This post was done solely to document the fact that today the brown boy and I were foolish enough to think we can pull off a rendezvous between 2 different timezones (11AM in mine, 1AM in his). I ended up being appropriately late and he ended up falling asleep. He made a 3-cheese pizza and promised to send me a picture to put here later after he wakes up. Here’s to another 5 years of fun.
Kedgeree (Recipe from Gourmet Traveller, Serves 2):
[1/2 cup basmati rice + 1 1/2 cup water + 1 cup milk + 1 bay leaf + 300 g smoked haddock (or other smoked fish. I’m using fresh Grouper because I hate smoked fish) + 2 boiled eggs, quartered + 20 g butter + 2 tsp mild curry powder + 1/2 onion, finely chopped + 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped + 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger + 1/8 cup finely chopped parsley]
Combine equal parts of rice and water and 1 tsp sea salt in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat.
Stir, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until water has been absorbed and rice is cooked through (about 15 minutes).
Remove from heat, cool completely, then fluff grains using a fork.
Bring milk, bay leaves and 1 cup of water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low, add fish and simmer until fish flakes easily (10 minutes). Cool in liquid, remove and coarsely flake, discarding skin and bones.
Reserve 1 cup of poaching liquid.
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add curry, onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until onion is soft (about 5 minutes).
Add rice and fish, stirring to combine, and cook until heated through (about 3 minutes).
Add poaching liquid, egg and parsley, stirring to combine, and cook until eggs are warm (about 2 minutes).
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with lemon and chutney to the side.
Making Pumpkin Spice Latte and Apple Pancakes
Usually it will not be justified to make these kind of food in the month approaching summer. But I just had my AC cleaned and it was being extra cold and the day was pleasantly cloudy. It was one of those poignant days when all you’d want to do is sit the day away next to a window with a good cuppa and an equally good book. Unfortunately one can never give in to those kind of whims these days,so I settled with cooking. The apple pancakes, to be honest, I made as a tribute to Sims 3. But the latte…I had originally wanted to make Gingerbread Latte because I had read something the night before in which a character was warming his hands to a steaming mug of said drink. It was rather poetic. But ginger and I are not friends, so I made this as a heartier alternative that should be tried on a cold day. It will leave you humming your favourite tune while looking out from behind a misty window.
Pumpkin Spice Latte:
[ 2 cups of milk + 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin + 2 tablespoons white sugar + 1 tablespoon vanilla + 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (OR substitute with: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon cloves + a pinch of ground ginger) + 1/2 cup brewed espresso (OR 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee) ]
I actually made my own pumpkin puree since they don’t sell it here. If you’re looking to make it yourself, then just cut a pumpkin into quarters, brush with some olive oil and bake in the oven cut-side down and covered with aluminium foil, for 20 mins at 160 degrees C. Scoop the flesh out and run it through the food processor until smooth.
In a small soup pan heat all the base ingredients. Note: If you are using coffee you can add it directly to the pan here. However if you are using fresh hot espresso you can add it last.
Stir all ingredients until simmering. Make sure the pumpkin dissolves into the base well and the spices don’t clump. Add the spices last if you are having clumping issues. When mixture is at a low/med boil you can remove from heat, pour into a serving mug and set aside.
I served it with a dollop of whipped cream, swirls of caramel sauce and a pinch of cinnamon on top.
[ 2 eggs + 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted + 1/3 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons baking powder + 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon salt + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 2 cups buttermilk + 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + 2 peeled Granny Smith apples, 1 cored and finely grated, 1 thinly sliced on a mandolin ]
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy.
Add the flour, the 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Stir just until smooth and no lumps of flour remain; do not overmix.
Add the grated apple and stir just until combined.
Heat a griddle over medium-high heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray or use some butter.
For each pancake, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar on 1 apple slice and place on the griddle. Using a batter dispenser, dispense about 1/3 cup of the batter on top of the apple slice. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked.
Serve with powdered sugar, or honey or maple syrup, or anything your sweet tooth fancies.
Making Bagels and Eggs Florentine
**Warning: This post contains pictures of my bloody thumb. Should you prefer not to see it, I suggest you scroll down fast once you get to the picture of the ball of dough. Ye have been warned.
Yesterday Delima asked me if I could post a recipe for bagels. I gladly obliged, and figured I might as well do a post of Eggs Florentine to go with it since they’re both pretty straightforward to make. What I didn’t know when I woke up the following morning was that these two recipes would give me the most cooking injuries ever recorded. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a cut this bad and got this much burns from pans and oven, which is weird considering I’ve cooked with way more intricate recipes. I now have to look at my fingers occasionally when I’m using a knife, which I hate doing because I can usually chop without much thought. That and I still have the memory of the feeling of blade slicing through flesh. Not pleasant at all. I have this urge to also share a colourful story of when I cut myself with a serrated knife, but , moving on with the recipe…
Sesame Bagels: (Bagel recipe taken from here)
[ 4 cups all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 1/2 teaspoons salt + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + 2 teaspoons instant yeast + 1 1/2 cups of warm water ] OPTIONAL: Sesame seeds
Mix all the dry ingredients and the oil in a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the water and incorporate into the flour mixture to form a ball. Knead the dough. The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated.
Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces.
***This was the part where I cut my thumb. I was cutting up the last piece when I felt the blade cut its way nearly halfway of the tip of my thumb. I quickly ran to the sink and gave it a rinse to see the damage. It was pretty deep so I had to take a 5 minute break while I put some pressure on it. You know how you can’t take your pulse with your thumb? Well that’s because there’s an artery running through it called the princeps pollicis that supplies blood to the palmar aspect of your thumb. And when a capillary is cut (even a superficial one) that near to a sourcing artery, the blood will floo~w.
And incase anyone’s wondering; the blood didn’t have time to get into the dough. I took my finger out of the work area quick enough before it started to bleed.
So after all that commotion, I slapped a bandaid on and carried on working. I should have put on a pair of gloves, I know. But I didn’t seem to have any on hand. Anyways…
After you’ve cut the dough to 8 pieces, shape them into a ball and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be.
Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.
After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it’s time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute.Take them out a let dry for a minute
OPTIONAL: If you want to make bagels with topping, then when you get them out of the boiling water, place them face down on the topping of your choice (I’m using sesame seeds here) and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled (and topped).
Add the tray to the oven, and bake at 190 degrees C for 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another 10 minutes; and they’re done!
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes,and then get the cream cheese ready and prepare to eat! I used a couple of these bagels for my Eggs Florentine instead of using English muffins, and they turned out to be pretty awesome.
Now Eggs Florentine has 3 crucial components: Hollandaise sauce, poached eggs and steamed spinach. Making hollandaise sauce requires an art and heavy duty manual whisking. Plus it also involves raw egg yolks which has a 1 in 30,000 chance of containing the bacteria Salmonella. Now the question is, do you feel lucky? Do ya? Well if you do, then follow the recipe below for some eggy-buttery goodness.
[ 100g butter, cut into cubes + 2 egg yolks + 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice + salt and white pepper to taste ]
Melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, leave to cool for 1 minute and spoon off the foam that forms on top. This will make clarified butter.
Put the eggs and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk lightly. Set up a double boiler and put the bowl on top. Whisk continuously until the egg yolks turn pale, careful to whisk all the yolks to prevent it from cooking and forming lumps.
Add the melted butter into the egg yolks 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking until the sauce turns thick and glossy. Add in the rest of the butter so you’ll have a nice yellowy, thick (not goopy!) sauce. Set aside in a bowl on some warm water to keep it warm.
Once you’ve made your Hollandaise, the rest of it is pretty simple. It’s just a case of steaming some spinach and poaching an egg.
Split the bagels lengthwise and pile on the spinach. Place the egg on top and spoon some Hollandaise over it. Sprinkle with some black pepper.
Making Zucchini Fritters
Serve these babies with a dip of yoghurt and coriander and you won’t believe that it’s a healthier take on the regular deep fried fritters. Recipe taken fom BBC GoodFood.
[ 2 medium sized zucchini + 2 tablespoons self raising flour + 25g of Parmesan Cheese, finely grated + 1 tablespoon olive oil ]
Grate the zucchini. Combine zucchini, flour, parmesan and shaped into walnut sized balls.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. Throw in the balls into the oil and flatten with spatula. Fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serve straight away with yoghurt flavoured with coriander leaves.
Calories: 177 per fritter Protein: 9g Carb: 14g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 3g Fibre: 2g Sugar: 3g Salt: 0.38g
Making Balsamic Asparagus on Toast
Continuing with food posts that are <300 cals, this one takes literrally 10 minutes to make. There are only…*counts fingers* 5 ingredients in this and it makes for an awesome breakfast or brunch. Recipe from BBC GoodFood’s
Balsamic Asparagus on Toast:
[20 stalks asparagus + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar + 4 slices of brown bread + shavings of Parmesan cheese ] OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon capers.
Trim the woody end of asparagus. Blanch or steam for about 5 minutes. Toss with butter and balsamic vinegar, throw in capers (if using) and spoon on top of bread (toasted, if you like). Shave some parmesan cheese on top (using a vegetable peeler).
266 kcalories, protein 11.9g, carbohydrate 43.6g, fat 6.1 g, saturated fat 3g, fibre 3.5g, salt 1.62 g
Making Baked Eggs and Tomatoes
love eggs. They hold a very fond memory of my first ever cooking escapade. I was about 7 when I saw this movie that got me into the world of gastronomique. It was a scene where a guy came inside a diner looking for a job. The owner then asked him, “Do you know how to cook an omelette?”
He then started to chop up green peppers and onions, then he beat an egg with a fork inside a metal cup. He proceeded to make a fluffly omelette [in a whirl of movements] with soft centre, which the owner took a bite of. Of course, as it would in all movies, he got the job. And no, I never did find out the title of that movie. Which is not to say that I haven’t tried. I googled the most ridiculous keywords in search for it, like “diner omelette scene” or “omelette cooking scene in movies”…err..Yeah.
I couldn’t sleep after watching it. The next day while my mom was out, I turned on the gas stove (after much restless thought, ofcouse. I was 7, I was scared I might burn the house down and get killed). I wanted to imitate the swift movement of the guy so I took two eggs and slap them on the side of the pan, watching the shells break and the inside slide into the hot oil. Some of the shells fell in too, of course. It wasn’t much. It wasn’t even an omelette; more like a cross between scrambled eggs and messed up sunny side-ups, but I ate the finished product happily with my then 5 year old sister, occasionally picking away the shells.
But enough about that, today’s recipe is a quick egg and tomato dish which would be great to have for breakfast or even brunch. Preheat the oven beforehand and you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in less than 15 minutes. Tops.
Baked Eggs and Tomatoes: (Serves 2)
[ 2 handfuls of Cherry Tomatoes + 2 cloves of garlic + 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil + 1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano + 2 eggs + Fresh parsley for garnish + Salt & Pepper to taste ]
Pre-heat the oven at 170 degrees Celcius.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Slice the garlic and sautee until fragrant.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and throw them in.
Add oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
Sautee until tomatoes soften and reduces, about 4 minutes.
Put the sauteed tomatoes into ovenproof dishes (ramekins etc.)
Add a teaspoon of olive oil and make a well in the centre
Crack in the eggs
Put into oven and bake for about 5 minutes or until egg is cooked to your taste
Take them out, sprinkle some chopped parsley and serve immediately with some crusty bread