Short of blackened and burnt, I’ve learned from my many Auguest disasters that you can almost always save a dish on the brink of catastrophe! Just get creative, do a quick Google search, or go with your gut. I’m also a big believer of using up what you have, even if it means not quite following the recipe to a T (shoutout to anyone with random vegetable halves rotting away in their fridge!). In the same vein, ingredients can always go further than you think. Simmer bones for a flavoursome broth, that, when combined with your salvaged refrigerator produce, equals soup for supper! It’s kinder on your wallet and better for the environment.
So before we get started, I would like to explain that were it not for a HIGHLY misleading label at my local supermarket, this dish would have been much more on-theme (surely I can’t be the only one who didn’t know that ‘Purple Sweet Potato’ is in fact WHITE once peeled??). Also. Having never actually cooked with beetroot before, I was woefully unaware of how shockingly long it takes to roast in the oven, thereby obliterating whatever small amount of purple pigmentation my poor adjacent sweet potato had to begin with.
Anyway. Just your standard Auguest post featuring Food Fiascos by Jialing.
Actually, though, apart from the frustrating lack of purple, I consider this to be one of my standout Auguest recipes, as it makes for a pretty fab morning meal. Feel free to skip the pomegranate if unavailable (if we’re being completely honest, that was mainly brought onboard in an effort to edge our way closer to the violet spectrum, though it did turn out to be a nice addition). I do highly recommend the candied walnuts and feta, though!
This dish comes together with fairly minimal effort, despite the lengthy roast-time. Plus, it’s warm and carb-y – the good kind of carbs, I’m told! – making it the perfect cure for your winter morning blues. P.S. keep reading until the end of the recipe for a sneaky vegan plot-twist #Auguest2016
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME 2 HRS 30 MINS| SERVES 4-6
For the roasted vegetables
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
3 beetroots, cut into 2cm cubes
3 red onions, cut into wedges
1 purple sweet potato, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp flaky sea salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
For the candied walnuts
1 cup walnut halves
2 tbsp maple syrup
For the balsamic glaze
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
50g baby rocket leaves
1 cup feta, crumbled
1 pomegranate (arils only)
Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan-forced), and line a baking tray with parchment (this is for the walnuts) plus a large roasting tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil (this is for the vegetables).
First prepare the candied walnuts. Toss the walnuts with the 2 tbsp maple syrup until evenly coated. Spread out over your lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes (in the meantime you can begin to prepare your vegetables), then take out and turn pieces over to ensure even cooking. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, then transfer from parchment onto a plate for cooling.
To prepare the roasted vegetables, first combine the 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp thyme in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork until emulsified.
In a large bowl, toss the beetroot, red onion, and sweet potato with the balsamic mixture until evenly coated. Transfer to a roasting tray and season generously with pepper and 1 tsp flaky sea salt. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, then turn the vegetables to make sure they cook evenly, and return to the oven for another 1 hour.
In the last 15 minutes or so of roasting, you can start to arrange your rocket leaves on a serving dish, and prepare the balsamic glaze by heating the 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup over low heat until it begins to bubble (about 2-5 minutes). Remove from heat after 10 seconds and let cool slightly (it will thicken as it cools).
Arrange roasted vegetables on top of the rocket leaves, and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate arils. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, serve, and enjoy!
To make it vegan, simply omit the feta (or use a plant-based substitute).
To make this dish even better (but less vegan) serve on toasted sourdough bread topped with poached eggs for the ultimate Instagram-worthy brunch!
Happy Auguest everyone! I’m Jialing and this is my 5th year as the grand finale for Amcarmen’s Kitchen’s Auguest series. I’ve learnt a lot in these past five years, but clearly not how to stop procrastinating.
I am at a friend’s wedding, typing away on my phone as quickly as I can while waiting for dinner to come out, moments before it is meant to go live (despite Allison having sent me daily reminders – sorry mate). If you, like me, frequently find yourself with many commitments, and little time, boy do I have a recipe for you! Having learnt from my previous Auguest blogs, this recipe uses just a few ingredients and equipment, and comes together in 15 minutes!
As a bonus, it is vegetarian friendly, and can be easily adapted to be gluten friendly, by swapping out the bread. But it’s not for vegans. Sorry. Please direct yourself to Auguest 2016 for my Poached Pears with Chocolate Chia Mousse if that’s what you’re after.
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 10-12 MINS| SERVES 4-6*
*Or one (1) very hungry Jialing.
200g Brie cheese
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tbsp honey
Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4) and line a tray with baking paper – this will help keep the honey from sticking to the surface when it caramelises!
Cut pears into quarters, and lay onto the baking tray, leaving space for the brie cheese in centre.
Place the unwrapped brie cheese in the centre of the tray and lay whole sprigs of rosemary on top.
Tip: Laying them on top rather than poking them into the cheese infuses the flavour without creating holes that the melting cheese will spill out of as it bakes!
Pile walnuts gently on top of the rosemary sprigs, and drizzle the brie cheese and pears generously with honey.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the brie cheese is soft and the honey just starts to bubble. As the honey cools it will caramelise the walnuts.
Gently lift the brie cheese using spatula and place onto a cheese board. Arrange pears (careful, they’ll be hot too) and fresh strawberries around the brie cheese and serve immediately with fresh crusty bread. Enjoy!
Welcome to part two of my Auguest feature! A few days ago I shared a tried-and-true vegan and gluten-free sweet recipe, and now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re taking a very tasty trip to the other side of the delicious breakfast spectrum. I’m using this second recipe as a chance to make something I love but haven’t tried cooking myself before: adobo flakes! True to form (Allison reminded me that I do this every year… yikes), I left it to the last available minute, but worry not, because it actually worked out better than I expected! I did originally intend to turn this into a Filipino twist on fried chicken and waffles, but the adobo flakes turned out so fantastically that I couldn’t bring myself to make them share the spotlight. Please note that my poor time management was completely unrelated to this decision. However I do still highly recommend the waffle pairing, because I did eat them that way, and let me tell you, it was DIVINE. That isn’t even a word I use regularly, but it does so accurately describe the marriage of the saucy crispy chicken and fluffy golden waffles.
Oh, and I’m pleased to announce that all the liquid-cooking techniques from my past recipes came in very handy for the first part of this recipe.
PREP TIME 10 MINS*| COOKING TIME 1 HOUR| SERVES 4
*Not including marination time of minimum 2 hours or maximum overnight for a more intense flavour.
For the marinade
1 & 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3-4 dried bay leaves
3 red chillis, with just the tops cut off
1 head garlic, lightly crushed to remove skins
Generous amount of cracked black pepper
1/2 kg chicken breast fillets (about 2 large breast pieces)
Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl and marinate chicken for at least 2 hours, or over night to really intensify the flavour.
Transfer marinade and chicken into a pan on medium heat, and cook, uncovered, turning chicken every so often. The vinegar will boil away and smell quite acidic – be prepared!
Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced or 400F or gas mark 6), and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper. In the meantime, remove chicken from the pan once cooked through (about 10-15 minutes) and set aside in a large bowl.
Add coconut milk to pan and bring down to a simmer. The sauce will reduce to a thicker consistency after about 15-20 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and discard the bay leaves (and chilli if you don’t want to eat it) – the garlic will have fallen apart and any leftover chunks will melt in your mouth.
While the sauce cooks, why not get to work shredding the chicken! I like to grip a piece on one end with tongs and rake a fork through the meat going with the grain, working my way up.
Once the chicken is well shredded, evenly distribute onto the baking tray (I did one breast per batch), and generously spray with canola oil and give the tray a shake to even the coat.
Place into the oven for 10 minutes, then increase the temperature to 220C. If the chicken looks like it’s browning more quickly in certain spots, take it out and redistribute the flakes, then return to oven and bake for another 10minutes.
Now get your waffles ready – I usually make one big batch and keep some in the freezer, then just defrost for a quick breakfast option! Putting them in the oven just after you take out the chicken and toasting them in the residual heat makes them a little bit crispy on the outside – yum!
Once ready, heap a little mountain of of adobo flakes onto your waffles, finishing off with a generous drizzle of sauce, and serve straightaway. You can thank me later.
Happy Auguest everyone! I’m back for my fourth year running, and I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen with two South-East Asian inspired breakfast recipes this week. For once, Allison has chosen a theme that I could easily get on board with (those of you who suffered through 2016’s vegan Auguest with me know my pain). But thanks to my mom I have been a professional breakfast-eater since 1991, so trust me when I say that THIS is my area of expertise! If you don’t believe me, ask the former breakfast-skippers at my office who were inspired by my morning meals 😉
The great thing about breakfast is that it can be whatever you want it to be: simple or complex, savoury or sweet, hot or cold, vegan food or normal people food… I could go on. So for today’s recipe I’ll be sharing one of my favourite breakfasts to eat during summer weekdays, though it can be enjoyed at any time of the year. I like to prepare this on Sunday so that I (and my boyfriend/colleagues/innocent bystanders) stay safe from my hangriness for the rest of the week.
Throwing it back to 2016 with a vegan (you heard me!) recipe where we start out with…
Boiling coconut milk.
PREP TIME 1 HOUR| COOKING TIME —| SERVES 6
1 cup fresh mango, finely diced
1 can lychees drained, reserve syrup
For the Mango Pudding
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups frozen mango
1/4 cup reserved lychee syrup
2 tsp agar agar powder (check your local Asian supermarket)
For the Coconut Sago
2 & 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup reserved lychee syrup
1/2 cup tapioca pearls (sago)
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Fresh Mango chunks
Set aside 6 lychees to garnish. Chop remaining lychees into smaller pieces. Divide chopped mango and lychee between 6 glasses or containers. Set aside.
Mango Pudding: Purée 2 cups frozen mango with 1/4 cup reserved lychee syrup until smooth.
On medium heat in a sauce pan, combine agar agar powder and 2 cups coconut milk, stirring until the mixture boils.
Remove pan from stovetop and stir in the mango purée, making sure the mixture is well combined.
Divide mixture between the 6 glasses, carefully pouring to cover the fruit chunks. Place in refrigerator to set while making the coconut sago.
Coconut Sago: Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly until tapioca pearls have absorbed most of the liquid and doubled in size – approximately half an hour, depending on your stove.
Take the mango pudding out from the fridge and spoon the tapioca into each glass, then top with the remaining whole lychees, and optional coconut flakes and mango chunks.
Serve immediately if you’d like it warm, or return to the fridge to chill for at least an hour for a more summer-appropriate dish!
Hello! I’m Jialing and I will be taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen for today. I will confess that today’s blog was very close to being a two-step tutorial on how to boil a cup of water and make tea – the only semi-regular dietary part of my life that does not involve any animal by-products.
As someone who has clearly only ever eaten vegan food a handful of times (I genuinely thought that the vegan theme was intended as a joke when I first agreed to do a recipe), I found this year’s Auguest theme to be a punishment. I mean challenge. I ended up ransacking my own pantry and refrigerator for inspiration, confirming with Allison and Google about what ingredients could and couldn’t be used by vegans. What seems like day later, I emerged triumphant – pears, wine, cocoa powder, and a questionable bag of chia seeds (waste not, want not…) sat atop my counter, ready for the arduous vegan road ahead.
Now, onto the recipe, poetically inspired by the very essential act of boiling water.
PREP TIME min. 24 HOURS*| COOKING TIME 40 MINS| SERVES 4
*The chocolate chia mousse will need to be prepared the day before to allow chia seeds time to soak
Chocolate Chia Mousse: Prepare the chocolate chia mousse the day before, to allow chia seeds time to soak. Combine the cocoa powder, vanilla, and maple syrup, stirring until well mixed.
Slowly pour in almond milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Add chia seeds and stir until well-incoporated. Leave in fridge to soak overnight, stirring mixture once in between.
Once the chia seeds have fully absorbed the liquid, they will increase significantly in size and have a gelatinous texture. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Tip: leave the chia mixture unblended and top with fresh fruit and desiccated coconut as a healthy and envy-worthy breakfast.
Poached Pears: In a sauce pot large and deep enough to hold pears, combine wine, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and just enough water to cover pears.
Bring the wine and spices to the boil over high heat.
Add the pears, positioning them so that they are completely submerged, and continue to boil for another 25 minutes, until pears are cooked through and tender. Be sure to turn pears for even cooking, particularly when liquid gets low, keeping in mind that the bottoms of the pears will take longer to cook than the tops.
Once pears are cooked, remove from the pot, reserving the syrup, and set aside to cool.
Carefully simmer remaining syrup until reduced to about 1/2 cup.
To serve, divide mousse into small bowls or stemless glasses and garnish with sliced strawberries. Place a pear on each plate, next to the mousse. Drizzle the pear with syrup. Enjoy!