
1-2 tbsp almond milk

Start preparing the day before. Heat the oven to 190C (170C)/375F/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix the nuts, oats and seeds in a large bowl, then add the oil and honey.

Stir with a fork, tip the granola on to the lined baking tray and spread out in a thin layer. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring twice so it bakes evenly, until golden brown. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool, then add the dried berries and pop it into an airtight container ready to use the next day.

To make the porridge, put oats in a bowl, stir in the cinnamon, almond milk, raisins and salt, cover and put in the fridge until the next day.

To make the ice-cream, put the banana chunks on a baking tray and put in the freezer overnight. The next day, throw the frozen banana into the bowl of a food processor and blitz smooth, adding enough almond milk to give it a creamy consistency.

Loosen the porridge slightly with a little almond milk, then divide it between four large jars or bowls. Top with mixed berries, a spoonful of yoghurt, a scoop or two of banana ice-cream and clustery granola pieces. Add a drizzle of honey and serve.

Proper brekky muffin

Liam Charles’ proper brekky muffin.

Liam Charles’ proper brekky muffin.

Prep 25 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4 (makes 4 muffins)

4 slices American-style cheese
4 large eggs
4 English muffins, halved

For the breakfast patties
500g pork/beef mince
2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 pinch ground cloves
4 tbsp vegetable oil

For the beany hash
400g potatoes (skin on)
1 x 415g tin baked beans
Dried mixed herbs
60g salted butter, melted
5 tbsp sunflower oil

To make the breakfast patties, mix all the patty ingredients except the oil in a large bowl, using your hands to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Divide the mixture evenly into four, and shape into flattened patties, making them a little larger than your muffins because they will shrink while cooking.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan on a medium-high heat. Cook the patties in batches, frying them for three minutes a side, until browned on both sides and cooked through. Once you’ve flipped the patties, top each one with a slice of cheese (while it’s still in the pan) – the residual heat should melt the cheese – then transfer to a plate and keep warm.

For the beany hash, cook the whole potatoes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, then drain and set aside to cool.

Drain the baked beans in a sieve, saving the sauce from the tin in a bowl underneath. Set aside the drained baked-bean sauce.

Coarsely grate the potatoes into a separate bowl, discarding any potato skin left in your hand once you’ve grated the potato, season well with salt, freshly ground pepper and mixed herbs, and add the drained baked beans and just over half the melted butter. Mix well and divide the mixture into eight patties roughly the same width as the cooked breakfast patties. You only need four patties for this recipe: keep the rest in the fridge or freezer – it’s a great thing to pull out when you have people round.

Heat the oil and the rest of the melted butter in a frying pan, for which you have a lid, over a medium heat. Once the butter and oil are sizzling, add the bean hash patties and fry gently for two and a half minutes a side, until crisp and golden. Transfer to a plate but leave the pan on the heat.

Ideally, use egg rings to get that authentic breakfast-egg shape. In the same pan over a medium heat, add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan, grease or spray the egg rings (if using) with more oil and put them in the pan (if you only have one egg ring, fry the eggs one at a time). Crack the eggs into the rings, add two tablespoons of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for two minutes, or until your egg is cooked to your liking: cook for one minute for a runny egg, a little longer for a slightly runny egg, then longer than that for an egg yolk that is not runny. I like my eggs to be walking – in other words, well cooked with a runny yolk, and not overdone. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

To assemble, put the muffins on a baking tray, cut-side up, and grill; alternatively, stick them in the toaster. Top the four muffin halves with the meat patties, then an egg, and a beany patty drizzled with some warmed-through baked-bean sauce. Top with a muffin lid, wrap each muffin in a bit of baking paper, and serve.

Chilli cheese toastie

Liam Charles’ chilli cheese toastie.

Liam Charles’ chilli cheese toastie.

Prep 15 min
Cook 8 min
Serves 2

2 large eggs
3 tbsp whole milk
½ tsp smoked paprika
Salt and black pepper
4 slices brioche
4 tbsp chilli jam
4 slices gouda
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tin tomato soup, to serve (optional)

Put the eggs, milk and paprika in a bowl and whisk together, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and pour into a baking dish.

Spread two slices of brioche with two tablespoons of chilli jam each, then top with the gouda slices.

Top with the remaining two slices of brioche. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, making sure both sides of the sandwiches are well coated.

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add both sandwiches to the pan and cook for four minutes a side, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and serve, dipping the toasties into warm tomato soup, if you like.

Recipes from Second Helpings: 70 Wicked Recipes That Will Leave You Wanting More, by Liam Charles (Hodder & Stoughton, £22), out 19 September. Preorder a copy for just £19.36 at


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