Hello Everyone! Now this is a recipe I’ve been so eager to make since forever. I first came across this dish from a café across the road from my campus when I was still studying in Australia for my design degree. The café is known as Ampersand Café & Bookstore. I did a review of the café back in 2015, so if you have some free time up your sleeves, go and have a read, or just a look at the lovely ambiance of the café and the delicious food served there.
The one thing I would never fail to order off their blackboard menu? That’s right, their sweet potato crisps with aïoli. I even remember going there several times and not being able to order this dish because their deep fryer had been broken for a couple of months. At times I would even ask them “is your deep fryer still broken?” and then make a sad face later when they would unfortunately say yes.
The crisps from the café are made using orange sweet potatoes, and since we’re sharing violet recipes for this month, I decided to use purple sweet potatoes that I sourced from PruTazan. The sweet, crispy, and caramelised sweet potatoes pair really well with the slightly tangy, spicy, and garlicky aïoli. It’s a perfect side dish to your main meal, or even just a light snack on its own. Either way, it’s a whole new experience of enjoying sweet potatoes!
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 5 MINS*| SERVES 4
* Plus additional 40 minutes for the roasted garlic (if not made in advance).
For the sweet potato crisps
2 small (100-200g) purple sweet potatoes, washed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the roasted garlic
1 bulb garlic
Dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the easy roasted garlic and chive aïoli
Roasted Garlic (see above)
1 stalk chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper powder, plus more if needed (optional)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cooking oil, for deep frying
Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6).
Use your fingers to peel away all the loose, papery, outer layers around the head of the garlic. Leave the head itself intact with all the cloves connected.
Trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.
Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic, letting the oil sink down into the cloves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and flavour with your favourite herbs and spices as well (optional).
Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is completely soft when pierced with a knife.
Note: Even once soft, you can continue roasting until deeply golden for a more caramelised flavor — check the garlic every 10 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size of your garlic, the variety, and its age.
Let the garlic cool slightly, and then press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its paper.
Tip: Roasting a single bulb of garlic in an oven for 40 minutes sounds a bit excessive doesn’t it? Well, what I usually like to do is whenever I use my oven for something, be it baking a delicious sweet treat or roasting away some beautiful salmon portions, I always throw a couple of garlic heads wrapped in foil into the oven as well. That way I’m killing two birds with one stone. I then keep the roasted garlic in a jar together with olive oil to preserve and use it when I need to. Roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
Roasted Garlic and Chive Aïoli: Add all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Add ground cayenne pepper if you want a bit of heat to your aïoli, otherwise you may omit. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Set aside to chill until ready to serve.
Sweet Potato Crisps: Using a peeler, peel off the skins of the sweet potato. Continue peeling into the flesh of the sweet potato to make long and thin strips. Place on top of a kitchen towel and pat dry to remove any excess moisture from them.
Pour cooking oil in a large, heavy pan to a depth of about 2 inches, and heat the oil to 165C/325F. Working in small batches, fry the sweet potatoes for about 45 seconds to a minute. Stir them a few times to keep them from sticking together. Using a metal slotted spoon, lift them out onto paper towels to remove excess oil.
Season the crisps with a touch of salt and serve immediately while hot and crispy with the roasted garlic aïoli. Squeeze a touch of lemon juice onto the crisps before eating. Enjoy!
Hello Everyone! So as you all probably know by now by mentioning it in previous posts, I am interning at a company know as Hello Social three times a week from 9am-5pm. On top of that, I have two days of classes, both of which start at 9am as well. This means that I really only have my weekends of having the pleasure of snoozing my alarm and enjoying a good sleep in – which is usually 1-2 hours after my alarm goes off. Having 9am starts 5 times a week is starting to get exhausting. Last week I started snoozing for an extra 10 minutes and I actually cannot believe what an impact those 10 minutes have had; basically a domino effect. Getting up 10 minutes later made me found myself debating whether I should still sit down and have a quick breakfast, or just head out immediately to get to uni/work on time. I ALWAYS choose breakfast. Choosing breakfast meant that I would miss the buses that I usually catch, and would have to wait an extra 10 minutes at the bus stop (and even sometimes the buses that do come 10 minutes later are packed that I end up waiting an extra 3-5 minutes for one that is not full). Extra waiting time last week meant that I was either 10 minutes late to class, or that I would have to race through the packed city and pedestrian crossings to get to work on time – practically two things I hate; being late and running.
Sometimes I wish that my Mom was here with me. I miss the days where I would still be able to snooze a few extra minutes, get ready and come down to have a decadent breakfast ready for me, and the same goes for lunch and dinner. Now when I get up in the morning and get ready, I still have to prepare a simple breakfast (usually toast or cereal). I sound like such a princess, but I really do miss having everything ready, and fresh from the stove too!
So how do I solve this issue of needing and wanting breakfast without being late or having to race through the morning? Easy. BREAKFAST MUFFINS ON THE GO. Now, this wasn’t my idea to begin with. On Saturday, while shopping with Jialing and Lydia, Jialing mentioned that she wanted to come over and make breakfast muffins so that she could start either taking them to work or eating them while waiting for the bus – and I thought, what a great idea? I mean, I wasn’t just going to watch her bake muffins at my place knowing that I wouldn’t have a batch for myself, so I decided to make some too and they are so great! I snoozed an extra 10 minutes, got ready, grabbed my muffins and lunch, and got to work with still about 15 minutes to spare (the thing about getting into the city before 9am is that I am either super early, or super late because of the bus schedules and everyone wanting to go into the city at the same time, so obviously super early is the better option). Got to work and still had 15 minutes to eat my muffins. I made a few other interns jealous of the delicious smell circulating the office though!
I might start a series on Breakfast Muffins for this blog for those who think they might find this helpful – I mean, day 1 and I am already finding it super helpful! Since I get off from uni at 12pm on Monday’s, I basically have the whole afternoon to make these muffins to last the working week. So, enough babbling, let’s get on with the recipe! But first, please do check out the original recipe on the kitchn.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS| MAKES 12 MUFFINS
4 large free range eggs
75g prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 cup almond meal (the one I bought from the store had quinoa in it)
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 200C. Grease the muffin tray with a little bit of butter and line each hole with baking paper (the butter will help it hold in place while you prepare your batter).
Whisk the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and water together in a large bowl. Then add the flour, almond meal with quinoa, baking powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Whisk until no lumps remain.
Fold in the prosciutto and chives, whisking one more time if necessary to break up the clumps of prosciutto.
Then, divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Makes about 12 muffins.
Store any leftovers in the fridge and remember to warm slightly before serving.
Every month Coles releases a magazine that makes the most of fresh seasonal produce, as well as featuring tasty everyday recipes that are quick, easy and something that whole family will love. Coles Magazine is like my Bible for food. I NEED to get a copy for myself every month, and the best thing about it is that it’s free! Pictured above is the March 2014 issue of Coles Magazine. I looked back to last month for today’s recipe: Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs.
I followed the recipe and changed minor things for various reasons, firstly instead of dill, I used chives only because I didn’t want to buy a whole packet of dill (I barely use this herb), and secondly, I didn’t add green peas as the recipe stated only because I didn’t have any to use. Nonetheless, the recipe turned out really well and it’s definitely a keeper. Cheap, simple dish that serves 4 – the only thing that was relatively expensive was the smoked salmon.
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS| SERVES 4
2/3 cup sour cream
1 & 1/2 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra to serve
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
100g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
4 large free range eggs
Slices of Pane di Casa bread from Bakers Delight, toasted and buttered
1 bunch baby asparagus, woody ends snapped off
Ground salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease four ramekins (or in this case I used my mini cocotte pots) and place on a baking tray.
Combine the sour cream and chives in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the chopped onion evenly in each cocotte. Divide the salmon and half of the sour cream mixture among the cocottes and crack an egg into each. Top with the remaining sour cream mixture.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until eggs are just set. Meanwhile, grill the asparagus on a grill pan over high heat for about a minute per side or until tender. Turn the heat off and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the asparagus still in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate.
Set aside for a minute to settle. Top with extra chives, and (optional) a little bit of paprika.