Nasi Goreng with Kang Kung, Chicken and Prawn Sate and Tomato Sambal

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Indonesian people eat rice three times a day. No wonder they are the geniuses behind this delicious dish. You can serve it as simply or as complicated as you like, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, anything goes; just like life in Indo…

I’ve visited Indonesia three times over the past twelve months and am hoping to get back there soon to skip a couple of the cooler months here in Aus. Now that I have explored quite a bit through most of the islands, this time I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a couple of months and really getting to know the place, the people and learn a lot more about the food.

A lot of Indonesian food is cooked using copious amounts of oil and palm sugar, and MSG is common. I’m keen to adapt some common Indonesian recipes into some healthier versions with less oil, less palm sugar and definitely no MSG. There are so many beautiful fresh and tropical ingredients there, it won’t be hard to do.

Here is a recipe for my version of Nasi Goreng with a few yummy things alongside. The Kang Kung (water spinach) dish is definitely one of my favourite Padang choices. To make this dish vegetarian, omit the prawns from the rice, use tempeh for the sate and omit the fried anchovies.

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Recipe (serves 4-6)

Tomato Sambal
Ingredients
1o0ml rice bran oil (or other veg oil)
200g eschallots, peeled and diced
100g garlic, peeled and crushed
100g ginger, grated
400g long red chilled, diced
300g birds eye chillies, diced
2 lemongrass stalks, white and pale green part, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
2 tbs dried coriander seeds, crushed
60g palm sugar, grated
2 tbs shrimp paste, roasted
2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Method
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the eschallots and garlic and cook until soft. Add the ginger, chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, and coriander, cook for a further few minutes. Add the palm sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar starts to caramelize.
Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and reduced, about 10mins.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Puree the sauce using a large mortar and pestle or blender. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
Keep in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze.

Nasi Goreng
Ingredients
80ml rice bran oil, plus extra
100g eschallots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
200g cabbage, chopped
300g prawn meat, chopped
1/4 cup tomato sambal, plus extra to serve
5 tbs soy sauce
600g cooked rice, chilled (from 2 cups raw)
100g baby spinach
salt to taste
4-6 eggs
Fried shallots
Crispy fried anchovies
Krupuk crackers (I used ones made from taro)
2 Fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 small cucumber, sliced
Lemon basil
Method
Heat the oil in a large wok over medium high heat. Add the eschallots, garlic and carrots and cook until soft. Add the prawns and cabbage and cook, until cabbage is soft and prawns are cooked.
Add the sambal and soy sauce and cook for a further few minutes to reduce some of the liquid.
Add the rice and spinach and cook, stirring for a further 5 mins.
Add salt to taste.
Heat extra oil in a frying pan over high heat. Fry the eggs until white is cooked and yolk is still runny.
Serve the rice in a mound (you can use a cup to mould it), top with the fried egg, shallots, anchovies, some extra tomato sambal, krupuk crackers, the tomato, cucumber and lemon basil, and whatever else you choose to serve alongside (I also served Kang Kung and chicken and prawn sate, recipes follow)

Kang Kung (spicy water spinach)
Ingredients
2 tbs rice bran oil
4-6 eschallots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
4 long red chilles, halved, de-seeded, and thinly sliced lengthways
1 birdseye chilli, finley chopped
2 bunches water spinach, washed, trimmed and chopped into 10cm lengths
2 tbs oyster sauce
2 tbs kecap manis
2 tbs soy sauce
salt to taste
Method
In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the eschallots, garlic and chillies and cook, stirring, until soft.
Add the water spinach and sauces and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted and reduced, about 5mins.
Add salt to taste.
Serve.

Chicken and Prawn Sate
Ingredients
Rice bran oil
600g chicken thigh, cut into 2cm cubes
12 large green prawns, peeled, tail left on
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs tomato sambal
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs kecap manis
5 tbs palm sugar
Small bamboo skewers
Method
Place the chicken in one bowl and the prawns in another. Add the 1/4 cup sambal, 1/4 cup kecap manis and 3 tbs of the palm sugar to the chicken. Add the 2 tbs sambal, 2 tbs kecap manis and remaining 2 tbs palm sugar to the prawns. Stir each well, cover, and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.
Thread about 5 pieces of chicken onto skewers, and one prawn each per skewer with the tail pointing away.
Heat the oil on a grill pan to very hot and smoking. Carefully add the chicken skewers and cook, turning, for about 5-8 mins or until cooked through and caramalized, adding the prawns in the last 3 mins of cooking.
Serve.

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Strawberry, White Asparagus and Chèvre Bruschetta with Balsamic, Black Pepper and Basil

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After spending a week at our friend’s house here, in Germany, with a big comfy bed to sleep in, a kitchen to cook in, beautiful forest trails to explore, access to fresh, local produce and, of course, the amazing company, I’m not sure how I’m going to feel when we hit the road with our backpacks again. I could really get used to this life. Seriously, I’m typing this as I lay in the best bed I’ve slept in in nine months, sipping a coffee and waiting for the others to wake up so that we can jump in the car and head over to France…for lunch….

The bakeries here are amazing too. They don’t even sell white bread. Just brown, or dark brown, or dark brown with seeds, etc. The spelt and linseed bread I used for this bruschetta worked perfectly with the sweetness of the strawberries. Beautiful strawberries and asparagus from a farm down the road, and basil from the garden. JOY!

We ate this bruschetta for brunch, but you could also serve it as an appetiser on smaller pieces of bread. If you can’t find white asparagus, I wouldn’t recommend using green, just omit it and use more strawberries. Some walnuts sprinkled on top would also be nice.

Also, sorry for the ridiculous amount of photos, too hard too choose.

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Recipe

Ingredients

200ml balsamic vinegar
2 tbs caster sugar
8 slices dark spelt and linseed bread (or other dark bread such as rye), halved
3 tbs olive oil
200g chèvre (goats cheese)
1 clove garlic, halved
2 cups fresh strawberries, tops trimmed off and quartered
1 cup peeled and cooked white asparagus, cut into 3cm lengths
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
Pinch salt

Method

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, bring to the simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10mins, or until reduced by half and is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10mins.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray and spread with the slices of bread. Place in the oven and toast, for 5mins. Turn the slices and drizzle with 2 tbs of the olive oil. Return to the oven and toast for a further 5mins or until lightly browned. Remove form oven and rub the toast with the halved garlic. Divide the chèvre among the slices of toast and return to the oven for 3 mins, or until cheese is starting to melt. Remove from the oven.
In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, asparagus, 2 tbs of the balsamic reduction, pepper and salt. Gently stir to combine.
Top the slices of toast with the strawberry mixture, top with the basil and sprinkle with a little extra pepper and a drizzle of the balsamic reduction.
Enjoy!

 

Spinach, Egg and Chinese Sausage Pie

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I woke up yesterday morning, feeling nostalgic for Easters as a child, where, if I’m remembering this correctly (it was either Christmas or Easter), Mum would always make the most amazing bacon, egg and cheese pie. It was so delicious, and such a treat for us all to sit down and share breakfast together. I’m sure Mum was trying to fill our bellies with something wholesome to prevent us from making ourselves sick on Easter eggs. I was always the type to eat as many chocolate eggs as I possibly could, running out in a couple of days, where, my little brother, would save his for so long that they would start to turn white. I’m pretty sure he did this just to annoy me.

We always had a such an awesome time on the Sunday morning Easter egg hunt. Our Mum was a genius at making it seem like the Easter Bunny had been to our house, going as far as muddy rabbit paw prints through the house and half eaten carrots on the back porch. She was also fantastic at hiding the eggs, so good that we’d be finding them in the backyard for weeks to come. I can’t wait to do this for my kids one day!

Anyway, back to this pie. Yesterday being Good Friday, nothing was open to be able to buy the necessary ingredients to make this pie as I reminder, so, I had to make do with what we had. Which turned out to be absolutely delicious!! The eggs, spinach and basil all came from the backyard, and since living up here I’ve been keeping a constant stock of chinese sausage (lap cheong) in the cupboard, as it is just so flavoursome and can add a lot to asian dishes. I had to make do with the little amount of butter that we had for the pastry, but I think the mixture of butter and olive oil worked perfectly, with the parmesan giving an extra boost. You could serve this at any time of the day, with some spicy barbecue or tomato sauce and a little side salad (or not, up to you). Just make sure you place a marker, such as a little pastry leaf, on top of the pastry lid, where you have placed the eggs, so that you can cut right down through the centre of each to serve. Just cause it looks really cool. As you can see, the chickens only gave us three eggs this day. You could replace the chinese sausage with bacon or chorizo, or even some feta or haloumi for a vegetarian pie.

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients
Pastry
270g plain flour
40g parmesan, finely grated
40g cold butter, cut into cubes
1/4 olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
Filling
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
120g chinese sausage (lap cheong), finely sliced
120g brazilian spinach (or any other type of spinach), roughly chopped
400g can crushed tomatoes
130g grated cheddar cheese
large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
4 eggs
milk, for brushing
Spicy barbecue sauce or tomato relish, to serve

Method
In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the salt and parmesan, stir to combine. Add the butter and olive oil and, using your fingers, rub the mixture together until it resembles sand. Add the water and use a spoon to combine. Knead briefly to bring it all together, about 1 min, until smooth. Wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring, about 4 mins, until soft. Add the garlic and sausage and cook, stirring, for a further 4 mins, or until starting to turn golden. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for 1 min, until wilted. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until simmering. Allow to simmer for 5mins, stirring often. Transfer mixture to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add the grated cheese and basil and some salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 20cm spring form cake tin.
Take the pastry from the fridge and cut away two thirds of it to use for the base. Roll out into a 30cm circle and then carefully press into the prepared tin. Prick the base with a fork and place in the oven. Cook for 15mins, until dry. Remove from the oven.
Pour the pie filing into the pastry case. Make four holes in the mixture and crack an egg into each. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top each egg.
Roll out the remaining pastry into a 25cm circle. Brush the edges of the case with milk. Carefully place the lid on top and press together the edges to seal. Brush the edges and all over the top with milk. Pierce a hole in the middle for steam to release. Use the pastry cutoffs to mark where the eggs are, if you wish. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake the pie for 45-55mins, until golden and crunchy on the edges. Remove from oven.
Allow to sit for about 10mins before cutting.
Serve with sauce and salad, if desired.
Enjoy!

Banana, Coconut and Date Loaf, Banana, Carob and Walnut Muffins and Banana Jam (All Vegan. Yeah, we had a lot of bananas to use…)

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If you could see where I am sitting whilst writing this, you would surely laugh.

In two weeks time I’ll be swimming in the ocean and drinking ice cold Bintangs in Bali, but in the meantime, I’m sitting here, in my camping chair, in the searing heat, on the side of the free way, with a For Sale sign on the car. This better work….

Once this car is sold, my whole life will be back in my backpack, and man am I looking forward to that feeling! It’s been great having this big car, all equipped to live anywhere on this great brown land, but I’m ready for the backpacker life again! Beaches, jungles, hostels, beers, new friends, old friends, culture, food, art, adventure…the list is long!

Anyway, back to reality for a moment. We found ourselves with a huge bag of bananas last week, all going black very quickly. The chickens don’t seem to be laying as many eggs as they were a few months ago so I decided to try and make some vegan banana treats. They turned out so beautifully, I don’t think I will ever make a banana loaf with eggs again!

Not so sure about the banana jam though, it tastes a little (lot) like something you might feed your baby. But hey, why would you feed your baby something gross!

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Recipe

Vegan Banana Bread

Ingredients
3-4 over-ripe bananas, plus 1 to decorate
75g coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g raw sugar
125g white or wholemeal self-raising flour
100g wholemeal plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
50g shredded coconut
70g dates (or other dried fruit or nuts), chopped

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees, celcius. Grease and line a loaf tin (banana leaves work great!)
In a large bowl, mash the bananas (reserving one to decorate). Add the coconut oil, vanilla and sugar, and mix well to combine.
Sift the flours, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl with the banana. Add the coconut and dates and mix until all combined.
Pour into prepared loaf tin. Peel and cut the remaining banana in half, lengthways. Place, cut side up, on top of the batter and slightly press into the batter.
Bake for 40-50mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin.
Serve warm with banana jam, or topping of choice.
Enjoy!

Variation
Vegan Banana, Carob and Walnut muffins.
Replace 50g of the wholemeal plain flour with 60g of carob powder. Omit the coconut and the dates and add 80g of chopped walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top. Bake in a muffin tin for about 20mins.

Banana Jam

Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 cups bananas, diced
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup water

Method
Combine the diced banana in a bowl with the lime juice.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and the water over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to the simmer. Cover and let it simmer for 2mins.
Uncover and add the bananas with the lime. On medium heat, bring to the boil. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, for about 30mins. At this point, if you want a smooth jam, use a stick blender to blend until smooth, otherwise, just keep cooking.
Cook for another 20-30mins or until jam is nice and thick.
Pour hot jam into sterilised jars.
Allow to cool at room temperature, undisturbed for 24hours before using.

Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Surprise Muffins (Gluten and Dairy Free)

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These muffins are to die for, especially when warm from the oven. As with most muffins, they are best eaten on the day they are made, but, due to the coconut and the moist chocolatey centre, these guys are more like little cakes, and will stay moist and delicious for up to five days. Ha! As if they will last that long!

This recipe was created for a new Australian company that contacted me regarding recipe development for one of the products that they send out to their subscribers every two months, along with their magazine ‘Provenace’; including recipes and information on the Australian producers. The company is called Spiced Fig, and I highly recommend subscribing to their tote, when I received mine I was overwhelmed with the beautiful products inside. In fact, I’ve got a Moroccan Chicken Curry simmering away on the stove right now, the sauce being one of the products in the tote. It smells pretty fantastic!

So, the product I ‘had’ (damn!) to develop recipes for was Nuibella, a certified organic, coconut and chocolate spread. It is seriously delicious, and, all natural, fair-trade, gluten free and vegan friendly. This muffin recipe wasn’t chosen for the magazine, my other, even more special recipe was chosen, but you will have to subscribe to find out what it was!

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Recipe

Ingredients

125g coconut oil, melted

165g raw sugar

3 large, very ripe bananas, roughly chopped

2 eggs

1 tsp coconut essence

300g gluten free, self-raising flour, sifted

50g desiccated coconut

12 heaped teaspoons of cold Nuibella

Chipped coconut to sprinkle

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, grease and line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Process oil, sugar, banana, eggs and coconut essence in a food processor until smooth. Combine the flour and desiccated coconut in a large bowl, then fold in banana mixture. Do not over mix.

Evenly distribute half of the batter into the muffin tray and gently place a heaped tsp of cold Nuibella into the centre of each, making sure that you have enough batter in each hole so that the Nuibella is not touching the bottom of the tin. Then, carefully and evenly spoon the rest of the batter around and on top of the Nuibella (spooning the batter around the Nuibella before on top of it will ensure the Nuibella stays in the middle of the muffins whilst baking). Sprinkle with the chipped coconut.

Bake for about 15-20mins or until muffins are golden and spring back when touched.

Cool in pan for 10 mins and then cool on a wire rack. Or eat one while it’s lovely and warm!

Caramel Banana and Buckwheat Crunch Ice-Cream (Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free)

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I’m a sucker for crunchy bits in my ice-cream, I love the textural difference of the creaminess and then, once in a while, a nice crunchy sweet thing pops between your teeth, although I find you never get enough of these awesome bits in store bought ice-creams.

I’d had this paper bag of buckwheat kicking around the car since I was back on the east coast of Queensland, where I had come across a cute little health food store in the middle of a fishing town. I figured it was time I did something with it. Also, a freezer full of bananas, and five or so trees here with huge bunches growing very quickly, called for some banana ice-cream!

Out of all the vegan ice-cream recipes I have tried, this one is by far the richest, sweetest and most creamy, while being the most natural at the same time! When it comes to vegan sweets, sometimes I find that many of the recipes call for so many ingredients, sometimes ones that aren’t always easily accessible. That’s why I love how simple this ice-cream is. If you wanted, you could make it with nothing but the frozen banana and it would still be delicious!

The buckwheat crunch is so good, you can use it in many other ways, like on top of fruit salad, yoghurt, other desserts, or part of a granola or trail mix. Or just eat it on it’s own. You can buy ready made ‘buckinis’ from health food stores if you don’t want to bother with this part of the process. Although it’s easy, it does take a couple of days. If you don’t have a dehydrated, you can dehydrate it in the oven by putting it on it’s lowest setting and leaving the door ajar, it should take about 8 hours. Or, if you’re impatient, like me, and your not too worried about it being technically raw, then you can just bake it in the oven at 160 degrees celcius for about 20-30mins, or until crunchy.

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Buckwheat Crunch

Ingredients

1 cup raw buckwheat

1/2 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice, you can use honey if you you don’t need it to be vegan)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

Method

To activate the buckwheat, place it in a large jar or bowl, cover with water, make sure there is enough water for the buckwheat to absorb. Cover, and soak in the fridge overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the buckwheat with a sieve, rinsing until the water runs clear. Return it to the jar or bowl and cover with water again. Soak in the fridge for another 8 hours or overnight again.

Drain and rinse the buckwheat, again unit water runs clear. Drain well. Place in a bowl with the maple syrup and spices and mix well.

Spread out onto dehydrator trays (or baking trays, see alternative methods above). Dehydrate at 40 degrees, overnight.

Store in an airtight container.

Caramel Banana and Buckwheat Crunch Ice-Cream

Ingredients

4-6 bananas, peeled and frozen (I used 6 as they were very small organic ones, but if you get the big ones from the supermarket just use 4 or 5)

1/2 cup pitted dates, firmly packed

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buckwheat crunch

Extra buckwheat crunch and toasted coconut chips to serve

Method

Chop the frozen banana and place in a food processor along with the dates and vanilla. Process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and stir through the buckwheat crunch.

Freeze for 6-8 hours, or overnight.

To serve, top with extra buckwheat crunch and toasted coconut chips, or other toppings of your choice.

Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potato, Ginger and Kaffir Lime Loaf (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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Now that we have a house to live in, temporarily that is, we decided to clean out the car that we’ve been living in for the last two months. Including all the tinned food that we didn’t get through, I had one sweet potato left, a bit wrinkly on the outside but perfect for a good roasting. So, roast it I did, even though I didn’t have a plan for it yet. I love roasting sweet potatoes whole, in their skin, it’s a really nice way to make mash too, prevents watery mash, nobody likes watery mash.

At first I was thinking of making some sweet potato muffins, I got all excited about it, bought the ingredients I needed, only to discover that although we are living in a real house now, the kitchen is still a share house kitchen and is mainly full of random schooner glasses from different pubs around town. Definitely no muffin tin to be seen. Luckily, amongst the many baking trays (essential for frozen chips, one of my pommy housemates favourites) I found a loaf tin. Ok, I’ll make a loaf instead.

Due to the amazing asian markets in Darwin, I now get to have delicious things like ginger and kaffir lime leaves at my fingertips, whenever I like. So stoked. Stay tuned for some more asian inspired recipes to come over the next few weeks.

Considering this loaf is vegan and gluten free, I am really happy with how well it rose, whist still staying beautifully moist and spongey. When it was warm from the oven, it was delicious with some marmalade and fresh berries. If you don’t finish it all in the first day though, slice it up and keep it in the fridge, or the freezer, and toast it under the grill to serve. I’ve been enjoying it with some other toppings such as olive oil spread and strawberry jam, or ricotta and honey, or yoghurt and tahini. So delicious!

 

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup coconut milk

1 tsp lemon juice

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 tbs chia bran

1/4 cup rice malt syrup

1 tbs fresh ginger grated

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups plain gluten free flour

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar, plus 2 tbs

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbs sesame seeds

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a baking tray with baking paper and a loaf tin with oil and baking paper.

Using a fork or metal skewer, pierce the sweet potato all over. Place on lined oven tray and roast for about an hour or until very soft. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthways, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork.

In a small bowl, place the coconut milk and lemon juice, stir to combine and leave for about 5mins.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, chia bran, rice malt syrup, fresh ginger, kaffir lime leaves and sweet potato (make sure the sweet potato is still a little warm to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying). Let sit for about 10 mins. Stir in the milk mixture.

In another bowl sift the flours, ground ginger, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. Stir in the sugar. Add the wet mixture and stir well to combine, but don’t over mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the surface and sprinkle with the extra coconut sugar and the sesame seeds.

Bake for 45-60 mins or until springs back when pressed or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 20 mins before removing.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Breakfast for a (complicated) Crowd. Potato and Caper Rösti with Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs, Caramalized Onion, Fennel Salad, Avocado and Crème Fraîche.

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I’ve had this recipe waiting in the wings for a couple of months now. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast where you sit around for so long afterwards that you don’t end up getting the dishes done until lunchtime.

I made it for some of my family while visiting them in Brisbane, it happened to be Fathers’ Day, and while my own dad was 800km down the coast, I was with his brother, my Uncle, who thought it was quite funny that I was cooking breakfast for him on Fathers’ Day instead of my own Dad. Photo messages ensued…

I didn’t get time to post it before I hit the dusty road across the top end, and while I did get reception a couple of times and could’ve posted it, it felt wrong to upload such clean looking photos when in reality everything we ate was covered in a thin layer of dust.

But, I’m in darwin now, sitting in an air-conditioned room and feeling pretty good about it.

The night before I made this breakfast I had a very interrupted sleep, waking every couple of hours to another idea of what to cook for my Uncle (a retired chef), my Aunty (a coeliac), and my cousin (a vegetarian). I wanted to be able to please everyone whilst still being able to share the same meal. This big, fresh, tasty breakfast was the result and it went down a treat. And it was relatively quick and easy with an impressive result. Invite some friends over this weekend, brew some coffee, and spoil them with this delicious spring inspired big breakfast, guaranteed you won’t leave the table till it’s time for lunch.

Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 4

Olive oil (keep the bottle on hand to use for a few things)

1 kg washed potatoes, grated

110g jar baby capers, drained

1 bunch dill, leaves picked, chopped

3 red onions, thinly sliced (a mandolin is ideal)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 small fennel, white parts thinly sliced and fronds picked

Bunch parsley, leaves picked

2 lemons

10 free range eggs

200ml cream

20g butter

200g smoked salmon

1 large avocado

small tub creme fraiche

salt and pepper

Method

For the caramelised onion, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 10mins or until they are quite soft. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper and stir to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook for another 20-30mins, stirring often, until thick and jam like. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

For the potato rosti, pre-heat oven to 100 degrees Celcius. Working with a handful at a time, squeeze as much moisture out of the grated potato as possible. In a clean bowl combine the dry potato with the capers, half of the chopped dill and some salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Use about 1/4 cup of potato mixture per rosti. Press down each rosti with the back of a spatula into a roundish shape about 7mm thick. Don’t overcrowd the pan or flipping will be difficult. Cook for about 5 mins per side or until golden and starting to go crunchy around the edges. Transfer to a lined oven tray, without stacking too much (to prevent them going soggy), and keep warm in the oven.

For the fennel salad, in a large bowl, gently toss together the fennel slices and fronds, parsley, remaining dill, juice of 1 lemon and some salt and pepper.

At this point, before cooking the eggs, get everything else out and ready on the table. Slice the avocado and sprinkle with salt and pepper, slice the remaining lemon, put the caramelised onion and creme fraiche in bowls and arrange the smoked salmon on a plate.

For the scrambled eggs, whisk the eggs in a large bowl along with the cream and some pepper. Melt the butter in a large frying pan along with a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until just starting to set. Remove from heat. The eggs will continue to cook for a little while as you get  the rest of the food and everyone to the table.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Hummus Plate with Spiced Cauliflower and Macadamias

DSC_0531 DSC_0529Hummus would definitely have to be one of my top ten favourite dishes. Oh, thy humble chickpea, how I love thee. Simple hummus on a cracker or a carrot stick is so tasty and nourishing; wait till you try it like this. In Israel, hummus is often eaten as a meal, topped with delicious treats such as olives, chilli paste, fresh tomato, parsley, olive oil, and even spiced lamb mince, scooped up in a piece of flat bread….heavenly!

There is so much I could say here about how amazing hummus is, from it’s nutritional benefits, history, tradition, different recipe methods, etc, I would have to write a referenced essay to properly explain it all and I’m pretty sure most people don’t care THAT much.

Chickpeas can often cause a lot of people a bit of grief in the ‘gas’ department. But recent chats with an Israeli friend concluded that the traditional method of soaking and boiling the chickpeas with some bi-carb soda and then scooping the skins from the surface of the water, can greatly reduce this unfortunate occurrence. I haven’t included that method in this recipe but simply google it for the how to. Alternatively, use Yotam Ottelenghi’s recipe for hummus, it’s the best I’ve ever had, and very simple. My recipe here is a quick and simple version, but still delicious, especially with the scrumptious topping!

The crispy garlic and whole chickpeas are so good, you could even cook these up in a bigger batch and serve them on their own as a snack with some cold beers. Replace the purple cauliflower with regular white cauliflower or broccoli if you like. 

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Recipe

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients

Hummus

1 clove garlic

410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1/4 reserved for frying

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup cold water

salt and pepper

Crispy Garlic and Chickpeas

2 tablespoons macadamia oil

reserved chickpeas (1/4 can)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

salt

Spiced Cauliflower

1 tablespoon macadamia oil

1 cauliflower, florets separated, large ones halved or quartered

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

salt and pepper

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup roasted macadamias, chopped

To serve

1 lemon, quartered

handful of chopped parsley

macadmia oil

warmed flat bread

Method

To make the hummus, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Set aside.

For the crispy garlic and chickpeas, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Fry the chickpeas and garlic, sprinkled with a generous pinch of salt, until golden and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

For the cauliflower, in the same pan, on medium, heat the macadamia oil and add the spices, cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, until the cauliflower is just cooked through, about 10 mins, you may need to add a splash of water if it’s getting too dry. Remove from heat. Stir through the parsley, macadamias and crispy garlic and chickpeas.

To serve, spread the hummus out onto a large plate, top with the cauliflower mixture, drizzle with extra oil, sprinkle with extra parsley and squeeze over the lemon. Serve with the warmed flat bread. Enjoy!