food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

oat cakes

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Quintessentially Scottish, these savoury oat cakes are equally good served with a cheese platter or with butter and jam. A coating of dark chocolate works too. Read more about the art of oat cakes here.

Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Mix 225g of instant oats, 60g of flour, ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, ½ a teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt (less if your butter is salted). Rub in 60g of butter then add 60-80ml of fairly hot water bit by bit until you have a thick but pliable dough. Sprinkle some extra flour on a work surface and roll out the dough to approximately ⅔ cm (¼”) thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds. Place them on a baking tray and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

*recipe from BBC Good Food

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Written by michelle picker

June 20, 2018 at 12:25 am

mini breakfast frittatas

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Here’s a great breakfast for a crowd that’s easy to prepare ahead. These were simple ham and cheese but there are endless ingredient choices for mini frittatas and they’re excellent party food too. Try mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, chillies, olives and truffle to name just a few. Let your imagination run wild.

Generously butter some muffin trays (silicone works really well) and place some chunks of good quality free-range ham and some shredded tasty cheese into each opening. Whisk all your eggs (1 per frittata) adding some cream, sour cream or just milk and seasoning to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Divide the eggs evenly into the muffin trays then top each frittata with chopped fresh chives and some more grated cheese. Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes or until set.

And while the oven is on, why not roast a tray of tomatoes? Cut the tomatoes into wedges, sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Written by michelle picker

May 23, 2018 at 12:20 am

black truffle

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When in France I spent some time in the Dordogne, the home of the Périgord Black Truffle. I felt compelled to bring one home and here’s what I did with it.

60º eggs on potatoes fried in duck fat with shavings of black truffle.

Actually, these were really 62.8ºC (145ºF) eggs as I prefer my whites a little opaque. They need to be cooked in a water bath at this temperature for at least an equal number of minutes to their metric weight. That means an 58g (2oz) egg will take 58 minutes to cook. While the eggs are cooking, dice some potatoes and cook them very slowly in some duck fat until they are golden brown then season with salt. When the eggs are ready, place the potatoes down first then very carefully peel the eggs and place onto the potatoes. Season to taste and top with shavings of black truffle. A truly delicious combination!

How about a truffled cauliflower gratin?

Preheat your oven to 190ºC (375ºF). Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauce pan, then stir in 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir and cook for a few minutes making sure there are no lumps. Whisking constantly, slowly add 2 cups of heated milk. Bring to boil and cook until it thickens. Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon of salt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper, ½ a cup of grated Gruyère, ½ a cup of grated parmesan, some shaved black truffle to taste and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Cut the cauliflower into florets and cook them in some boiling salted water until just al dente. Butter your oven dish, spread the cauliflower evenly on the bottom and cover with the sauce. Finally, top with a mixture of grated Gruyère, grated parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown.

Written by michelle picker

October 4, 2017 at 12:16 am

stewed rhubarb with vanilla yoghurt

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An excellent version of a classic from Jamie Oliver. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

Place 750g (1.6 lbs) of chopped fresh rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the juice and zest of 1 large orange, 100g (3½ oz) of caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 pieces of finely diced or grated fresh ginger. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked but still holds its shape. Meanwhile, scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and mix them into 1 cup of natural yoghurt, adding 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Serve the warm rhubarb topped with a large dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

Written by michelle picker

July 26, 2017 at 5:41 am

salty-sweet orange and tahini pretzels

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Another delight from Honey & Co The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itmar Srulovich and my first attempt at pretzels.

Mix together 200g (7 oz) of strong white flour, 150g (5⅓ oz) of plain flour, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Warm 140ml (4¾ fl oz) of milk to blood temperature and add 4½ teaspoons of dry active yeast, the grated zest of 1 orange and 50g (1¾ oz) of date molasses or dark honey. Stir to dissolve then add this liquid to the dry ingredients and knead together to form a ball. Slowly incorporate 80g (2¾ oz) of tahini paste then 50g (1¾ oz) of unsalted butter (diced and at room temperature). Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour. On an un-floured work surface, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each one into a long 40-45cm (16-17″) snake. Lie the snake in a semi-circle with the 2 ends facing you. Lift the ends only and twist them around each other then lower them towards the remaining half circle and press the ends down gently. Carefully flip the pretzel onto a prepared, paper-covered baking sheet so that the ends are underneath. Repeat the process until you have 8 pretzels, allowing a little space between each pretzel. Prove for a further 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Brush the pretzels with an egg yolk beaten with a pinch of sugar and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they have a dark golden brown crust. Delicious at any time of day.

Written by michelle picker

June 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

almond honey spread

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Moroccan amlou is a spread (much like peanut butter) made of almonds, honey and argan oil which is generally eaten on bread for breakfast.

almond-honey-spread

Argan oil, which is apparently quite nutty in flavour, is endemic to Morocco and, I discovered, hard to find and very expensive in Australia! I opted for a version without it. If you love friands, almond criossants, frangipane or marzipan then this is for you. Combine 1 cup of finely ground almonds (with or without skins), 1 tablespoon of good fragrant honey, a few drops of bitter almond oil or essence and 2 tablespoons of oil. I used grape seed oil (which has very little flavour) and added a little more bitter almond to taste. Other nut oils such as macadamia or walnut would work too. Mix well and add enough extra oil to make a good spreadable consistency.

Written by michelle picker

February 15, 2016 at 6:03 am

flourless almond bread 2

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My first flourless almond bread, although delicious with butter, was unsuited to more savoury toppings. With the addition of flaxseed meal and olive oil this new version is more savoury. Enjoy it with bacon and eggs, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado or just about anything. It toasts well and can be used for sandwiches.

no-carb-almond-and-flaxseed-bread

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF). In a bowl combine 320g (11¼ oz) of almond meal, 70g (2½ oz) of flaxseed meal, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¾ of a cup of water. Mix well and allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Spread the mixture into a greased small loaf tin and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the tin to cool.

For a really delicious breakfast try frying this bread with tasty cheese on the outside.

crispy-cheese-bread

Written by michelle picker

February 18, 2015 at 5:48 am