Author Topic: British vs American cooked breakfasts  (Read 32285 times)

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veryfluffy

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #90 on: February 16, 2012, 01:54:27 PM »

I guess it depends on your definition of firm on the egg front but Delia's recipe does say they should be cooked until there is no liquid runny egg. It's difficult to tell without a picture of what the finished dish should look like. I do think, typically, that in the UK it is more common to get a slightly less set scrambled egg than you get in the US. Although it does vary and I've seen everything from so loose as to make me concerned that the egg was cooked enough to so set and rock hard I think the kitchen sponge would have yielded a nicer texture  :) I like mine somewhere in between - eggs, splash of milk, a little butter melted in the pan then scrambled over heat until the liquid has all but gone then removed from the heat (as they will continue to cook anyway) so that the texture is reletively firm but still moist. I think it's one of those things where everyone has a personal preference kinda like how cooked a steak should be.

I think the difference is that my version of scrambled eggs is fried quickly in hot fat, as opposed to stirred in a saucepan on a lower heat until they set.
   

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #91 on: February 16, 2012, 02:13:03 PM »
In the sixties and seventies in particular this was quite popular either as a breakfast or supper meal for children. They're not spaghetti-O's - over here they are called spaghetti hoops which are basically very similar to spaghetti-O's.

Don't forget the 1957 Spaghetti Harvest (video here)...

Naughty BBC. ;)

Anniissa

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #92 on: February 17, 2012, 07:19:45 AM »

I guess it depends on your definition of firm on the egg front but Delia's recipe does say they should be cooked until there is no liquid runny egg. It's difficult to tell without a picture of what the finished dish should look like. I do think, typically, that in the UK it is more common to get a slightly less set scrambled egg than you get in the US. Although it does vary and I've seen everything from so loose as to make me concerned that the egg was cooked enough to so set and rock hard I think the kitchen sponge would have yielded a nicer texture  :) I like mine somewhere in between - eggs, splash of milk, a little butter melted in the pan then scrambled over heat until the liquid has all but gone then removed from the heat (as they will continue to cook anyway) so that the texture is reletively firm but still moist. I think it's one of those things where everyone has a personal preference kinda like how cooked a steak should be.

I think the difference is that my version of scrambled eggs is fried quickly in hot fat, as opposed to stirred in a saucepan on a lower heat until they set.


I think I've only scrambled them once over a high heat - they came out much chunkier and less moist so more like chunks of omelette. Of course, I may just have overcooked them! They still tasted ok but as I only really eat scrambled egg occasionally on toast with smoked salmon I prefer a slightly moister texture to contrast with the toast and the salmon.

kckgirl

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2012, 08:04:57 AM »
My standard breakfast: Sausage links, an orange, and coffee. On the weekends I might add hot cereal or toast.

I start the links in the toaster oven, start the coffee, then go take my shower while the machines do their thing. I used to try to cook the sausages on the stove, but it took too much tending to be a weekday thing. When I got the toaster oven, it made my life much simpler.
Maryland

ladyknight1

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2012, 09:28:36 AM »
American, born Texan and now living in Florida.

What I actually eat for breakfast during the work week, but because of a medical condition I have, I always eat something.
Usually, one of these:
Frozen toaster waffles spread with peanut butter and drizzled with syrup
Cold cereal with milk
Old-fashioned oatmeal with golden and regular raisins
Flat bread with peanut butter, sliced banana, granola, and honey
Thin bagel, toasted, with peanut butter
Breakfast bagel or wrap
Homemade muffins
Fruit
Trail mix (homemade)
Smoothie, on occasion

Now, weekends or days off, our family makes breakfast an event. We go in rotation, but here are our favorites.

Eggs: Scrambled, fried, or omelets (DH makes the eggs most the time)
Biscuits (most of the time home made) or toast
Waffles (we put pecans, banana, chocolate chips, blueberries inside the batter) or Pancakes (with the same additions, plus granola) or French toast, occasionally Stuffed French toast (two very thin slices of bread, stuffed with a sweetened whipped cream cheese and often with berries, then dipped in a batter and grilled)
Chocolate gravy (like a hot chocolate pudding) served with biscuits
Bacon, ham, or sausage (we usually do patties, but we like links and chicken breakfast sausage too)
Sausage gravy (Very rarely)
Hashbrowns, on occasion
Latkes, on occasion (potato and onion pancakes, served with apple sauce and sour cream)
Fruit

Very rarely, especially around the holidays, I will make a breakfast casserole that has eggs, sausage, cheese and grits. I also make a stuffed French toast breakfast casserole.

We only use real maple syrup, butter, and real honey. We are rather adventurous with food, but we have to have our syrup!

ETA: DH is a native Southerner and loves grits. His old high school friends ask if he still eats a butter bowl full of grits every day. The answer: no, too many carbs. He eats fried egg sandwiches most days.
We have steak or pork chops and eggs at least once a month. I drink iced tea or water with breakfast, since juice has too much sugar for me. I like my coffee from the Dunkin, with some mocha syrup and cream, hot or iced. DH and DS love bagels, so we usually have some in the house.
I love cream of wheat and making cinnamon toast, so that is what I do when DS or I don't feel well. That was my comfort breakfast growing up.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 09:37:02 AM by ladyknight1 »

jenny_islander

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #95 on: February 18, 2012, 07:30:49 PM »
As a busy mom, I generally end up heating leftovers from yesterday.  If there aren't suitable leftovers, I will have oatmeal (porridge), toast with jam and peanut butter, or a can of soup, all with a piece of fruit.  If I have time to cook a "proper" breakfast, it's sauteed eggs with toast, whole-wheat pancakes with assorted toppings, or skillet.  (Skillet is chopped cooked potatoes and chopped onions sauteed together, with optional extra vegetables such as celery or peppers, plus a protein such as chopped summer sausage stirred in or eggs broken on top and left to set on low heat under a lid, plus seasonings.

emwithme

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2012, 10:24:34 AM »
Can someone knowledgeable explain what (US) biscuits are?  And white gravy?  ???

Further up the thread, someone mentioned that grits are kinda like polenta.  Do they come in slices or is it more grainy?

Shea

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #97 on: February 19, 2012, 01:12:26 PM »
Can someone knowledgeable explain what (US) biscuits are?  And white gravy?  ???

Further up the thread, someone mentioned that grits are kinda like polenta.  Do they come in slices or is it more grainy?

These are biscuits:


They're made with butter, flour, salt, baking powder or soda and often buttermilk, and aren't sweet. They usually split easily in the middle, and can be eaten with butter and/or jam or honey, filled with scrambled egg, sausage patties, or ham, or topped with sausage gravy or something like creamed chicken.

I believe white gravy is basically sausage gravy without the sausage, made with milk, dripping and flour. We don't eat it much in my part of the country, so I'm not positive. Likewise grits, I'm not sure what the deal is with those.


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faithlessone

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #98 on: February 19, 2012, 02:39:01 PM »
Shea - do you guys have scones? Because that's what your picture looks like to me.

Dindrane

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #99 on: February 19, 2012, 03:46:11 PM »
We do have scones in the US, although I don't know that many people make them themselves.  Places like Starbucks sell them, though.  They tend to be flavored in some way, possibly with icing, rather that eating them with jam and clotted cream (or any other topping).

Scones and biscuits do have very similar textures -- they're both very flaky bread.  The biggest difference here, at least, is that biscuits themselves are pretty much always savory, though you can eat them with butter and jam.  Scones in the US, if they are not plain, are usually sweet.  I think good biscuits are also a little lighter here -- scones tend to be a little denser and a little heavier, in my experience.

But, all in all, they're not that different.

The gravy that people eat on biscuits is sausage gravy or white gravy.  Biscuits and gravy is a very southern dish, and southern gravy tends not to be the brown gravy you get from meat juices.  The simple reason for that is that lots of people who lived in the south for a great deal of its history either couldn't afford that type of meat, or didn't cook things like roasts because it was too hot.  It's why lots of southern food is fried -- it doesn't heat up the house the way roasting or baking does.

So sausage gravy or white gravy is made from bacon or sausage drippings (or butter, if you don't have those), cooked with flour to make a roux, combined with milk to make a gravy, and seasoned with pepper.  And as far as I'm concerned, good sausage gravy with light and fluffy biscuits is just this side of heaven.


Weez

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #100 on: February 19, 2012, 05:30:38 PM »
Shea, those biscuits definitely look like what I would call a plain scone.  The recipe that I would use for a plain scone is self-raising flour, pinch of salt, margarine or butter and milk.  If you were to replace the self-raising flour with plain flour and baking powder, you'd have your biscuit recipe, so I think they're pretty much the same thing. 

You do also get recipes for 'rich scones', with sugar, egg and dried fruit, and savoury scones, often with cheese, but I've seen lots of variations of both sweet and savoury scones.   Here in Scotland, we also have potato scones which would be served with sausage, bacon and egg as part of a cooked breakfast.  They are basically flour and butter mixed with mashed potato, shaped then fried.

Dindrane, thank you for that explanation of white gravy - seems somewhat obvious now that you've explained it, but I just couldn't work out what people were referring to!
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Shea

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #101 on: February 19, 2012, 06:11:09 PM »
Shea - do you guys have scones? Because that's what your picture looks like to me.

In my experience, scones are sweeter. Even the plain ones I had in the UK that were served with jam and clotted cream were sweeter than biscuits. Maybe I had unusual ones?


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Dindrane

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #102 on: February 19, 2012, 06:21:46 PM »
Shea, those biscuits definitely look like what I would call a plain scone.  The recipe that I would use for a plain scone is self-raising flour, pinch of salt, margarine or butter and milk.  If you were to replace the self-raising flour with plain flour and baking powder, you'd have your biscuit recipe, so I think they're pretty much the same thing. 

You do also get recipes for 'rich scones', with sugar, egg and dried fruit, and savoury scones, often with cheese, but I've seen lots of variations of both sweet and savoury scones.   Here in Scotland, we also have potato scones which would be served with sausage, bacon and egg as part of a cooked breakfast.  They are basically flour and butter mixed with mashed potato, shaped then fried.

Dindrane, thank you for that explanation of white gravy - seems somewhat obvious now that you've explained it, but I just couldn't work out what people were referring to!
 ::) <-- at me!

If it makes you feel better, I might know what white gravy is, but I've never successfully made it. :)  I'm still working on being able to make a roux that actually thickens anything.

The other thing about biscuits (and probably scones as well) is that the ingredients aren't the only, or even most, important thing about them.  The technique is pretty important as well.  You have to be really careful not to overwork biscuit dough, because like pastry doughs, it gets kind of rubbery and icky if you work it too much.  So it's one of those "mix until just combined" kind of deals, and you don't really knead it so much as just fold it over a few times.

That's why I often like making drop biscuits best.  With those, you make a dough that's more moist (so that it's almost a batter), and just "drop" it on to your baking sheet.  There's no kneading in any capacity involved, you don't have to cut the biscuits out, and they end up with a very uneven surface that gets all nice and browned in the oven.  It's a great contrast to have small little crispy bits on top and a flaky, soft inside.

One other note about biscuits is that the most common ones are probably made with buttermilk, rather than milk.  It gives them a very distinct flavor, and may be why Shea thinks even plain scones are sweeter than biscuits. :)


faithlessone

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #103 on: February 19, 2012, 06:30:14 PM »
Shea - do you guys have scones? Because that's what your picture looks like to me.

In my experience, scones are sweeter. Even the plain ones I had in the UK that were served with jam and clotted cream were sweeter than biscuits. Maybe I had unusual ones?

I don't know. The ones my Grandma taught me to make are just as nice with onion relish and cheese as they are with jam and cream. There isn't any sugar in my recipe, although I have seen recipes with sweetener of some sort. Maybe you had the sweetened kind.

Weez

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Re: British vs American cooked breakfasts
« Reply #104 on: February 19, 2012, 07:12:59 PM »
If it makes you feel better, I might know what white gravy is, but I've never successfully made it. :) 
Thank you!  It probably doesn't help that I see you speaking (typing?!) about biscuits and my mind automatically goes to the UK biscuit which is more like your cookies - I get stuck on the weirdness of eating them with a savoury sauce of any kind!  A plain or savoury scone (UK version) would go very nicely with a savoury sauce.  Hmm, I can sense some baking coming on this week!

The other thing about biscuits (and probably scones as well) is that the ingredients aren't the only, or even most, important thing about them.  The technique is pretty important as well.  You have to be really careful not to overwork biscuit dough, because like pastry doughs, it gets kind of rubbery and icky if you work it too much.  So it's one of those "mix until just combined" kind of deals, and you don't really knead it so much as just fold it over a few times.
Yep, that's the same with scones too.  I think you might be right with the buttermilk making your biscuits less sweet than our scones too.  I've maybe just missed it, but I don't think buttermilk is as common over here.  I'm fairly convinced we're speaking about variations on the same thing.  I wonder if anyone's posted a biscuits recipe here on E-hell?  I feel I should experiment!

Thank you both, Shea & Dindrane - this has been very educational for me!