Breakfast club: Mark Hix cooks up a lazy and indulgent brunch

You don't need to cook up a fancy dinner party to impress your friends.

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Why is it we that don't make more of a meal out of breakfast? When was the last time you invited your mates round for a spot of Sunday brunch instead of lunch? Brunch can be great fun and there are so many fantastic and fun dishes that you can cook up from around the world.

You can serve your guests a selection of dishes, from muffins to scrambled eggs, or take a more exotic route and make a few briks a l'oeuf or maybe a corned beef or smoked haddock hash to share in the middle of the table. Of course brunch wouldn't be the same without a pitcher of Bloody Mary or Buck's Fizz. Depending on what time you serve your brunch, it could go on until late evening – why not?

Masala omelette

Serves 4

You may have seen this if you have visited India and it can often contain lots of other ingredients such as onions and peppers, but I think fewer ingredients and fresh and spicy flavours make for a simpler and cleaner-tasting option.

8 eggs, beaten
8 spring onions, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
1 small green and 1 red chilli, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped
2tbsp chopped coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of knobs of butter

Mix all of the ingredients together and season to taste. You can make one large omelette to share or individual ones; it's up to you. Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Pour in the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mix begins to set. Stop stirring, leave on the heat for about 20 seconds then slide on to a warmed serving plate.

Fried tomatoes on toast

Serves 4

I bought some great Marmande tomatoes from Waitrose recently. They are a classic ribbed beefsteak variety and they are more usually seen on the Continent than over here. If you see them, snap them up – they are delicious simply pan-fried in olive oil and placed on some toasted sourdough, as I have done here. Waitrose also sell fragrant bush or Greek basil which gives the dish a nice freshness.

4 slices of sourdough bread
3 or 4 Marmande or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1cm-thick slices
3-4tbsp olive oil
A few sprigs of bush or Greek basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat some of the olive oil in preferably a non-stick frying pan and fry the tomatoes on a fairly high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. Meanwhile, toast the bread and lay the slices of tomato on top. Drizzle with the olive oil, season, and scatter over the basil.

Brik with duck's egg and harissa

Serves 2

This simple Tunisian dish is great for breakfast or as a simple light snack or starter – with a little harissa to give it a kick. I love the Belazu rose harissa, which is available in good food shops and supermarkets and which has a lovely hot kick tempered by rose petals. You can use traditional warka pastry leaves, although filo is probably more commonly found in shops and supermarkets; or you could use the thin pastry leaves found in Turkish and Middle Eastern shops. They all work well and are made and turn out in a similar way.

4 sheets of filo or warka pastry measuring about 25-30cm square
4 duck eggs or another egg of your choice, cracked into small individual pots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3tbsp olive oil
Harissa, to serve (optional)

Heat some olive oil in a large, preferably non-stick frying pan. Lay a sheet of pastry into the pan then quickly tip the egg into the centre, season and fold the pastry over into a triangle. Cook for a minute or so on each side, or until the pastry is crisp but the egg yolk is still soft. Carefully remove with a spatula and serve immediately with or without the harissa.

Rosti with Burford Browns and devilled kidneys

Serves 4

Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs have a deep-coloured yolk and are perfect for a rich dish like this. You could also use chicken or duck livers instead of kidneys.

2 medium-sized baking potatoes, parboiled in their skins for about 15 minutes, then left to cool
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2-3tbsp vegetable or corn oil
1 medium shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
4 lambs' kidneys, cut into rough 1cm dice
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
A good knob of butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 Burford Brown eggs

Remove the skins from the potatoes and grate the flesh on the coarse side of a grater. Mix with the sliced onion in a bowl; season. Heat some vegetable oil in a small, non-stick frying pan. Divide the potato mix into four and place in the pan, shaping into thin patties with the help of a spatula. Cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side until crisp, then remove from the pan and keep warm.

Season the kidneys with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots for 30 seconds; add the kidneys and cook on a high heat for another 30 seconds; add the butter and 1tbsp of water to form a sauce just coating the kidneys. Fry the eggs in a little vegetable oil and butter, place the rosti on warmed serving plates with the egg on top and spoon the kidneys around.