Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! I’m getting this post up way earlier than I usually do just because I’m about to leave and head on over to a friend’s house to celebrate her daughter turning 1 today! I can’t believe the little munchkin is a year older already – it felt just like yesterday I was holding her in my arms just only being 2 or 3 months old. Gosh how time flies by so quickly! With that being said, I honestly have no idea what time I’ll be back home tonight and thus the early upload.

Tonight’s recipe is a branch off from the Ropa Vieja recipe that I posted just last night. When I was thinking of what other Eggs Benny recipes I could whip up to share with you guys, I immediately thought back to the time Jialing and I had our weekly “Fatness Friday” sessions in-between our classes in search of great food at cafés and/or restaurants that we have yet to explore. One Friday afternoon, we came across a Latin American café in Surry Hills (no, not Cafe con Leche hehe) I don’t actually remember the name of the place. Jailing had the Ropa Vieja sandwich while I had their Huevos Rancheros, and BOOM! A Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict dish came into mind.

Ropa Vieja Ingredients

PREP TIME 5-10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS* | SERVES 3

*Provided that you’ve made your Ropa Vieja ahead of time, i.e. the night before, if not then make sure you allocate yourself 3-4 hours altogether for this recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • Leftover Ropa Vieja
  • 3 English muffins, halved, slightly toasted, and buttered
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed**
  • 1 can (16oz) organic black beans, drained, blanched in hot water, and smashed
  • Chilli flakes, to garnish (optional)
  • Chopped spring onion, to garnish

For the tabasco hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tabasco sauce, less or more to adjust to your liking
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

**Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

METHOD

  1. If you haven’t pre-made your Ropa Vieja for this recipe, then start of with this before moving on to the other components of the dish. Allocate yourself about 3-4 hours prior.
  2. Tabasco Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  3. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  5. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tabasco sauce, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  7. Assembly: Spread the smashed avocado on the toasted and buttered English muffin half and top with the smashed black beans. Build up with the ropa vieja followed by the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of the tabasco hollandaise sauce and sprinkle some chilli flakes and chopped spring onions. Serve and enjoy!

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Next month I’ll start off with a whole new theme so stay tuned for that! To give you guys a clue, I’ll be switching up my upload schedule day to Mondays just for the month of June. Yes, the fact that I’ll be posting on Mondays does correlate to the theme! My loyal and long term followers may know, and to anyone who wants to take a stab and guess, comment down below!

Don’t forget that the overall theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen for 2018 is Breakfast Eats!

But before that, I have one more recipe that will go up tomorrow night so stay tuned for that to know what else you can do with leftover Ropa Vieja!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Hello Everyone! I hope it’s been a good week for y’all so far. So the original inspiration for this dish was actually drawn from a dish that I had back when I was still studying in Australia – a simple dish that is packed with beautiful flavours that sing in our mouth upon every bite. The pop of citrus that you get from the fresh king salmon, the explosion of salt from the caviar, the crunch from the broccolini, and the fluffiness of the blini to just soak up all the creaminess from the maltaise sauce combined with that liquid gold – pure heaven.

Devon Café's Eggs Blini
Devon Café’s Eggs Blini • buckwheat blini • poached eggs • citrus cured king salmon • salmon caviar • broccolini • maltaise sauce

If I remember clearly, the first time I had this dish was also the first time I had stepped into Devon Café – one fine Sunday(?) morning I believe. I was waiting outside with Jialing for – of course – Yvonne to show up for our ‘brunch’ meet up. While waiting, I saw one of my high school friend’s brother inside the café with a group of his friends. We both displayed shocked expressions on our faces as we made eye contact and realised each other’s familiar faces. Why? Well because firstly, I hadn’t seen him since I graduated highschool, which at that time would’ve been 3-4 years ago, and secondly, he doesn’t live Sydney, he was just travelling through at that time – what a small world amirite? Anyway we talked for a bit, but I let him enjoy his Eggs Blini (yes he was having that dish) while Jialing and I continued to wait for Yvonne. If not mistaken, we had planned to meet up at 10am, but Yvonne didn’t show up until quarter to one, or even at one maybe. I can’t actually remember, but I know she was super late which is typical. Not hating on her though because Jialing and I know her so well for this to be her thing *cheeky grin* We still waited for her, though I also don’t know what Jialing and I did for 3 hours of waiting. Another one of a brunch-turned-late-lunch sessions! The wait was all worth it though for that spectacular Eggs Blini dish!

The second time I had this dish wasn’t planned at all. The initial plan was to take, my then housemate’s friend to have the BEST sandwiches ever in Sydney, but I had totally forgotten that they were closed on Sundays! So I told him that I’d take him to the next best place on my list for our brunch date – which was of course, Devon Café! I had convinced him to order the Eggs Blini because he was being very indecisive. I told him that he would not regret it – and he didn’t! I could see it in his face as he savoured and devoured each bite he took.

Floris & his Eggs Blini
Remember guys, the camera ALWAYS eats first!

Alright, I apologise for the long-winded introduction, but nowadays it’s very rare that I have something to share with you guys, since I do nothing now but eat, sleep, work, repeat 6 times a week. My social life has gone down the drain, which is also my fault because I can’t be bothered to make the effort to go out. I’d much rather sit in front of the TV after work or just lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. Nevertheless! Here’s my take on Devon Café’s Eggs Blini:

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 3

*Includes time for the buckwheat blini batter to rise and rest.

INGREDIENTS

For the buckwheat blini (original recipe from The Spruce Eats)**

  • 1 cup milk warm
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 large free range egg, at room temperature, yolk and white separated
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 bunch purple kale, stemmed
  • Fresh salmon, cut into 15 equal sashimi slices***
  • Fresh salmon roe
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish
  • Micro-herbs, to garnish

**I recommend that you follow the link to learn more about what a blini is especially if this word is foreign to you.

***If you don’t possess the knife skills to do so, you can always pop by your local fish market to get lovely and readily fresh cuts of sashimi.

METHOD

  1. Buckwheat Blini: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl – the plain flour, buckwheat flour, salt, and instant yeast.
  2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warmed milk, mixing until smooth. Cover and let rise until the mixture has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Then, stir in the cooled melted butter and the egg yolk into the batter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter and cover to stand 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop quarter-size dollops of dough into pan without crowding. Cook for about 1 minute or until bubbles form and break. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds more. Cover blini and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Hollandaise Sauce: While the buckwheat blini batter is underway and left to stand, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  6. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  7. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  8. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tom yum paste, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  10. Kale: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add salt to taste and the kale. Blanch for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking, and drain. Take the blanched kale up by the handful and squeeze hard to expel excess water.
  11. Assembly: Lay the blini on the plate, and place the blanched kale leaves on top. Build up with the salmon sashimi slices, 5 per serving, and top with the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of hollandaise sauce and garnish with the salmon roe, about a teaspoon or two per serving, and micro-herbs. Squeeze with a bit of lemon juice before indulging. Enjoy!

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Salmon Sashimi Eggs Blini

Before I sign off, I just want to let you guys know that next week will be a little different as the recipe that I will be sharing will be in three parts. I will be posting part 1 of the recipe on Tuesday night, the main Eggs Benny recipe on Wednesday night, and another dish on what you can do with the leftovers! So get your mouths watering for three new recipes next week!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Fried Chicken with Salted Egg Sauce 'Eggs Benedict'

Fried Chicken with Salted Egg Sauce ‘Eggs Benedict’

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone has had a good week, and yes I am aware it is only a Sunday night, but I want to be able to share with you guys all the delicious dishes that I’ve whipped up in for the month of May. I do plan out all my recipes so that I know whether to cook 4 or 5 dishes depending how many Wednesdays there are in a month. Because I missed a post last month which is why everything got pushed forward by a week. So I plan to wrap up Eggs Benny month by posting on an extra day so that you’ll get to see everything I prepared for you guys!

Fried Chicken with Salted Egg Sauce 'Eggs Benedict'

Tonight I’ll be tackling a classic combination of fried chicken and waffles with a hit of a Bruneian favourite twist to it. Over the recent year there has been a craze to add salted egg sauce to pretty much every dish possible – salted egg sauce carbonara, salted egg sauce fried chicken, salted egg sauce nasi lemak, salted egg sauce kolo mee, and the list goes on as imaginable! Oh, and let’s not forget those highly overrated and overpriced Salted Egg Potato Chips from Irvins! At the hype of its time, I caved into these overpriced potato chips because they were indeed, as marketed, dangerously addictive. Thank goodness I’ve fallen out of the craze of it all – or have I really? I’m sure when the craving kicks in, I’ll be in trouble *cheeky grin*

The recipe I’ll be sharing with you guys is not something new, in Brunei that is – I guess? Please do share in the comments below if you’ve seen this dish, or something similar, outside of Brunei. Basically, the waffles substitute the classic English muffin while a salted duck egg sauce is made instead of a traditional hollandaise sauce that makes an Eggs Benny. The sweetness of the Belgian waffles pair perfectly with a savoury spicy crispy fried chicken and salty egg sauce – definitely an explosion of taste and texture in your mouth, exciting your palette. Sweet. Spice. Salty. Boom!

Fried Chicken with Salted Egg Sauce 'Eggs Benedict' Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR* | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3

*Includes the 1 hour marinating time for the chicken

INGREDIENTS

For the tom yum fried chicken

  • 3 pcs boneless whole leg chicken
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp cornflour
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp homemade tom yum paste
  • Dash of ground black pepper

For the salted duck egg sauce

  • 3 salted duck egg yolks, steamed and smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves (dried leaves can be used as well if not available)
  • 3-4 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 1 can (350ml) evaporated milk
  • 6 belgian waffles**
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • Micro-herbs, to garnish

**You can either make your own waffles or buy them in the store – I opted for the latter just because I don’t have a waffle maker to be able to make them myself.

METHOD

  1. Tom Yum Fried Chicken: Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sided bowl and mix the chicken around until well coated. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to marinate for at least an hour to let all the tom yum flavours infuse into the chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat up oil in a large frying pan and shallow fry the chicken until skin is crispy and golden (about 5-6 minutes per side).
  3. Remove from the heat and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Place the wings in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes to finish off in the oven.
  4. Salted Duck Egg Sauce: While your chicken is on the go, sauté the egg yolks, curry leaves and half of bird’s eye chillies until fragrant. Reserve some of the fried curry leaves to garnish your dish later. Add the evaporated milk and bring to a boil until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  6. Assembly: Top the waffles with the tom yum fried chicken followed by the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of salted duck egg sauce and garnish with the remaining chopped chillies, fried curry leaves, and micro-herbs. Serve and enjoy!

Fried Chicken with Salted Egg Sauce 'Eggs Benedict'

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone has had a good start to the week so far, and of course had a great weekend celebrating Mother’s Day! We celebrated by having a delicious brunch at Le Keris (again), as it is our new favourite go-to restaurant for fine dining quality food that’s super affordable. Other than that, the week hasn’t been all that exciting but at least I have the day off to look forward to tomorrow! It’s a public holiday for the first day of Ramadhan here in Brunei and I’m probably going to spend the day updating and planning Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and also whip up a storm in the kitchen – this is, if I don’t procrastinate or fall lazy by midday *cheeky grin*

Last week I mentioned how versatile one can get with a classic Eggs Benedict dish, and I also said that I will be covering the as many options as I can for this month of May. Tonight, I will be sharing an Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benny with everyone. I drew inspiration from Jenessa over on Jenessa’s Dinners so be sure to drop a visit to her site before continuing on with the recipe below!

Crispy firm tofu, topped with deliciously soft sautéed shimeji mushies in ginger, lemongrass, and garlic, accompanied with some Asian greens and pan-fried marinated eggplant in a sesame oil mixture, tied together with liquid gold and a tom yum hollandaise sauce – if this didn’t make your mouth water, then don’t talk to me. Of course, if you’re going to try this recipe out, you don’t have to restrict yourself to the ingredients I’ve chosen, or the type of cuisine that inspired this dish, pick your favourite veggies and cuisine to fuse together and I’m almost certain that you’ll come up with something just as (guilt-free) indulgent.

Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benedict Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 3 medium-size eggplant, sliced thinly lenghtwise
  • 3 pcs firm tofu
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 stalks lemongras, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 1 pack (250g) fresh shimeji mushrooms
  • Sesame oil
  • Thumb-sized fresh ginger, peeled and grates

For the tom yum hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp tom yum paste*
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

*Adjust to your level of spice likeness

METHOD

  1. Crispy Tofu: Line a plate with a paper towel and set the tofu on top. Set a small plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, pressing to absorb the liquid – about 15 minutes. Remove the weight and drain off the excess liquid. Pat the tofu dry with more paper towels.
  2. Heat about a quarter cup of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high until the oil shimmers. It should not smoke. If you see a wisp of smoke, lower the heat slightly and immediately proceed with adding the tofu. Fry until all sides are golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Once done, place on a cooling rack. Set aside.
  3. Vegetables: In the same frying pan, discard excess oil, leaving about a tablespoon. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass until fragrant. Transfer half of the sautéed mixture to a small bowl with sesame oil.
  4. Add the shimeji mushrooms to the frying pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with a touch of salt and ground black pepper to taste. Once done, set aside.
  5. Brush the sesame oil mixture on each side of the eggplant slices and place in the frying pan to cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. While the mushies and eggplants are going, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and cook the bok choy for about 2 minutes. Once done, transfer to an iced water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  7. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  8. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  9. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  10. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tom yum paste, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  12. Assembly: Top the crispy tofu with the sautéed mushies, followed by the poached egg. Place the bok choy to the side together with rolled slices of the eggplant. Drizzle the poached egg with a generous spoonful of the tom yum hollandaise sauce, with a bit of extra tom yum paste a top. Garnish with a pinch of toasted sesame seed. Serve and enjoy!

Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Asian-inspired Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Of course you can plate it up any way you want, like incorporating the bok choy and eggplant slices into the stack. It’s up to you on where you creative plating skills will take you!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone and welcome to an all new theme for the month of May on Amcarmen’s Kitchen! For the month of May, I will be sharing recipes and renditions of a classic go-to foolproof Eggs Benedict! The thing I love about a good ol’ Eggs Benedict dish is its versatility – if you like pork, then go for a Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict accompanied with a Sriracha hollandaise sauce *drools* Or maybe you prefer beef, chicken, lamb, or seafood? The options are endless! You can even take a vegetarian spin to this and go meatless if you prefer. Get creative with the classic hollandaise sauce that makes an Eggs Benedict what it is. Fuse cuisines and cultures.

All this will be covered on the blog this month so do stay tuned on how you can tackle the endless possibilities to make your Eggs Benny experience one to remember! Tonight, I will be starting off with a classic with a slight twist, and as the month progresses, we’ll delve deep into creative fusions that have been inspired from my café adventures back when I was still studying in Australia.

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Now forgive me if I’m giving out false information as I am relying on the world of Wikipedia here. I guess my teachers from high school and uni haven’t taught me well enough to not source from wiki *cheek grin* but anyway, though there seemed to be conflicting recounts on the exact origins of the Eggs Benedict, this one in particular speaks out to me:

Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, said that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise”. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast — “Talk of the Town”. The New Yorker. December 19, 1942.

Therefore, you could safely say (I guess) that the original main ingredients found in a classic Eggs Benedict dish are eggs, bacon, hollandaise sauce, and an English muffin – popularised by Oscar Tschirky. Okay well, when I said that it speaks out to me, I don’t mean in a sense that I’ve ever been hungover, but that this is what I imagined a morning-after hangover meal would be.

Bacon Eggs Benedict Ingredients

Before we dive in, there’s a slight twist to the classic recipe that I will be sharing with you guys tonight – and the twist is basically just a few extra ingredients to bulk it up and add some zing and tang to it. Tanginess from the balsamic reduction and a slight zing from the chimichurri sauce!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • 6 slices of streaky bacon
  • 3 English muffins, halved, slightly toasted, and butter
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed*
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • Chilli flakes, to top

*Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

For the chimichurri sauce (by Karina from Cafe Delites)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

For the balsamic reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

So I know that there are a heck load more ingredients mentioned in the list above than what is shown in the shot – apologies! If you want a classic Bacon Eggs Benny without the fancy schmancy reductions and sauces, then feel free to omit. They’re really just optional for an extra boost of flavours to an already flavoursome dish.

METHOD

  1. Chimichurri Sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil before using, but I think that the longer it sits, the better it tastes, so prepare this first before everything else to ensure this!
  2. Bacon and Tomatoes: Heat a medium size non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon  strips and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and fry in the bacon fat for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Set aside in an oven to keep warm before serving.
  3. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you have impatient tendencies like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess.
  4. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  5. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  6. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: Spread the smashed avocado on the toasted and buttered English muffin half and top with the crispy bacon strips, tomato slice, and then the poached egg. Top a generous amount of the hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with a bit of chilli flakes to pack a slight kick. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and chimichurri sauce around the plate. Serve and enjoy!

Bacon Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will actually consist of two recipes; one leading to the other that is. So I’ve been debating whether I should actually post them as two separate posts but then I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be able to do a proper write up (i.e. a story for Vidhya) if I had just posted the first recipe. She would’ve been so mad at me if I didn’t have a story for her! But I do have a good story to tell about the second, which I kind of already mentioned it to Vidhya briefly when I saw her in the kitchen on Monday afternoon.

Anyway, so what happened was that somewhere during the beginning-mid year, my friends and I went out for brunch on a fine weekend. I suggested that we head on over to John Smith Café in Waterloo specifically because I saw a whole lot of Instagram posts about this heavenly Pulled Pork Cronut with Hollandaise Sauce! I was seriously drooling all over my phone, so naturally I made it my mission to head on over and drag my lovely ladies Jialing and Yvonne along too. We planned to meet for brunch, and but of course brunch turned into late lunch as Jialing and I adjusted our timings to suit Yvonne. When we got to the café the waiter (possibly owner) showed us to the table and said that he had good news and bad news. I honestly forgot what the good news was, but the bad news was indeed BAD news. So bad that I just can’t even. They ran out of pulled pork. I was so devastated that I even told the guy serving us in a sort of like sad little girl voice “but I came specifically here for that!” To which he replied “I am very sorry about that, but here’s a cronut on me!”

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Oh well, at least I got a free cronut. But what I really wanted to say is that I really wanted to go back another time to devour this Pulled Pork Cronut of theirs – but sadly it’s already nearing the end of the year and I have no been back! So I thought to myself, why wait to go back if I can possibly just whip one up of my own at home? Minus the cronut that is; just the pulled pork, eggs benny style. I know it’s not the same thing, but who doesn’t love pulled pork eggs benny for a big Sunday breakfast/brunch/lunch?

First things first, the pulled pork. This recipe for beer-braised pulled pork is just so great. Why I have chosen to braise the pork in beer is because, well I’ve had a 6-pack of Corona lying in my closet for quite possibly 7 months now. For those of you who know me, I don’t drink beer. I just don’t like the taste of it. So why do I have beer in my  closet do you ask? I bought it for a prank video I filmed for my Major Design Project for an anti-binge drinking campaign. So instead of drinking it, or giving it away, I decided the only way I can ‘consume’ it would have to be incorporating it into my cooking – hence the beer-braised pulled pork. So technically you don’t have to follow this pulled pork recipe, you can find another one to use, or if you have one of your own up your sleeve then be my guest!

*Note: my casserole dish was a wee-bit too small for the meat I had. Oops! I didn’t have anything bigger so I ended up using only half of the vegetables and half a bottle of beer. Ideally you would use all! Also, you can find the original recipe for this beer-braised pork shoulder over on The Kitchn. I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and of course to suit my not-so-good oven that jut takes double (sometimes triple) the amount of time to cook anything. I also kept the fat on the pork shoulder – that’s where the goodness is!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 HOURS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg pork shoulder
  • 355ml beer of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground rock salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Combine the brown sugar, cumin powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork with the spice mixture and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear and brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer to the casserole dish. Sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Then add in the tomatoes and cook until soft before adding the carrots and celery. Scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing to bring up any browned bits.Transfer the vegetables to the casserole dish with the pork.
  3. Pour the beer over the meat and vegetables and cover. Cook in the oven for 5 hours, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender. Once done, transfer the pork to a plate and shred using a fork.
  4. Strain juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the flour in and stir continuously to get rid of any lumps. This will be your gravy to go with your pulled pork eggs benny.

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork


Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

This is where shit gets real. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce? Yes please! Also, please see the original ideas that I got form Pineapple & Coconut (basically where I got the idea to use English Muffins and Sriracha Hollandaise sauce for this recipe).

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

For the Eggs Benny

  • 1 cup pulled pork
  • 3 tbsp pulled pork gravy
  • 2 English muffins, lightly toasted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • Handful of snow pea shoots
  • Pinch of paprika

For the Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 tbsp sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you want it)
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce: Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  4. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, sriracha sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
  6. Assembly: Combine the pulled pork and gravy in a small bowl. Spread each English muffin with mashed avocado and top with the pulled pork. Place the poached egg on each and top with a generous amount of sriracha hollandaise sauce. Crack a a little pepper on top, sprinkle with a bit of paprika, and decorate with  snow pea shoots. Serve immediately!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Rustic Pearl

Rustic Pearl

Hello Everyone! Here is another brunch turned late lunch review of this lovely café in Surry Hills that my housemate/friend recommended for a Sunday Brunch treat before the beginning of Semester 2 (last semester for me, but many more semesters for her). We’ve also been planning this brunch outing for a while now as our friend Daniel was on a month-long, or even more, holiday and we wanted to have our first brunch-turned-late-lunch get together. I also invited along my new housemate Lydia for our delicious eats.

I keep saying brunch-turned-late-lunch, and for those of you who have read my previous post, I am very particular about the timing when it comes to ‘brunch’ and ‘lunch’. Well hats off to Marissa for wanted to get to Rustic Pearl at 10am, at least she understood the concept of time when it comes to brunch, but what happened was that we ended up leaving a little bit later than planned. We only left home at about 10:45AM and probably reached the place at around 11:15AM. At least it wasn’t quite lunch yet, but nearly pushing it. The place was hectic though, we had to wait in line for a table and I was told by one of the waiters that it would be about a 45-minute to an hour wait. I was just like OH MY GOD, but we waited anyway.

They were pretty spot on with the predicted waiting time as I didn’t get a call for a free table until about an hour later. By the time we sat down and ordered it was probably already quarter to one, and food probably came out about another 15-20 minutes later. Man I was starving because as usual I skipped out on breakfast thinking that I would be having brunch. I think from the past two ‘brunch’ outings I have learnt my lesson – that I will NEVER be able to actually have brunch at the time I perceive it to be at, and that I should ALWAYS have breakfast before going out for a brunch-turned-late-lunch outing.

But enough babble, I shall get onto what I loved about Rustic Pearl. Now, I’m not one to order drinks at cafés just because it usually fills me up a bit even before the food arrives. But Marissa told me that they have some pretty awesome smoothies, and other drinks of course on their menu – and she was right! It was to die for! I had something called a Chocomolé which was basically Avocado and Chocolate, something I’ve never had before, combined that is, and I was just blown away by how amazing it tasted. The other smoothies were delicious as well (yes, we all doubled dipped and shared a sip from each drink that we ordered amongst the four of us).

Rustic Pearl - Avocado SmoothieAvocado Smoothie topped with pistachio & pomegranate seeds ($7.00)

Rustic Pearl - Banana Cinnamon SmoothieBanana Cinnamon Smoothie ($7.00)

Rustic Pearl - Chocomolé SmoothieChocomolé Smoothie with avocado, cocoa & honey, topped with pistachio & pomegranate seeds ($7.00)

Rustic Pearl - 'Yum Yeshil' (dairy free) Blended Fruit Juice‘Yum Yeshil’ (dairy free) Blended Fruit Juice with spirulina, topped with seeds, goji berries & bee pollen ($7.00)

Daniel wasn’t too fond of this drink. I only had a little sip so I couldn’t really judge the taste of it based on that. But this was the only smoothie that was dairy-free which is why he ordered it.

Now onto the food, we of course decided to order something different so that we could all each have at least one bite from everyones plate. The food was amazing! I could not fault the dishes at all, and neither could my friends.

Rustic Pearl - Breakfast Special: Smoked Wagyu Omelette
Breakfast Special: Smoked Wagyu Omelette with buffalo mozzarella, spinach, skordalia, bacon dust, tomato relish & toast ($17.00)

Marissa’s dish; she absolutely loved about the omelette was silky smooth and juicy. She is not a big fan of cherry tomatoes, but with this dish in particular, she almost forgot that she ate them! It was that good. She said that it looked a little bit small on the plate (in comparison to our dishes) but it was filling enough for her.

Rustic Pearl - Lunch Special: Fish of the Day (Swordfish)
Lunch Special: Fish of the Day (Swordfish) with spinach, tomato concasse, capers, avocado, cucumber & witlof, dressed with apple vinaigrette ($19.50)

Daniel’s dish; he absolutely loved how his fish was cooked to perfection. Yummy and juicy. He also loved his greens so this was the perfect, healthy dish for him.

Rustic Pearl - LUNCH for the soul: Char grilled Mediterranean Lamb Burger
LUNCH for the soul: Char grilled Mediterranean Lamb Burger with red onion jam, smoky eggplant purée, fresh tomato, cos lettuce & yoghurt dressing ($18.00)

Lydia’s dish; another stellar dish that did not upset. The meat patty was cooked to perfection – moist and juicy.

Rustic Pearl - BREAKFAST for the soul: Bosphorus Benedict
BREAKFAST for the soul: Bosphorus Benedict, char grilled bay lobster flesh, crushed avocado & 2 poached organic eggs, topped with homemade hollandaise, fresh chives, coriander & chilli ($24.00)

In my opinion, the best dish of the 4 (just because it was mine and I got to eat most of it) no but seriously, this dish was just so delicious. Runny egg yolk with char grilled lobster, who would’ve thought? Another stellar dish to my list of mind-blowing eggs benny (my top one is still Devon’s Eggs Blini – I will do a review on them when I have the chance to go back with more friends that that I have an array of dishes to show and write about and not just the one).

Now this is one worth mentioning (but hopefully no one from the café will see this, just incase it was a mistake and they will get in trouble with this), however I assume that it was intentional and I will state why… So, when the bill came, it was folded in half, had the total amount written on the back of the order sheet, and had a ‘Thank You!’ note written just below it. Now of course because we all knew that we needed to split the bill according to what we ordered, I opened the bill to see that we were undercharged in two of the dishes. Each dish, except Daniel’s was $17. Which meant that Lydia’s Lamb Burger was undercharged by $1 and my lobster Eggs Benny was undercharged by $7… Now being a nice and honest person, I was actually going to ask them if they had made a mistake on the bill, because I find being undercharged $7 is quite significant.

But instead I didn’t – not because I wanted to cheat but because I analysed they way the bill was given to us. It was folded in half, the total was written on the back of the order sheet, and I’m pretty sure that if they had totalled it, they would’ve spotted the mistake on the bill. Also, the two dishes that were undercharged came from their regular menu so I’m pretty sure they have been serving the dishes for a while and they would’ve remembered how much it costed. So I just wondered… Why? I probably should’ve asked why we were undercharged so that I at least knew why… A part of me also thought that it might be because we waited just a little bit over an hour for a table? Just maybe.

Nonetheless, it was a great day of warmth and sunshine (off for it is the middle of ‘winter’ here down under), laughs shared between old and new friends accompanied by delicious drinks and lip-smacking food. A must visit café for those in the Sydney region!

Rustic Pearl
415 Crown Street
Surry Hills, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

– Ally xx