It began with the best of plans: To cook some corned beef and ease my cravings for this most familiar of comfort foods.
Inevitably, I had leftovers.
The first day I made a wonderful Corned Beef Hash, because that’s my go-to leftovers meal and I always believe it tastes even better than the original. Of course it does. But while I spent pleasurable hours over the following week consuming a 1kg cut of corned beef – and you will get a Turkish-inspired meal idea for it in the next few days – I was faced with the challenge of getting through a large under-utilised wedge of cabbage. Continue reading Day 14 – Cabbage and Bacon Soup
There are two types of bread in this world. There is the sort that gets stale. And then there’s the sort that goes mouldy.
You can do a lot of things with stale bread. In fact it’s something to be desired, as any devotee of bread and butter pudding will tell you. Or you can make croutons, bread sauce, a garlicky skordalia to have with vegie sticks or crackers and that’s all before you make breadcrumbs. Continue reading Day 11 – Savoury Bread Pudding
I have adored cheese and mashed potato, mixed together, ever since I was a spotty teenager with questionable tastes in pop music. I don’t eat it often, but it is my go-to dish for when I’m feeling low, but not quite so low that I could eat my body weight in Tim Tams.
You get the picture: I really don’t need much persuasion. Continue reading Day 9 – Sweet Potato, Bacon and Haloumi Patties
This is a great variation on cheesy scrolls for when you want a savoury lunch but can’t be bothered with making bread from scratch.
It’s a basic scone dough to which you add mashed potato and lots of flavours, making it the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tomato or vegetable soup or even a Ploughman’s lunch with ham, cheese and some home-made pickles. Because they’re a scone dough, they’re best eaten on the day they are made, or frozen as quickly as possible in an airtight container for another time. Continue reading Lunchbox Treats – Potato and Bacon Scrolls
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
They are big, badass and utterly sinful and have long held favour wherever food is required to be accompanied by hard liquor and weak beer.
Take a plain potato, bake it whole, scoop out the contents and fill the gap with whatever the hell you want.
Perhaps because it’s so unapologetically blokey food, or perhaps because of its origins in the dens and drinking halls of east-coast America, there is something particularly take-me-as-I-am about these tasty bites that makes you forget, if only temporarily, that these spuds are loaded with far more than just flavour.
Surely they must be the last word in Sometimes Food.
Indeed, if you want to co-opt them to an Australian table, I suggest you make these a barbecue side dish, or part of a tapas-style meal of many small dishes, shared amongst many under spring or autumn skies (for me, the danger of eating them in cold weather is that I’ll simply eat too many).
That said, they are worth the risk. Moreish, packed full of flavour, incredibly versatile, they will always be popular with your family and friends. Deploy them at your own discretion.
Continue reading Day 2 – Loaded Potato Skins
For many reasons, it has been a week of restriction. For once, it hasn’t just been because my funds are low and I can’t afford to go out anywhere. The weather has been unreliable, the workload pressing. People have cancelled or postponed meetings and social events. I even spent one day battling a dose of the Dreaded Lurgy.
I spent a week or thereabouts, confined to barracks, putting my head down and doing some decent days of work but nothing out of the ordinary.
Then, as I had just finished making this pie and it was starting to cook, the phone rang. A friend inviting me out. A friend who uttered magical, soothing words: “You have to get out Sandra. I know a park.”
Continue reading Day 12 – Bacon and Egg Pie
For the past few days I have been back on the Central Coast, staying with my vegetarian, bacon-lovin’ friends and catching up on news. It’s been a busy and productive time and in the week I stayed I had very little chance to get into the kitchen. When I did eventually cook dinner, this was the first thing I made.
From reader Lilli, this is a fantastically simple and tasty meal that proves the maxim, ‘minimum effort, maximum effect’. A few key ingredients and the flavour jumps out at you. Bacon is a terrific pairing with the pumpkin but those who take their vegetarian preferences seriously may want to try some smoked tofu instead.
Polenta can be found either as a coarse grain or a fine flour-like grain and it’s this second variety that is so perfect for cornbread or these delicious corn muffins. I added bacon, cheese and a subtle hint of rosemary and created a welcome change to boring sandwiches or bread rolls. Simply split them and butter them before adding them to lunch boxes. Continue reading Lunchbox Treats – Corn and Rosemary Muffins
It’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere and a foodie’s thoughts turns to – salad.
Ideal as a stand alone lunch salad or perfect with your next barbecue, this salad uses the ranch dressing featured earlier in the week. It can be adapted without bacon of course, but this salad relies on texture as well as taste. If omitting the bacon, consider using sautéed mushroom slices instead.
Continue reading Day 10 – Bacon and Avocado Salad