The Ultimate Brekkie

The Ultimate Brekkie

Hello Everyone! Back with a quick one since I feel like you guys deserve another upload after being away for so long. Today I wanted to make a really filling and unforgettable brekkie where I can just sit down and enjoy it instead of packing it with me to bring to the office or even just skipping breakfast altogether. Well okay, I ended up having these for lunch after a deserved Sunday sleep in, but breakfast for lunch (even for dinner) is just the best thing ever!

So after my visit to Paper Plane Café 2 weeks ago or so (again as I mentioned in the previous post, I will do a review soon-ish), I really wanted to recreate their breakfast board at home. It looked simple enough to be able to do so just by glancing at the board and even pin-pointing the obvious ingredients. I must say that it was a huge success in the kitchen this morning, even though I may have burnt my balsamic reduction and the other side of the toast, oops! But nonetheless a brekkie so worth the time and effort spent in the kitchen. I invited my housemate Lydia as well for breakfast/brunch/lunch, so basically today’s lunch was a joint effort between the two of us. She’s now a professional chef! Under my guidance and supervision, as well as the Taste recipe being read to her, she made the Hollandaise Sauce all by herself for the very first time to go with the poached eggs. Her sauce was to die for! Apart from that, she helped wash and cut up the tomatoes, mushrooms and chorizo sausages, and also did a fair bit of the cleaning up. I took care of the rest. (This note is for Vidhya – don’t stop reading here, there’s a small paragraph/story at the end of the post!)

The Ultimate Brekkie

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-35 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 hash browns
  • 2 hickory-smoked bacon rashers
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 slices of Country Grain bread
  • 2 field grown tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
  • 250g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Handfull of rocket leaves
  • Small thumb-sized ginger, grated
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Olive Oil

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

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place the hash browns and slices of bread on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the slices of bread with a bit of olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to about 50C to keep the food warm while you prepare and cook everything else.
  2. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour a 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 are a hopeless impatient person 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 – basically what I did for the first batch of balsamic reduction. I was also stupid enough to try it and see if it was still edible, and it ended up sticking to the front of my teeth (not a very pleasing experience might I add).
  3. Meat, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms: Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the bacon and chorizo 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 grill for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Place the bacon, chorizo slices, and tomatoes in the oven to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the grill pan with a bit of olive oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and lemon juice, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and then set aside in the oven to keep warm.
  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 overcooked – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: While the Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs are almost done, assemble your dish, this part is entirely up to you on how you wish to present it. Drizzle your balsamic reduction over your rocket leaves. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the eggs from the saucepan. Place on top of the toast and bacon. Then top with a generous amount of sauce to your poached eggs. Crack a little salt and pepper and serve immediately!

While having our lunch, all Lydia could talk about was how good it all tasted. She was already full, but she still wanted to eat more. We also talked about how in cafés you’d get an average dollop of hollandaise sauce, which is sometimes not enough with the amount of serving your get from the rest of the food. We had a whole bowl of it and basically drowned our eggs in them, and had them with everything basically. Also, the best thing about eating at home is that we get to be barbaric in a sense that we didn’t care about using our forks and knives, we ate our toast with our hands and weren’t afraid to have them smothered over the sides of our mouths or dripping down the side of our fingers.

The Ultimate Brekkie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

Hello Everyone! A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I bought 2 whole snapper for just 15 dollars. Well I thought that today I should cook up a delicious meal with the other – same ingredients to dress it up, but probably a little less healthy than the steamed snapper since it’s pan-fried, but obviously the flavour and texture changes when cooked differently.

As I was having it for lunch this afternoon, my housemate Marissa walked into the dining area and I asked her to try some. She loved it and said “did you take a picture of this?” knowing that I am one to definitely blog about it – I mean, of course I took a photo! She also asked me if I followed a recipe, and I said no, I just whipped this up with the ingredients I had in the fridge. It is actually a dish that my Mom makes very often, but with pompano fish – and dressed with just dark soy, calamansi (small round lime, green on the outside and with a centre pulp that is orange in colour), and a little bit of the fish oil that it was pan-fried in. Deliciously lip-smacking! Also often served with steamed rice and stir-fried kangkung in belacan. The simplicities are always the best.

Anyway, this is my take on my Mom’s pan-fried pompano – as the title says, pan-fried snapper with chilli, ginger, shallot & soy sauce. Marissa asked me if you can tackle this recipe with any type of fish such as barramundi, and I honestly think that it will go well with barramundi and any other types of fishes out there.

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • Lemon wedge
  • Ground salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Season the snapper with ground salt and pepper. Heat sunflower oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Make sure that the pan is scorching hot before putting the fish in as this will prevent the skin from sticking to the pan. Fry the fish for 5-6 minutes per side. Remove the fish from the pan and place onto a serving dish. Drain the oil, leaving about a tablespoon behind.
  2. Add the ginger and sauté for about a minute before adding half of the chilli slices and the pale and white parts of the green onions. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the soy sauce. Mix around for a bit and then pour over the fish. Add the chilli oil and drizzle with lemon juice. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Pan-fried Whole Snapper with Chilli, Ginger, Shallot & Soy Sauce

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pan-fried Salmon with Mashed Potatoes & Wilted Spinach

Pan-fried Salmon with Mashed Potatoes & Wilted Spinach

Yesterday I whipped up a simple lunch. I don’t really have a back story for this, or some long winded explanation of a foreign ingredient, so today’s post will be short and straight to the point.

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 salmon portions, skin on
  • 3 large golden potatoes, wash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup loose leaf baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Ground sea salt and pepper
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Red Rock Deli-Style Dip, Sundried Tomato, Chargrilled Eggplant & Pinenuts (optional)

METHOD

  1. Place the potatoes in a medium-sized pot filled with salted water. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. During the last 5 minutes, add the milk to a small saucepan and warm, do not boil.
  2. Meanwhile, press salmon filets between paper towels to dry surfaces thoroughly. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add salmon filets skin side-down. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, pressing gently on the back of the fillets to ensure good contact with skin, until skin is rendered and crisp, about 6 minutes. If skin shows resistance when attempting to lift with a spatula, allow it to continue to cook until it lifts easily. Flip salmon and cook on second side, about 1 to 1 and a half minutes longer, for medium-rare to medium. Transfer salmon to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils, and allow to rest. In the same pan, wilt spinach leaves.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain. Working quickly, push the potatoes through a sieve using a rubber spatula, back into the pot. Add the milk and butter and fold. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving plate together with the wilted spinach, salmon and deli dip.

Pan-fried Salmon with Mashed Potatoes & Wilted Spinach

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com