There is something gratifying about fried foods that no amount of shaming can entirely wipe away. We all hanker for hot chippies on a cold day, or a fat slab of milk chocolate (it’s the fat content we crave, not the cocoa content). On days like these, to deny ourselves would be needlessly cruel. That said, there are some fried foods which we countenance more so than others. I’ll never embrace a deep-fried Mars bar no matter how it’s sexed up. Fried food should at least be honest, not to mention entirely tasty.
From northern Europe, there are as many recipes for latkes as households in Poland, but at the heart are three simple foods – potatoes, apples and sour cream. To have one without the other is, I now realise after a recent conversion, something of a let down.
Traditionally eaten at Hanukkah, these potato cakes really can be embraced at any time, but they are never better than on a chilly morning, in place of your usual eggy fry-up. Continue reading Breakfast – Latkes
A fridge raid at the end of the week can sometimes provide wonderful results provided you feel confident about your ability to use the leftovers in your next few dishes.
The key to success for me lies in knowing what flavours complement each other. While I had capsicum, spinach, bacon and bocconcini that all needed using up, I wasn’t so sure of the result. After all, I knew that while bacon goes very well with spinach, I wasn’t so sure it wouldn’t be too bossy for lightly flavoured bocconcini.
As it turns out, this is a wonderful big-flavoured meal, perfect for breakfast alongside some toast or roasted tomatoes. It doesn’t need a lot more given it’s bang full of flavour notes with no one ingredient out-doing the other. The last thing one needs at a leisurely breakfast is a heated argument between competing personalities. Continue reading Breakfast – Spinach, Bacon and Bocconcini Frittata
Originating from Tunisia, and then spreading through the middle east and mediterranean, there are variations of this dish throughout the regions. At its heart is a dish of spicy tomatoes and capsicums providing a nest for some lightly cooked eggs. As well as being the perfect dish for brunch, you could easily baulk this up for dinner. Claudia Roden suggests using artichoke hearts and potatoes during winter months; Yotam Ottolenghi recommends lots of multi-coloured capsicum and a blast of coriander; Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen adds fetta.
Which ever way you do this, just make lots of it and serve it at table in the pan it’s made. With crusty or toasted pita bread, some strong coffee and good conversation, nothing else is needed.
Continue reading Breakfast – Shakshouka
Last year Philadelphia invited me to experiment with some of their products and I came away a massive fan of Cream for Desserts.
Now they would like me to put Extra Light Cream for Cooking to the test. I came across it when I was at a recent Bloggers Brunch. Philadelphia provided the lunch and it was terrific. These florentine cups were on the menu, tasty hand-held morsels that would be perfect for a brunch, lunch, picnic or any celebration you have coming up.
Which, given Christmas is only five weeks away, means you could use this recipe in your arsenal at a time when every bit helps.
Now, if you are the one hosting a Christmas get together this year, first of all you have my sympathies. There is so much pressure to be good at the whole thing, from managing family tensions when your brother-in-law brings his unhinged and neurotic girlfriend, to when your slightly deaf grandfather starts recounting, in loud and un-PC tones, his wild days as a skirt chaser during the dying days of the war.
Continue reading Sponsored Post – Florentine Cups
Bernard Salt is a professional number cruncher. His idea of a great time involves a sharp pencil and a copy of the latest census results. Not knowing the first thing about the man, I can nonetheless confidently tell you that his Happy Place involves statistics. He produces facts about who we are, what we do, where we live and what we’re thinking. When he’s not reporting on prevailing social trends with the gimlet eye of an statistician he’s railing against bad manners in his self-described Society of Normal People on Facebook.
I am quite a fan. Or at least, I was, until the day he described my suburb in less than flattering terms, beginning with, ‘Help! Please help me. I can’t get out.’ Apparently I am perpetuating the myth of inner-city living, by a) living within 7 kms of the CBD, b) preferring public transport to cars and horror of horrors, c) eating anything that begins with ‘smashed avocado’.
Continue reading Breakfast – Smashed Avocado and Salmon Bruschetta
In my dreams, it goes like this: Me. Him (presently a Person Unknown). A very large bed. Alarm switched off. Phone/laptop/mobile switched off. Appointments cancelled.
My goodness I do love a lazy start to the day. Even better is a lazy start to the day that then takes over the entire weekend. It’s indulgent and completely selfish, which is why it’s such a fantasy of mine. Regrettably, the instances of such a lost weekend has, since I became a mama, been scarcer than a blue moon. Or a Transit of Venus.
Ever the optimist, I still occasionally dream of such an occasion, beginning with food of course. (I know, I know. I have my priorities completely skewed, which goes to explain the parlous state of my love life, I’m sure.)
Continue reading Breakfast – Baked Eggs with Chilli Beans
There are omelettes, that fiendishly quick and artfully rolled egg dish best exemplified in classic French cooking and then there is everything else.
That’s not to say there are bad ways to prepare an omelette, it’s just that Spanish omelettes have suffered in comparison. And yet it’s the style of omelette that we are most familiar with: Cook a thin layer of beaten egg, add a spoon of filling and deftly fold half the egg over to encase the lot.
A spanish omelette refers principally to the rich tomato and paprika based filling but from there you can make it meat based or a vegetarian option. I’ve done it with tomato, capsicum and paprika but feel free to add some cubes of ham or some smoked chorizo to the mix. Potato cubes work well, as do a few left over roasted vegies from last night’s evening meal. Continue reading Breakfast – Spanish Omelette
Some events are defined by their place on the calendar. The First Tuesday in November. A birthday. Mother’s Day.
Other events are a little harder to place but no less significant. The anniversary of your first tentatively shared ‘I love you’. The first flush of spring flowers. The first porridge of winter.
It happens the morning you get out of bed and pad across the floor only to realise it is too cool on your tootsies to manage without slippers. At that point you resurrect the uggies, make a mental note to put an extra blanket on the bed and pour out the oats.
Porridge is of course a meal that everyone personalises, as our first post on this subject attested. Still, with the first porridge of the year comes the inevitable, will-I-try-something-new-this-year decision.
Try this one. Pears. Dates. Butter. Spread the warmth.
Continue reading Breakfast – Pear and Date Compote
You could adapt this style of bruschetta to any fruit you have, but for now, let’s make it all about the last of the summer berries. Strawberries, blueberries and even raspberries are still good value, and let’s not forget blackberries and apple for the autumn months.
Ricotta is mixed with some luscious lemon butter, but you could just as easily mix ricotta with some honey or even maple syrup to get the same depth of flavour. Just enjoy lots of it.
Continue reading Breakfast – Berry and Ricotta Bruschetta
The loveliest of breakfast fare includes those meals that you can do while still half-asleep and yet still look as if you’ve spent hours – and dollars – in attending to this most important meal.
Take cheese on toast for example. Ridiculously easy. Very popular. So easy to make-over. And all before you get out of your PJs.
The spicy red sauce in this recipe can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Simply warm it through in the microwave or in a small saucepan for half a minute, just to take the chill out of it rather than re-heating it to boiling point.
Continue reading Breakfast – Cheesey Avocado Toasts with Spicy Red Sauce