All posts filed under “breakfast

Smoked Salmon Bagel

Apologies for not posting very much recently or this entire year actually. Life and work has seemingly got in the way of many things. Recently I’ve realised that I’ve been taking photos of everything else other than food, and my food blog list in Feedly has been much neglected. I guess I have to chalk it up to a bit of burnout really. Call it the late-20s, OMG, I’m almost 30 blues where finding the motivation even for what was an absolutely passionate hobby a few months ago is becoming increasingly like trying to find El Dorado.

Anyway, I have been indulging in more of the carefree and simple things in life… cream cheese, movies on the weekends and just daydreaming occasionally, which is a luxury I really can’t afford but probably keeps me sane. But here…enjoy this delicious, easy and simple breakfast. It’s hard to find good traditional bagels here in Australia, but I found a bagel stall at a local organic market and I just couldn’t resist getting one with ALL the seeds.

Bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese

Smoked Salmon Bagel (For 1)

1 bagel
Cream Cheese (I used Philly)
2 teaspoons capers (drained)
few slices of good quality smoked salmon or gravlax
Cracked black pepper and salt flakes

Cut the bagel in half. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese, add salt and pepper to taste,  then layer the salmon, top with capers and the top half of the bagel. Cut in half! Consume.

Bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese

Bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese

Homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Spicy Baked Beans

Heinz baked beans have always been a little guilty breakfast pleasure of mine. Although my days of weekly fryups with eggs, hashbrowns, sausages and beans are over, I still occasionally indulge in a spoonful or two of the orangey gloopy Heinz beans on fresh Sunnyside eggs. They remind me, along with tinned spaghetti, of breakfast on school camps, where the only food apart from cereal (and you know how much I detest cereal) would be the lukewarm scrambled frittata eggs, toast and confusingly piping hot beans and spaghetti. Although the orangey syrup is always comforting to a degree, the tinny aftertaste doesn’t necessarily gel with the gourmet Persian fetta that suddenly you’re addicted to as an adult.

I’ve never made my own baked beans before since I don’t eat a lot of it, but after some inspiration from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking, I decided to give it a go. And for something so ridiculously easy but OH MAI GAWD TASTY!!! I’ve been kicking myself for the past 2 weeks for not making it…oh I dunno…like 15 years ago.

homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Spicy Baked Beans

(serves 3-4 as a side)

50g pancetta (diced)
1 small brown onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 sprigs thyme
1 chilli (chopped finely)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1  1/2 cups passata
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (420g) cannellini or haricot beans (although I used four bean mix since it was in the house)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a cast iron pot on medium heat, add in olive oil and the pancetta. Fry off the pancetta until brown, then add the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme. Sauté for a few minutes, and once the onion starts to become a little translucent, add the brown sugar, and allow the ingredients to caramelise in the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, making sure to scrape up the lovely caramelised bits from the bottom. Add in the passata, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste. Cook the sauce for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid down a little.

Add the beans into the sauce then cover the pot and simmer on low for 5-7 minutes, depending on how mushy you want your beans. Serve with sunny side eggs and good toasted bread.

I find a batch like this usually lasts for 3-4 breakfasts for me over the week. The flavours of the baked beans are even better once they are allowed to rest on the fridge overnight.

homemade Baked Beans

homemade Baked Beans

 

 

Shakshuka

I make no qualms IRL about my disdain for cereal. There was a point in my life where pressured by television commercials and “healthy” breakfasts drives at school, I desperately wanted to be like every other kid and like cereal. I tried the multipacks, the healthy, and the downright unhealthy, but even Coco Pops couldn’t excite me. I’ve always felt that with cereal, you have a 20 second window where the meal was palatable. Usually that 20 seconds falls between the moment you pour the milk to when the milk seeps completely into the cereal and thus rendering it into wallpaper paste. For some cereals like Wheet-bix…there is actually no window. (I know that’s unAustralian, but guess what? I also hate Vegimite and Cricket)

You know all those Special K style ads where they put fruit on the cereal? As a small child I was also forever disappointed that my pack of cereal never contained fresh blueberries or strawberries, but then luckily I remembered how awful cereal actually tastes with fruit.

I mean seriously, what is the point of drowning over-processed wheat in milk when there are so many other awesome breakfast foods around? I even extend the awesomeness to other cereal-like foods for example; good quality granola, muesli, oats etc. But Boxed cereal? Ugh.

So anyway, now that I have that rant out of my system, how ’bout the following awesome breakfast/brunch recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi (and served up by my awesome friend Hannah)? Yeah, yeah, many of you are tutting under your breath thinking, gee-whiz I wish I had time to make that during the weekday when I’m half asleep after late night sessions of GTA V, and not rushing the kids off to school or doing five hundred other things that life throws at me. But here’s the tip, make the sauce on a Sunday and then refrigerate. On a weekday morning, put a few dollops in a saucepan, break in 2 eggs and as Jamie Oliver would say… Happy Days! Seriously it takes like 10min and it’ll beat cereal for good.

Shakshuka
Shakshuka

Shakshuka

(Tunisian in origin, this dish is basically eggs poached in a spiced  tomato sauce…it’s also just fun to say…shakashaka,shukashaka,shakshushka…)

(Original Recipe from The Guardian here)

Serves 4

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
100ml light olive oil or vegetable oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 red & 2 yellow peppers, cored and cut into 2cm strips
4 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme, picked and chopped
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
up to 1 cup of water
8 eggs

In a large saucepan, dry-roast the cumin on high heat for two minutes. Add the oil and sauté the onions for two minutes. Add the peppers, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and half of the coriander, and cook on high heat to get a nice colour. Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, adding enough water to keep it the consistency of a pasta sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Place four saucepans on medium heat and divide the mixture between them. Break two eggs into each pan, pouring into gaps in the mixture. Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook very gently for 10-12 minutes, until the egg just sets. Sprinkle with rest of the coriander and serve with chunky white bread.

Shakshuka
Shakshuka

Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters

There’s nothing better than sharing food, gossip and trashy TV with your nearest and dearest. Although many of my friends are interstate or overseas, when we do get together, it’s an absolute blast. For Weekend at Han Hans my closest bunch of comrades descended upon our gracious host Hannah’s house in Canberra for a weekend filled with awesome food, photography and the pitiful lamentations of those whom 30 is closer than 25.

This is the first of many recipes which Hannah delighted us with. I’m incredibly grateful for her skill in cooking and the sharing her craft, because it’s much easier taking photos of brilliant food when someone else cooks.

Hannah and I met all the way back in high school and although we roughly ignored each other for the first 4 years or so, fortunately our mutual geek love of Stargate SG1 did bring us together in the end and so far our friendship has outlasted the SG1 team (and sadly most of actors’ careers) by about 6 years.

The following is a tasty and brilliantly easy breakfast concoction. You can pair it with any other assortment of breakfast goodies like bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sausages, oven baked tomatoes etc etc, or just have it on its own with a little drizzle of syrup.

Corn Fritters

cornfrittercollage

Corn Fritters

(makes around 20 medium sized fritters)

1 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups of flour
2 eggs
1 can of tinned corn (around 270g)
1 can creamed corn (around 270g)
butter for frying

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until everything is incorporated.

Melt butter in a large frying pan (non-stick preferably) on medium heat. Ladle the corn fritter mixture into the pan forming medium sized pancakes. Flip and cook both sides till golden brown. Repeat until you have enough fritters or mixture is finished.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Corn Fritters