Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

Hello Everyone! Oh wow – two words in and I’m already having a writer’s block! I literally just spent the last 20 minutes thinking about what to write after ‘Hello Everyone!’ In all honesty, there are definitely A LOT of things I can talk about to you guys, but the timing isn’t just quite right yet. You’ll probably only hear about everything that I have to share in September – is it worth the wait? Well maybe it’s more just for me as exciting things are about to unfold, maybe for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, but definitely on my personal life and adventures ahead!

So aside from that thing that I can’t tell you guys just yet, there’s actually nothing I can touch on at this moment and just realising what a boring week/weekend I had. Okay, just as I typed weekend out, I just remembered that it wasn’t all that boring at all. I met up with a couple of friends on Friday night to celebrate a birthday. The night was great – the usual good food, good company cliché but I thought that my food could have been a lot better to be honest. And of course, the cherry atop the cake was that of all places and of all times, my Boss had to have dinner at the same place, at the same time, and sit directly opposite the direction I was facing. Good times. Can’t escape. I remember one of my friends saying “Oh sh*t it’s my colleague” as he pointed out to my manager’s (my Boss’ daughter) husband, to which I responded to him “Oh sh*t it’s my Boss and his WHOLE family!” *insert cold sweat emoji* On Sunday night I met up with more friends at a friend’s open house for Raya which equated to more laughs and definitely great home-cooked food! The night ended young for me as I was for some reason immensely exhausted that day.

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

All that side and diving right into tonight’s recipe – I came across the original recipe by Willow over on Will Cook For Friends. I especially loved how she described that this was one of those ‘fluke recipes that came to [her] out of nowhere’ and I’m sure all foodies, home cooks, chefs, and probably anyone really has had one to these revelations(?) is this the correct word to use? Anyway, this is how I come up with so many different variations of stir-fries and weird combinations of food pairings (that actually do surprisingly work, but probably not for Gordon Ramsay) during my university days.

We’ve all stared into the black hole that is our fridge, as Willow describes:

Me: “Man, I really need to go shopping.”
Eggs: “We’re here! Pick us, pick us!”
Me: “I don’t want eggs… unless they were really, really awesome eggs!”
Sweet potato that’s been sitting on my counter for two weeks: “AHEM. I’ve got you covered.”

And so behold these wickedly delicious gluten-free and paleo Baked Sweet Potato Boats for a filling weekend (or even week day if you have the time) brekkie for champs!

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 80-95 MINS* | SERVES 2**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.

**Half of a sweet potato with an egg in it for breakfast is already pretty filling, but if you’re serving these to particular bunch of super hungry people, then you might want to plan on a whole potato and two eggs per person. The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, and so on.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 very large orange sweet potato, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 slices of bacon strips
  • Fresh chopped spring onions, for garnish
  • Ground sea salt and black peppercorns, to taste
  • Tabasco, Sriracha, or any other hot sauce, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4).
  2. Place the washed and dried sweet potato (whole) in a baking dish and into the oven. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until tender as time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over high heat and cook bacon to your liking***. Remove from the pan once done and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off excess grease. Set aside.
  4. Once done, remove the sweet potato from the oven and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a pairing knife, carefully carve out a well in the center of each half, about as big as you think you’ll need for the size of your eggs. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and pour into the carved well. Season with a touch of salt and pepper.
  5. Place the potato halves back into the baking dish, resting them against the side of the pan if needed to keep them from tipping and spilling any egg. Return to the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. I like my whites cooked with an oozy yolk!
  6. Remove from the oven and crumble the bacon over the top. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, and a bit of freshly chopped spring onion to garnish. Enjoy!

***There are many ways in which we all prefer to cook our bacon, and there is no wrong way of doing so. You can do this in a pan on the stove like how I’ve done, or bake it in the oven. To bake the bacon, spread the bacon strips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a sheet of foil for easier cleanup.

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 Ways)

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Hello Everyone! Firstly, I would like to apologise for getting this post up TWO days late (compensating by posting earlier in the day today). I’ve been hibernating for the past few days after mentally and physically tiring days and nights of work. I don’t want to get into a long winded description of why since I’m not a 100% in the mood to write, so I’ll just hop on forward to tonight’s recipe. Hopefully I’ll be in a better mood to write next week. Apologies once again! It’s nothing serious by that way, it just that while I’m writing this, my mind seems to doze off and my eyelids just keep getting heavier and heavier, making it hard for me to concentrate even the slightest bit.

But of course I won’t just leave you guys with a less than mediocre introduction – it is a new month after all on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and I have yet to introduce to you the theme for this month! So just a little bit of inside information, probably about a year ago, I saw these beautifully colourful sweet potato toasts in a Coles Magazine spread and instantly knew I had to give these a go. Fast forward a year (or more) later, and I’ve finally decided to whip up Three Savoury Sweet Potato Toasts for you. They are definitely not as aesthetically pleasing as those you’d find on Pinterest though so don’t hate it these toasts look… Underwhelming. I think my toppings were WAY too massive for the potato slices I had, hence an imbalance proportions. I don’t know – the photographs just look weird to me *insert cold sweat emoji*.

So yes, as you can already see, I’m a bit late on the then hot and trendy sweet potato toasts, but that won’t stop me from sharing them with you guys. Sweet potato toast is basically toast, but without the toast. Skeptics question how can it be called toast without the actual toast? Well, if you’re gluten-free, want a little more fiber in your diet, or are tired of bread for toast, then sweet potatoes are a great option as a substitute. In addition, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A in our body – just like carrots and other orange-coloured fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A is important for hair, skin, nails, vision, and plays a key role in immune function.

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts (3 Ways)

Preparing your Sweet Potato Toasts

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS* | MAKES 5 SLICES**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your sweet potato slices.
**Or how-ever-so-many slices you can get from a single sweet potato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange sweet potato, wash and dried

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Trim both ends from the sweet potato using a knife and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs using a knife or mandolin slicer.
  3. Arrange the slabs in a single layer on the wire rack and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not fully cooked.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool on wire rack completely before transferring to a storage container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When it’s go-time simply add the desired number of slices to your toaster and toast away. Setting it on the highest setting takes only one toasting cycle to get them how I like them (warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges). Just be wary that yours may need more or less depending on the toaster that you are using. Adjust to your liking!

Notes/Tips:

    • Look for sweet potatoes that are relatively shaped like a tube so that they’re easier to slice.
    • Don’t remove the skin because fibre in it is good and it helps the slices hold up better during storage.
    • Using a mandolin slicer gives you uniform slices of sweet potatoes, and is easier and safer than using a big knife.
    • Allow them to cool completely after baking before stacking them in a container or they’ll get sweaty and will definitely take longer to toast when you’re ready to eat them.

Now the fun starts – you get to add toppings! The possibilities are pretty much endless but these three are my absolute favourite combinations for a yummy start to my day!


Avocado, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Avocado, Beetroot & Goats Cheese

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Avocado slices
  • Beetroot slices
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns
  • Goats cheese, crumbled
  • Lemon zest
  • Spring onion, chopped
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Smashed Avo, Crispy Bacon & Poached Egg

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Smashed Avo, Crispy Bacon & Poached Egg

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Bacon slices
  • Balsamic reduction
  • Poached egg
  • Smashed avocado
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Crispy Bacon: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)!
  4. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  5. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Beet & Salt-cured Salmon

Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts: Beet & Salt-cured Salmon

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

***Or store-bought smoked salmon will do just fine as well.

METHOD

  1. Crispy Salmon Skin: Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly brush olive oil and sprinkle some salt on both sides of the salmon skin. Place the salmon skin, shiny side up, on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Allow the salmon skin to cool before eating.
  2. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  3. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

And there you have it! Three simple Savoury Sweet Potato Toasts for a great fix of a seriously nutrient-packed brekkie! What do you think about sweet potato toast? Have you tried it for yourself, and if you have what did you think?

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Hello Everyone! You guys must be thinking that I’m on a roll here! Three consecutive recipes?! Don’t get used to it because it’s just for this one time to get everything wrapped up for this month so that I can start a new theme for the month of June! I did mention in a couple of posts back that for the month of June, I’ll be switching up my upload schedule day to Mondays, and the reason does indeed correlate to the theme. I’ll keep everyone on their toes for a while longer and come Monday, all will be revealed!

I had lots of fun last night a my friend’s place for sungkai (iftar) and of course to celebrate her daughter turning 1! Tonight’s post is a little later than usual this time around because I literally just came back from another night out for a sungkai catch up dinner with friends. I’ve probably mentioned this before in a post somewhere on this blog, but I’ll mention it again just to clear things up – I’m not a Muslim. I don’t practice ramadhan which then subsequently means that I don’t have to break fast for iftar. Yes I was born and bred in a Muslim country, and even though I have been exposed to these practices for practically my whole life, I wasn’t born into the religion (hint on the ‘Third Culture Foodie’!).

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is sort of another way you can use leftover Ropa Vieja to make similar, but not so Eggs Benny dish. Okay, I mentioned in yesterday’s post about this Latin American café that Jialing and I found during one of our “Fatness Fridays” adventures. While I thought back to this day, I was totally convinced that the Huevos Rancheros dish that I had was a marriage of it and the Ropa Vieja sandwich that Jialing had, but it wasn’t until I scrolled through hundreds of Instagram photos on my feed to recall the dishes to find out that they were two separate things.

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

In my last post I said that a Ropa Vieja Eggs Benny came into mind – which it did, but that wasn’t they way I had initially imagined it. In fact, this Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros was how I pictured the ‘Eggs Benny’ dish to look, but in the end I decided to reimagine it just because this didn’t really have the feel of an Eggs Benny dish. However, I didn’t want this dish to end up in my archive of ‘will never get around to posting’ but since this dish is sort of related to the last two I posted, I thought I’d share the recipe with you! I mean, it’s essentially, well practically identical to the last recipe, just a few minor differences, especially with the plating.

Huevos Rancheros, or in English “rancher’s eggs”, is a traditional breakfast dish served as a mid-morning fare on rural Mexican farms – hence its name. The dish is made up of fried eggs that is served atop a lightly fried tortilla (traditionally corn, but other adaptations have used wheat tortillas instead), with a tomato-chilli sauce, refried beans, and slices of avocado or guacamole. You could say that my adaptation to marry Ropa Vieja and Huevos Rancheros together is an amped up version of a humble and traditional Huevos Rancheros brekkie.

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros Ingredients
Ignore the other ingredients photographed but not mentioned below – the other ingredients are of the ropa vieja dish to accompany this dish!

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

  • Leftover Ropa Vieja
  • 3 super soft flour tortilla wraps
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and halved**
  • 1 can (16oz) organic black beans, drained, blanched in hot water, and smashed
  • Chopped spring onions, to garnish
  • Tabasco sauce, 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. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan. Crack the egg in and fry until the edges start to brown. I personally like my sunny-side up eggs this way – the browned edges gives a nice nutty flavour to the whites which is total yum! Repeat for the remaining eggs.
  3. In a medium-sized non-stick frying pan, lightly heat the tortilla wraps until they start to slightly brown. Remove from the pan and repeat for the remaining wraps.
  4. Place the tortilla wrap on a plate and top with the smashed black beans. Make a nest in the middle and top with the ropa vieja, sunny-side up egg, and halved avocado to the side. Drizzle a bit of tabasco sauce over and sprinkle some chopped spring onions. Serve and enjoy!

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Tune in on Monday for an all new theme and a bunch of yummy recipes!

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

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

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a much better than weekend than I did! I say this because I got called to work on Sunday for an event; it was towards the end of a Saturday work day and I was excitedly looking forward to a do-nothing Sunday when I got a text from my supervisor asking if I was free to work and help out with an event. I sighed when I saw the message, and was tempted to say “no I’m not free because it’s Sunday”. I probably would’ve gotten an earful on the Monday though, so being the ever so star employee (no not really) that I am, I said “yes I’m free”. So there went my only day off. I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend though for the long weekend; 3 days off (including Sunday) and a short start to next week! I’ll definitely be using this time to experiment in the kitchen.

Anyway, that aside, the recipe that I will be sharing with everyone tonight is a classic favourite in the Geronimo household. Ever since I was a little kid, this dish will always somehow make it’s way to the table either for a delicious lunch, or a warm hearty dinner. Sarciado (sar-shee-ah-doh) is a fish dish from the Philippines that predominantly features tomatoes and eggs. The name sarciado in the Tagalog language means cooked with a thick sauce where the word “sarsa” is derived from the Spanish word “salsa” meaning sauce.

It is essentially a combination of two separate dishes: “piniritong isda”(fried fish), and a tomato-scrambled eggs “sarsa” sautéd in a flavour combination of garlic, onions, ginger, and fresh tomatoes. Traditionally, the dish was developed as a way to make leftover fried fish into a whole new dish that is both appetising and hearty. It may seem strange to put fish and eggs together, but trust me, they do go very well together. Having said this though, the dish does not solely rest its fate on leftover fried fish – there’s not stopping you to whip up this dish using a freshly fried fish of any kind really – mackerel, snapper, grouper, or even tilapia works well. For the recipe that I will be sharing tonight, I have chosen to fry up some beautiful fresh saltwater tilapia.

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 whole tilapia (about 500g each), gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 cup fish stock*
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 small brown onion, halved and then sliced thinly
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Turmeric powder
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

*I have a lot of fish heads and bones left over from the previous two recipes which can be found here and here, so I decided to drop them into a pot of water together with salt, garlic cloves, whole black peppercorns, ginger slices, and some dried bay leaves. Left to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour and you’ve got yourself a lovely fish broth. Alternatively you can just use water instead of fish stock.

METHOD

  1. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the tilapia fish with ground sea salt, pepper, and rub the turmeric powder into the fish. Fry the fish until golden and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes and then flip the fish over and cook the other side for a further 3-4 minutes. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. (If you are using leftover fish, skip this part and move on to step 2).
  2. Remove some of the oil from the large frying pan, leaving about a tablespoon behind. Bring the heat down to medium and sauté the ginger and minced garlic together until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute. Add the onions in and cook until soft, a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, toss and leave to cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 2-3 minutes. Once soft, add the fish stock (or water) and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the sauce is brought to a simmer. Season with a bit of fish sauce, adjust to your liking, and ground black pepper.
  4. Place the fish in the pan and cover it with the sauce while leaving it to braise (quickly), about 5 minutes. Pour the egg into the sauce and quickly mix until well combined. Turn the heat off before the egg completely solidifies.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and top with some chopped spring onions (unlike me where I completely forgot, though optional). Serve immediately with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Hello Everyone! I’ve got another french toast recipe with a twist for you again today, but this time there will be no added milo to it. Instead we’re gonna crust our classic french toast with some cornflakes to give it that extra added crunch to an already soggy bread. I came across this idea a couple of months ago back in July when Symmetry Breakfast went viral. They posted a photo of some cornflake-crusted french toast and when I planned for Breakfast/Brunch Month for October, I knew I had to tackle a recipe for that!

I absolutely love their work! If you have been following my Instagram during that month, you would’ve seen that Jialing and I (and Edison) hopped on the #symmetrybreakfast bandwagon for the last remaining week that I was in Sydney. Actually, I might just share the photographs here since I don’t know if I will be posting them on the blog anytime other than now I guess (click on the individual images to view a larger version of them):

Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider
Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

L-R: Homemade Charred Eggplant & Baby Octopus Shakshuka with Lebanese Bread; Blueberry & Passionfruit Cider | French Crêpes with a Honeyed Citrus Creamcheese Filling topped with a Mixed Berry Compte; Orange Sunrise Cocktail | Pea and Ham Soup with Stone-baked Pane di Casa and Strawberry & Lime Cider Potato Hash Crusted Breakfast Quiche with Caramelised Onion, Chorizo, Spinach, and Sunnyside Up Egg with Mixed Leaf Salad and Garlic Butter Bread Beer, Bacon, and Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”) with Pane di Casa; Russian Earl Grey Tea Fancy Filipino Hotsilog Brekky with Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Brekky Mocktails

I know, they’re not quite as symmetrical as the guys from Symmetry Breakfast (we tried to be creative with our symmetry/asymmetry lines), but it still gained a lot of views, likes (especially from Symmetry Breakfast), and new followers! Anyway, yes I realise that I have gone on a bit of a tangent, but I’m pretty sure you enjoyed those photographs (for those who have not seen them that is). So let’s get down to business shall we and get a move on to today’s recipe:

Cornflake-crusted French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of cornflakes, crushed
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Optional:

  • Green Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  1. Whisk the eggs together with the milk, sugar, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
  2. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long. The dip the soaked sliced bread into the cornflake crumbs and coat.
  3. Place the bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  5. Top with your favourite toppings, and/or serve with your choice of fruits for a fresh salad on the side. Enjoy!

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

Cornflake-crusted French Toast

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already October! Where did September go?! So I’m sure all of you are aware that a new month calls for a new theme on the blog for the month of October! Those of you who know me, I am a breakfast/brunch person. I mean, I sometimes skip breakfast when the mornings just get a little too hectic for me; that was during my first few years at uni, but towards the end, I made it a habit to pack my breakfast to uni and/or work and eat it there.

I remember my internship days at Hello Social where I’d always be rushing out in the mornings to catch my bus, which therefore meant that I didn’t have time to sit down and enjoy my breakfast. That was where Muffin Making Mondays with Jialing came in, and when I had run out of muffins to take to work (because we only bake fortnightly), I would pack some fruits and even sometimes a small tupperware of cinnamon toast cereal with one of those small drink cartons of milk. When I’d get to the office, I’d pour the milk over my cereal and enjoy breakfast at my table. There was a time where one of the managers asked me what I was having for breakfast and the thought of me bringing a small carton of milk made her laugh so hard. I told her it was practical 😛 Another time when I was also having cereal, my other manager asked if what I was having was shareable; to his dismay, cereal ain’t shareable! He asked what kind of cereal I brought in and I said cinnamon toast. The other manager said that that was so American of me.

Anyway, I mean, if you didn’t already gather what this month’s theme is from my little story, yes it’s breakfast and brunch month on the blog! For the month of October I will be sharing with you some of my favourite breakfast/brunch recipes! I’ll be kicking off tonight’s post with a dish that I threw together when I was still living in Sydney. I was inspired by a post that I saw on Instagram by Raw Pawpaw Café in Brisbane. I was inspired by their plating of one of their dishes, and decided to plate it up with a few of my favourite ingredients for breakfast. I think most of the preparation of the ingredients in this dish is pretty straight forward, and you can get creative yourself by mixing up the ingredients a bit by adding your own favourite breakfast ingredients!

Breakfast Plate Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-22 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 slices of soy & linseed bread, toasted
  • 2 bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 chorizo sausage, thick slices
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Bunch of grape vine tomatoes
  • Butter, for spreading
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Handful of cup mushrooms, sliced
  • Handful of loose baby spinach leaves
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, marinate the avocado chunks with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and toss the grape vine tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven fro about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes have gone soft. Turn the temperature down to about 80-90C just to keep them warm before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large grill pan over medium high and cook the bacon rashers and chorizo slices, about 3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  4. Add your sliced mushrooms to the same grill pan and cook until browned and softened, about 4-5 minutes altogether. Turn the heat off and transfer to the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
  5. Place the eggs in a small saucepan, covering the eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and once boiling, reduce the heat down to medium. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer to the egg carton.
  6. Plate up accordingly and enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate

Just a little side note here before I end tonight’s post – I wanted to choose an egg carton that wasn’t grey just so that it doesn’t look dull. I must say it was hard choosing eggs based on the colour carton they come in because most of the non-grey ones were caged eggs (yes, I don’t buy caged eggs). Good thing these eggs that came in the blue carton were free range, and the blue really suited the plating and contrasted the food colours nicely.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Hello Everyone! I’m back tonight with a recipe for you guys. So I did a little bit of reading on what Nasi Lemak actually translates to – I knew “Nasi” (pronounced nah-see) meant rice, but I was not sure what “Lemak” (pronounced leh-mahk) meant. Lemak apparently, if directly translated means “fat” and therefore Nasi Lemak means “fat rice”, but in the cooking context, lemak means enriched, and in this case, rice enriched with coconut milk.

The truth is, no one really know where the dish originated from as coconut rice is common in many other South-east Asian cultures such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Apparently there is an old folklore story from a village just south of the country’s state, Kuala Lumpur, where a village girl accidentally spilled a cup of coconut milk in a pot of rice while she was helping her mother cook. Though her mother was enraged, she ended up liking the taste of the rice with coconut milk, and hence the birth of Nasi Lemak.

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Traditionally, the two elements that make up this dish are the rice of course, and the spicy sambal (a chilli-based sauce) that either has anchovies or prawns in it accompanying the rice. Sliced cucumbers, half a hard-boiled egg, and roasted peanuts are also essential condiments found in this dish. Nowadays, many variations of accompaniments are served with the dish, such as chicken, beef or prawn curry, and even fried chicken. It is then wrapped and packed in a banana tree leaf as this gives an added fragrance. Restaurants nowadays serve up a modernised version on a plate with all the trimmings.

Back home in Brunei, Nasi Lemak was practically on every menu in every restaurant. They were sold in almost every stall at the Gadong Pasar Malam (Night Market) and even on the side of the streets if I’m not mistaken. All ranging between $1.00 to $3.00, probably a little bit more in restaurant, but surely no more than $5.00. I remember I went to Mamak in Chinatown somewhere in the middle of last year to meet up with Sam’s friends (now my friends too) from the Netherlands. I had a sudden crave for Roti Kosong and Nasi Lemak, but it was so difficult to order it. I think I may have complained about this place before in terms of price comparisons to back home, and I am about to do it again. Their Nasi Lemak here was $9.00, and if you wanted a curry or fried chicken to go with it, it was another $3.00 extra, $4.00 if you wanted seafood. After that, never getting Nasi Lemak here ever again. Thus I decided to give homemade Nasi Lemak a go! Now, I may have steered away from ‘traditional’ by using pre-made sambal, but it tasted pretty good!

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) Ingredients

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) Ingredients

Here is where you can get quite creative yourself. As I’ve mentioned before, the rice and the sambal is essential. The other components are basically up to you. I paired my Nasi Lemak with Sambal Kangkung, which is basically water spinach stir fried in the chilli-based sauce with garlic and onions, and a piece of fried chicken. You can whip up your own curry with your choice of meat or vegetables to accompany this dish.

Ayam Goreng Ingredients

Kang Kong Belacan Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the coconut rice

  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 pandan (screwpine) leaves, tie them into a knot as shown above
  • 1 small can (170ml) coconut milk

For the fried chicken

  • 4 pcs chicken thigh cutlets, skin-on, washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper

For the sambal kangkung

  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Handfull of small-sized ikan bilis (dried anchovies), fried
  • Handfull of peanuts, roasted
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Banana leaf

METHOD

  1. First things first, combine all the marinade ingredients for the fried chicken in a large bowl. Mix the chicken around until well coated in the batter. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside to marinade for 1 hour.
  2. Coconut Rice: Just like making steamed rice, rinse your rice and drain. Add the coconut milk, a pinch of salt, and water. Add the pandan leaves into the rice and cook your rice. Once done, transfer to a serving dish lined with a banana leaf together with the other condiments.
  3. Fried Chicken: Preheat oven to 180C. Heat up oil in a large frying pan an working in batches, shallow dry the chicken until skin is crispy and golden (about 4-5 minutes per side). 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. Sambal Kangkung: Heat oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and 1 of the sliced bird’s eye chilli and sauté until golden brown. Add in the onions and sauté until soft. Bring the heat down to low and then add in the sambal belacan, cooking the belacan over high heat will cause it to spit all over the stovetop and we don’t want to have a messy cooking area. Cover if needed. Sauté the belacan until fragrant.
  5. Add the the kangkung leaves, stems and a little bit of water to dilute the belacan you think can’t handle the heat. Cover until the leaves start to wilt. Toss around the belacan to coat the leaves and stems evenly (kangkung literally takes only a minute to cook). Serve together with your coconut rice and fried chicken, and top with fresh red chillies.

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com