In the UK we have a secret, which is that if you add tomatoes to any meal, it can be breakfast. Any meal. Maybe not tomato soup. Any other meal. Those were my thoughts this morning as I arranged the haul from my Ready Steady Cook fact finding mission (aka what's in the fridge) on the kitchen table. Fresh ears of corn that need eating asap, super ripe heritage tomatoes, fresh basil, half a pack of Fry’s chicken-style strips and tacos. Oh and some soy cream and half an onion. Breakfast it is.
A few weeks ago Fry’s were kind enough to send me a few of their frozen products to try. I don’t use many meat replacement products day to day, but I already loved Fry’s, especially their chicken-style products which work so well in loads of different dishes. They’re the first thing I go for when I’m in Holland & Barrett or Whole Foods looking for a treat or am having a mate over- and yeah, my boyfriend, the resident omnivore, loves them too, which is always a good sign!
So I had big plans for their special delivery back in July. Unfortunately All The Work Ever arrived and languid mornings spent photographing beautiful plates of food were the last thing on my mind.
The soy and flaxseed schnitzels were the first to get snaffled up into burgers, then the chicken-style strips went into stir frys, burritos and more burgers. They are really convenient for having in the freezer because suddenly the few various vegetables and burger buns you might have can become a legitimate meal. And looking back over how quickly our stock disappeared- perhaps a little too convenient!
In any case, I’ll be photographing more Fry’s recipes to come as the year quietens down, but I was able to grab the last half pack of their chicken-style strips and make breakfast tacos this morning, and they were a dream. One 380g pack lasted two people two meals, so although they retail around the £3 mark for a pack, you can ration them out and they become a lot cheaper than a meat equivalent. I know you can fry them in oil but I like mine quite dry, so I’d also recommend sticking them in the oven for about 10 minutes and then grilling for a final 5 minutes. Or shove them straight in a wok from frozen if you’re doing a stir fry. These guys are very forgiving.
So for this morning’s tacos I matched some fresh ears of corn from our vegetable bag with heritage tomatoes and big leaves of torn basil. When you’re making tacos, you really don’t need much filling. It’s hand-held food so you usually want less than you think, and just make sure the flavours are super punchy and have a lot of zing. You could use scrambled tofu instead of sweetcorn, or some garlicy greens, even some refried beans. And definitely add some chilli potatoes if you have time.
Breakfast tacos with fresh corn, chicken-style strips, heritage tomatoes and torn basil
Half a white onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
Salt and pepper
1 ear of fresh corn (strip back the leaves, chop each end off and slice off the sweetcorn pieces)
1/2 tsp hickory smoke liquid
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ pack of Fry’s chicken-style strips
1 medium tomato sliced into little chunks
Torn basil leaves
Plus tacos, chilli potatoes and soy cream for drizzling over
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Add a little oil to a heavy-bottomed pan, then the chopped onion, and cook through on a low temperature so the onion can sweat. Then add the garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for another few minutes until you can really smell the garlic through the kitchen.
Now pour in the corn pieces and add the hickory smoke, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. Turn the heat down low and let the sweetcorn sizzle away in those flavours for a few minutes.
While that’s happening, empty the Fry’s strips onto an oven-proof tray and cook in the oven for ten minutes.
This is a good time to heat through some tacos, set the table, get some teas and coffees sorted and be ready to serve!
After ten minutes, switch the oven over to grill to finish off the strips and make them turn a nice golden brown colour. Add the tomato and basil leaves to the sweetcorn pan, stirring just to combine but not to break down the tomato too much. Test for seasoning and add a little more salt if needed.
When the strips have browned, start assembling your tacos. Place a good tablespoon of corn mix in the taco, then a few chicken-style strips and a drizzle of soy cream.