Auguest 2018: Brendon D'Souza

Easy Avo Toasts

Hi Foodies! My name is Brendon D’Souza and I run the Sydney Food and Lifestyle Blog known as Brendon The Smiling Chef. I’m so honoured to be guest-posting here at AMCarmen’s Kitchen once again for the third time since Ally started her Auguest series.

In between running a busy collaborative workspace in the heart of Sydney, and a number of side hustles, I love developing fresh and tasty recipes that you will love to cook. Think comforting winter roasts, colourful salads, decadent desserts and much more!

Easy Avo Toasts

Sydney will forever be known as the home of over-glorified Avocado Toast for breakfast (or “brekkie” as we like to call it), and you will always find a variation of this simple recipe at any cafe or restaurant.

Treat your friends to a gorgeous breakfast feast that’s actually super easy to prepare. This is a great recipe for children to make too!

Easy Avo Toasts

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME — MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Toast the bread to your liking.
  2. Carefully peel the avocado and remove the stone.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and slice.
  4. Drizzle the toast with olive oil and top with the sliced avocado and season with a touch of salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Brendon’s Tips

  • Jazz up your Avo Toast with a selection of your favourite ingredients.
  • Try smoked salmon, crispy bacon, fried eggs, rocket, feta, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roast beetroot or even fresh berries.

Easy Avo Toasts

Easy Avo Toasts

Check out my Instagram @brendonthesmilingchef to keep up do date with all my adventures.

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | brendonthesmilingchef

Happy cooking and keep smiling,

– Brendon (Brendon The Smiling Chef)

myTaste.com

Auguest 2018: Simon Swadling

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

I’ve always loved breakfast, and French toast was actually one of the first things I started making and teaching myself. It’s probably the start of me really getting into food and it becoming my passion – I loved making making either savoury style (parsley and parmesan with bacon) or the more traditional sweet one.

My love of breakfast foods has ended up becoming a family tradition that on long weekends or holidays we will often start off with a fancy brunch/breakfast made by me. This French toast recipe is what I came up with for Mothers day this year, as sweet French toast is my mum’s favourite breakfast. It has some autumnal vibes with the maple and mulled wine flavours, but really the base recipe of the French toast can be paired with any number of different things, so feel free to go off script and try something different!

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the French toast

  • Loaf of Brioche bread (the batter will do enough for 4 large slices)*
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3/4 cup full cream milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • Zest of half an orange

For the poached pears

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 small Corello pears**
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the maple mascarpone

  • 1 tub (250g) mascarpone
  • Maple syrup, to taste
  • Dry meringue pieces
  • Fresh raspberries, or any other berries that you like

*If your brioche bread hasn’t been pre-cut (which is ideal), then cut the brioche into thick rectangular pieces. This means that you’ll get a crispy outside, custardy outer layer, and still some fluffy brioche in the middle.

**If you can’t get your hands on the small pears, use 2 large pears and serve each slice with half a pear instead.

METHOD

  1. Poached Pears: Combine all the ingredients for the poached pears into a medium-sized saucepan. If the pears aren’t fully covered, then ensure to turn them around every few minutes to get an even colour and even cooking all around. Timing will depend on the ripeness of the pears so simmer until soft when tested with a knife.
  2. Remove the pears, and continue to boil down the poaching liquid until reduced to a syrup-like texture. You may prepare the pears the day before and then warm them through before serving.
  3. Maple Mascarpone: Mix the mascarpone in a bowl to soften and then add about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Adjust to your own personal liking. Set aside in the fridge.
  4. French Toast: Add all the ingredients, except the brioche bread in a shallow dish and mix well until combined.
  5. Heat up a medium-sized frying pan with a knob of butter and a bit of oil on medium heat.
  6. Dip the brioche slice in the egg mixture on each side and allow it to soak a little.
  7. Fry the slice on each side until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat for the remaining slices.
  8. Assemble: Cut the pears in half. Place the French toast on a plate with the pears on top. Crumble the meringue over and serve with fresh raspberries, and a scoop of the maple mascarpone.
  9. Finally, drizzle over a bit of the poaching syrup from the pears and enjoy!

French Toast with Red Wine Pears

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | thebeardedpatissier

– Simon (The Bearded Patissier)

myTaste.com

Auguest 2018: Wendy Chok

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

It’s me Wendy, back for another recipe to share! The last time I was on here I shared a recipe for homemade Rustic Bread and a savoury Pizza Toast brekkie with everyone. This time I will be sharing what I like to call ‘PMS Toast’ which I will explain further in a while. I also shared a little bit about myself, and my love for food, so now I will share about how I know Ally on a personal level.

I met and got to know Ally about 3 years ago through work. She was one of my team members in our Marketing team for an Advertising and Event Management firm that we both worked at. We became very close friends and still even so after having left the company because we have the same level of random craziness, vibe, and of course our love for all things food.

Amcarmen's Kitchen & Peek A Pastry
Peek A Pastry & Amcarmen’s Kitchen

We share a special kind of bond at work and it might be because we spend a lot of time together, at work of course, for a lot of event events, working late at night on occasions, have food together in the office whether breakfast, lunch, snack time or dinner time, and enjoy great food together in celebration for when we’ve successfully finished every event that we’ve worked on. I love our team because we always had each other’s backs and we just simply complement each other well.

I know that Ally wants to pursue her dream to participate in MasterChef Australia and I am using all my power on law of attraction to make it happen. I will see Ally in MasterChef Australia one day and tell my kids or grandkids that “that is my friend!”

Moving on – I am not a sweet tooth but when the time (PMS) comes, nothing is sweet, what is sweet? How do you spell sweet? C-A-L-M is how you spell sweet. When you are cranky and tired, you just crave for something sweet, something sugar loaded and warm. So here I present you two fast and sweet breakfast ideas to hit my spot, and hopefully yours too.

PMS Toast: Cinnamon Everything Toast

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of homemade Rustic Bread
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (2 teaspoons for me, the cinnamon lover)

METHOD

  1. Place the butter in a small heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Make sure that it is not too liquidy as you want those buttery chunks on your toast. I like it rustic on this rustic bread.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and smother it all over the toast.
  3. You can either bake it or toast it on a pan. Bake it at 240C (475F or gas mark 9) for 10 minutes, just enough time for everything to crunch up. If you like it toasted in a pan, face the side, which is smothered by the cinnamon paste down on the pan, and sear it for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Serve and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast or even as a nice afternoon snack!

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

PMS Toast: Butter & Sugar Toast

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices of homemade Rustic Bread
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp granulated white sugar

METHOD

  1. Smear the butter over the toast and sprinkle the top with white sugar.
  2. Bake it at 240C (475F or gas mark 9) for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee for sweet start to your morning!

Short and sweet, just nice for a woman who is PMS-ing. Men take note!

Rustic Bread: PMS Toast

Before I say goodbye to everyone on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I would like to thank Ally for giving me this opportunity to write on her well-established blog. I hope that my recipes are not too shabby and please dive in to my rustic way of cooking!

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | peekapastry

– Wendy (Peek A Pastry)

myTaste.com

Auguest 2018: Wendy Chok

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast

Hello to all amcarmenskitchen’s readers! I am Wendy, a petite woman in my mid 20s; and of course, I love baking and cooking. For me, spending time in the kitchen is just so therapeutic and satisfying, especially when you get to enjoy the food you’ve made after long hours of preparation. Additionally, I have this motherly instinct to feed people with a lot of food, and whenever someone tells me that the food that I make is delicious and would like to have it again next time around, I feel like I’ve won the title of Brunei’s MasterChef!

I recently started up a blog known as Peek A Pastry, however I haven’t been very active in updating it. I still cook and bake frequently, and have posted a few of my successes in the kitchen over on my Instagram page – @peek.a.pastry. Ally was actually the one who encouraged me to take the first step in opening up a blog, and so I did even though I simply just couldn’t commit to it. After given the opportunity to write down my recipes for Ally’s blog for my guest posts for this month, I got the feel of what it was like to write for a blog and this might very well the kick I need for me to start penning down my recipes and actually write!

Before I share with you my savoury breakfast idea in the form of a Pizza Toast, I’m going to share with you my recipe for Rustic Bread as the base for this toast. Of course, feel free to get store-bought bread too. Note: bake your bread the night before so that you’ll have it ready for a quick brekkie fix the next morning!

Rustic Bread

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast Method

PREP TIME 2 HOURS 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 50 MINS | MAKES 1 LOAF

*Allow for an additional 12 hours for dough to rise overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 & 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup boiling water (when baking)

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, salt, and yeast together until combined. Slowly add in the room temperature water into the flour mixture until the dough starts to become sticky, just like the texture of slime. It’s okay to have a little bit of lumps in the mixture, but make that it is not too lumpy. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, fold the dough by wetting your hands and scoop them by the edge; palm facing you and fingers under the dough, pull it upwards and flip it across, as if you are helping a baby with his or her napkin. Pull and flip for about 5 times in total for every edge of the dough in the bowl. Set aside and let it rest for a further 20 minutes and repeat this action for another 3 times (four folds in total). Along way, your dough will rise a little, but not too much.
  3. After the fourth and last fold, rest the dough for 12 hours overnight.
  4. After 12 hours the next morning, you will see that your dough has risen and bubbling like crazy! Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking tray and lightly sprinkle a bit of plain flour atop as well as on the dough.
  5. Scrape the edges of the dough with your fingers so they will come out from the bowl easily and onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough and start to fold again.
  6. Start shaping the dough by cupping the bottom of the dough. Cup and twist until you get a nice round shape. At this point your dough should be feel supple and bouncy. Use your finger and slightly press on the dough and release. It should recover back to its initial shape instantly.
  7. Grease a large clean heatproof bowl and transfer the dough, together with the parchment paper underneath it to the bowl. Cover using a clean kitchen towel and let it rest in the bowl for another 50 minutes before baking it.
  8. Preheat the oven at 230C (450F or gas mark 8), add the boiling water into a small heat-proof bowl and place into the oven. Then place dough in the bowl into the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the bread from the oven. Remove from the bowl and leave to cool down for at least an hour on an elevated rack before slicing into it. Brush off excessive flour on top.

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast

And now your Rustic Bread is ready to be topped with your favourite toppings! Follow the recipe below for a delicious Tuna Chunk Pizza Toast!

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • Diced red onions
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pineapple bits
  • Rustic bread slices
  • Tomato paste
  • Tuna chunks in olive oil (or you can use any tuna you want)
  • Unsalted butter

METHOD

  1. Spread the butter generously at the sides of the bread to give it a crunchy bite.
  2. Smother the tomato paste at the centre of each slice and start rustically building up all your toppings. Put as much as you like – I like to put tuna first then pineapple bits, followed by the diced onions. Season it with Parmesan cheese and finish it off with dollops of mayonnaise here and there. Bake them for about 15 minutes at 240C (475F or gas mark 9).
  3. Once done, serve and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!

Rustic Bread: Pizza Toast

I am a savory person and I love everything savory. It might be because I’m Hakka (one of the Chinese dialects). Just to give you a little bit of imagination when you bite into this toast, let me paint a picture of it for you. Imagine as you take that first bite into the crunchy edge of the toast before everything else, and then you a change of texture to the chewy and savoury bread. Followed by all of the topping in that single bite; the umami and flaky tuna, the crunchy, spicy and sweet diced onions, the richness of the slightly burnt dollops of mayonnaise that sort of just melt in your mouth, engulfing everything together. Then here come the sweet and juicy pineapples, cutting through all the richness happening in that tiny space. You start over again as you take another bite to experience this rich and salivating moment!

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2018 | peekapastry

– Wendy (Peek A Pastry)

myTaste.com

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Everyone loves food. You have some who love to cook it and some who enjoy eating it. For me, passion for cooking only really started while I was studying abroad. I enjoyed the luxury of having control of what I ate and what I bought. Coming from a big family you don’t get to pick what everyone else eats. So having that choice was amazing. I couldn’t take it for granted.

I started getting serious with cooking when I moved to Sheffield in the UK. I wasn’t a Michelin style chef but I loved being able to create meals in minutes. Simplicity was my game and ShefShaz started all because of that simple concept. I wanted to share with students alike that making meals didn’t have to be difficult. That you could save a lot and look after yourself all at the same time.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

As a mum, I live by the same concept. Keep things simple which reflects very well in the food I make. Having a kid is no joke but knowing you can put aside 30 minutes and whip up a delicious meal makes you feel super accomplished.

I have known Allison (Ally) more or less all my life. From childhood classmates to now still good friends. I think it’s great we both share a passion for food with a healthier twist. Ally has always been a very visual person. She knows how to make everything look good.

ShefShaz, Little ShefShaz, and Amcarmen's Kitchen
L to R: ShefShaz, Little ShefShaz, and Amcarmen’s Kitchen

The inspiration from my dishes are a very Jamie Oliver take on food. Simple, delicious food, fast. Something I know kids will enjoy as well as adults and bitesize to make each spoonful a party in your mouth.

Hope you enjoy this simple and quick recipe for Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs!

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the salmon fish cakes

  • 500g salmon fillets, skin off* and de-boned, minced
  • 20g fresh coriander
  • 6cm fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 chilli, minced with seeds in
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salad greens
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Lemon wedges

*Do not toss out your salmon skin! You can pop these into the oven to make crispy salmon skin for an extra added crunch texture to the dish.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with foil and set aside.
  2. Salmon Fish Cakes: Add all the ingredients for the salmon fish cakes into a large mixing bowl and combine.
  3. Form the mixture into patties, you should be able to make 8 patties with this recipe.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (more or less depending on the side of your patties). Once done, remove from the oven and leave it to rest. Turn the oven temperature down to 160C (300F or gas mark 2).
  5. Toast: Cut a hole in each slice of bread using a round cutter.
  6. Crack one egg into each hole and then bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with fresh salad greens, cherry tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

The optional recipe below is actually a recipe by Allison that she whipped up for her Colombian style Arepas that she made during our weekend cook-off. We both paired the salsa together with our Salmon Fish Cakes just too see what it would taste like – and it was magical! So feel free to give this a go with this recipe!

OPTIONAL Aji (Colombian Salsa)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup spring onion (white and light green parts only), finely minced
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely minced
  • 1/2 small tomato, finely minced

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix well, cover, and let it sit it the fridge for at least an hour for all the flavours to infuse before serving.

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Salmon Fish Cakes with Oven-baked Eggs

Recipe Copyright © 2018 | shefshaz

BON APPÉTIT

– ShefShaz

myTaste.com

Smashed Avo Toast (9 ways)

Hello Everyone! Finally I am back on track with my posts and the theme for the month of April is Avocado! All you need is about half a medium-sized avocado everyday as it provides 1% of the calcium, 5% of the magnesium, and 10% of the potassium that you need daily. Avocados are a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and in addition, the dark green flesh just under an avocado’s brittle skin contains large amounts of disease-fighting compounds. Though avocados are proven to help lower blood pressure and an abundance of health benefits, we have to be weary of how much we intake daily as they are also high in calories.

Tonight, I will be sharing 9 different ways you can start your mornings with a smile on your face with 9 different smashed avocado toasts! Of course, don’t limit yourselves to just these 9 recipes; I encourage you to get creative with your smashed avo toasts and share your creations with me on Instagram using the hashtag #amcarmenskitchen

1. Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small red onion, cut into rings
  • 2 tsp capers
  • Smoked salmon slices with five peppers

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with smoked salmon, red onion rings, and capers. Sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes for an added kick (optional).
  3. Enjoy!

2. Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 punnet (250g) grape tomato medley, halved
  • 4 cherry bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Sweet basil leaves

METHOD

  1. Combine the grape tomatoes, bocconcini slices, and sweet basil leaves in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a touch of ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside and leave to macerate.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the tomato cappers salad, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the salad.
  5. Enjoy!

3. Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin seeds

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with banana slices and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with honey.
  3. Enjoy!

4. Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the water to a rapid simmer before gently lowering the eggs one by one into the pot. Cook for 5 minutes for a runny yolk, or 7 minutes for a barely set yolk. Once done, remove from the heat and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, peel the shell off and slice.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced eggs, and sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes, and parsley.
  4. Enjoy!

5. Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat’s Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat's Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Goat’s cheese, crumbled

METHOD

  1. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced strawberries, crumbled goat’s cheese, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the strawberries.
  4. Enjoy!

6. Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch (100g) shimeji mushrooms
  • 1/2 bunch (50g) enoki mushrooms
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Melt the unsalted butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add in the sliced brown mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with pinch of ground sea salt and black pepper. Once tender, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil over high heat until slightly smoking. Add the enoki mushrooms in and fry until golden brown in colour, about 2-3 minutes. Once done, transfer to a small plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the sautéd garlic mushrooms and the fried enoki mushrooms. Garnish with a touch of ground black pepper and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

7. Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small mango, diced
  • Chilli powder
  • Peppermint leaves

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the diced mangoes, chilli powder, and peppermint leaves.
  3. Enjoy!

8. Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 can (200g) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Set aside.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas in a small bowl together with the ground smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat.
  3. Spread the chickpeas onto the prepared baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the roasted chickpeas and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

9. Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 4-6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 can (200g) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Pan-fry the chorizo slices until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the sweet corn kernels for about a minute or two. Drain and set aside to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the pan-fried chorizo sausages and sweet corn kernels, and drizzle with a bit of the chorizo oil (optional).
  5. Enjoy!

Just a little side note before I end tonight’s post, I spent the whole day amending quite possibly the same artwork because their comments/amendments were all on an installation basis. Such completely waste of time which then prevented me from actually completing the work I had set to do today because I had to keep going back and forth to the same bloody artwork.

​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

Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S

Devon on Danks

Hello Everyone and welcome back to yet another Review Sunday on the blog! Devon Café is one of those that I’d never fail to go back to for a nice Sunday brunch, well besides the Potting Shed at the Grounds though – I can’t pick between the two! So recently, I think somewhere in mid-November, Devon Café expanded their brand and opened up a new venue over on Danks Street in Waterloo. I quite honestly did not get into the hype of it until late December, after Christmas, before New Years – not that I wasn’t into it, but I just wanted to wait until the hype died down a bit. Knowing that this is Sydney, the hype never dies down! The first time I went here wasn’t that bad though, we managed to get a seat straight away but even so, the place was pretty packed. If we had arrived any later we could’ve easily been standing outside waiting for at least 10 minutes or so for a table for 3. Don’t even get me started on how packed it was on ‘Straya Day, but lucky again we managed to get a table for 2 with ease, but I did feel sorry for the others who had to wait out in the rain for a table.

Devon on Danks: 'STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
‘STRAYA DAY SPECIAL
Medley of tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, and soft-boiled egg, on toast ($16.50)

As mentioned above, this dish was only available during Australia Day. I ordered it because it’s one of their specials and it won’t be on their menu ever again (maybe)! It was a difficult decision because I was eying their ‘Naked’ Bruschetta at that time as well. I actually have no regrets going for this dish because it blew my mind. Yes I know, some tomatoes and avocado on toast – really? The dish was just so flavoursome and fresh at the same time. The crusty white bread added that crunch texture to the palette and was excellent for soaking up the olive oil. The disappointment in this dish though was that my egg was not at all soft nor runny liked I’d expect it to be. Would’ve loved a runny yolk to compliment the crusty bread to soak it all up. Also, $16.50 for this dish? A bit too much in my opinion.

Devon on Danks: BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA'S
BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S
Miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63˚ egg, radish petit salad, and kewpi mayonnaise ($24.50)

This dish is probably Devon’s signature as it appears in both menus at the original Devon and Devon on Danks. My Instagram newsfeed always features this dish from other people’s brunches. I never really had this dish for myself to consume, but I did manage to have a bite from my friend’s plate. According to her, the salmon was cooked to perfection and I can definitely vouch for that statement. The egg was perfectly cooked, and flavour combinations worked well together. She overall liked the dish.

Devon on Danks: LITTLE LOST BREAD
LITTLE LOST BREAD
Brioche French toast, fresh and freeze dried strawberries, balsamic and strawberry gastrique, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, and Arnott’s biscuit crumble ($16.50)

Again, I did not have this dish to myself, but I did manage to have a small bite. My friends, who at that time share this dish as a dessert, really loved this dish, but it was a bit sour for my liking, which I think mainly came from the balsamic. But otherwise, the brioche French toast was amazing, and so was the ice cream that topped it. What I found interesting was that at the end of the description for this dish it said “add bacon $4.00”. BACON? I was so confused and intrigued at the same time, but my friends didn’t want to get the bacon with it.

Devon on Danks: DR SEUSS's GREEN EGGS AND HAM
DR SEUSS’s GREEN EGGS AND HAM
Thick cut bacon, crispy potato, 63˚ egg, green tomato ketchup, pea purée, soybeans, pea tendrils, and jus ($19.00)

This again was a dish that was predominately popping up on my Instagram newsfeed. I think what is attractive about this dish is its name. It brought back many childhood memories and this was a dish that I really wanted to indulge in, but unfortunately lost the battle with Marissa. She told me to order the same thing but I was like NO that’s not point! Because I write a blog, I actually hate it when people order the same thing, because then that means that I have one (sometimes two) less dishes to write about. Which also means that I have to again visit the café/restaurant so that I am not just reviewing two or three dishes. Anyway, tangent aside, the bacon was delish, cooked to perfection, and paired well with the other components in the dish. Marissa seemed to love it too!

Devon on Danks: SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
SOFT SHELL CRAB SALAD ala JAPANOIS
Crispy soft shell crab with sichimi pepper, wasabi mayo, tobiko, nori, pickled cucumber, daikon, carrot, and shiso ($19.90)

Originally, this dish was meant to be a soft shell crab roll. I don’t know what happened, like whether they ran out of rolls or whatever other reason, this time when I came back with Tara, they had blacked out the ‘roll’ on their menu and changed it to a salad. Despite it not being a roll anymore, the dish was beautifully presented and was very flavoursome. The soft shell crab was crunchy and was packed with a lot of spice, quite possibly from the wasabi. That was on point for me. The salad was flavourful, but in the end I kept thinking that the dish looked really small, and for roughly $20.00, it almost seemed that you didn’t a good value for your money. I’ve had soft shell crab salad elsewhere before at a Japanese restaurant and it was about $11.00 for more than just ONE crab.

Devon on Danks: LUCKY DUCK
LUCKY DUCK
French buckwheat crêpe, crispy duck leg, duck liver parfait, fried duck egg, and blueberry preserve ($24.50)

This was the dish that I had that time I was out with Marissa and her friend Karina. Duck is one of my favourite meats which is why I had no doubts when having to select another dish after not being able to have my way with what I wanted in the first place. I regret nothing. This dish was top notch for me, despite me having doubts about the liver parfait. It actually tasted good together with the blueberry preserve and the other elements to the dish. I could not fault this dish, and unlike most dishes, this definitely was a great value for money.

Devon on Danks: CRONUT
CRONUT
Green tea matcha cronut with red bean filling ($7.00)

This was by far the best cronut I’ve had to date (not that I’ve had many anyway), but the flavour combinations happening in this one tiny cronut was to die for. The amount of red bean filling in this cronut might I add was very generous! It just oozed out every time we sliced into it for a bite. Though I did feel that by the 5th or 6th bite, I could feel that the red bean filling was a bit too sweet for my liking.

Devon on Danks: SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
Pandan soft serve, banana, rice and coconut krispies, kalamansi cream, palm seeds, and gula melaka ($11.00)

What I love about Devon is the Asian fusion that they bring into their cuisine. This ice cream, though Asian inspired based on ingredients and flavours, is nothing that I have seen at all in Asia. Pansan, kalamansi, palm seeds, and gula melaka, are all flavours that I am familiar with, but never did I think that they’d all work so well together as an ice cream sundae! Loved the flavour combinations in this sundae, better than the salted caramel soft serve. I only wished that it had been a very hot day instead of a gloomy ‘Straya Day the time I shared this with Tara because the cloddish weather and really cold ice cream did not feel right!

Devon on Danks: DD's SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
DD’s SPECIAL SOFT SERVE SUNDAE
with salted caramel ice cream, black salt, and hot chips ($10.00)

Ever since the opening of Devon on Danks, I have seen this pop up on my Instagram feed one too many times! It brought back a lot of memories of when I was a kid and how I’d use to dip my order of fries into my soft serve ice cream on a cone from McDonalds. I think it was everyone’s childhood memories for everyone had written about how they did that when they were kids when talking about this sundae. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this, there was too much salt going on for me. I was fine at first, but I struggled to finish the rest. Salted caramel ice cream, TOPPED with black salt, AND salted fries on the side. Salt overload!

I’d rate the food probably an 8 on a scale of 10, just cos of some minor issues I had with some of the dishes that were served. Service was on point and the waiters/waitresses were always smiling, friendly, and gave great recommendations when it came down to having to make a decision on what cronut we wanted to have for dessert. The ambiance was sort of like modern meets industrial which by the way is what I like most about cafés around Sydney who embrace this interior design style fusion. Value for money is variable – some dishes I feel were reasonably priced while others I felt that they were a bit overpriced for the amount of food that was on the plate. Then again this is my opinion, and I’m pretty sure others will have a different say to this. But overall, be it the original Devon Café or Devon on Danks, I will always pay a visit when I am in the mood for a pretty epic brunch date.

Devon on Danks
2 Danks Street
Waterloo, New South Wales
Australia, 2017

– Ally xx

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

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Good afternoon everyone! Maybe still morning for others, even maybe early morning or late evening. Today’s post is very simple, no method needed really. I made this a while back and was inspired by an Instagram photo that my sister tagged me in. A creative fix to shake away the Monday Blues! That’s really all I have to say today 🙂

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 slices of Wholemeal Omega-3 Chia Bread, from Baker’s Delight
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Honey & maple syrup blend, to drizzle

I just realised when writing the ingredient list out, how stupid it looked when I first wrote “9 slices of bananas” and “9 blueberries” 😛

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx
myTaste.com