#Booji Breakfast: spicy Indian scrambled #eggs

A favourite Indian breakfast and famous street food which is just as good for a quick lunch or dinner. There are lots of different versions and you can experiment by adding chopped bacon bits, tomatoes or even finely diced boiled potato.

I made this today for Father’s Day breakfast served with crunchy sourdough toast and sausages.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion very finely diced
  • 1 large mushroom finely diced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic smashed to a paste
  • 2 green birdseye chillies finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 2-3 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon diced coriander
  • 3 large eggs beaten

Method:

1. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a non stick frying pan over medium heat.

2. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves if using. Heat until fragrant.

3. Add onions and cook slowly over gentle heat until translucent, then add garlic and sauté for a minute.

4. Add turmeric, cumin and chilli powders and sauté until cooked into onions, about 1.5 minutes. Then add green chilli and mushrooms or other ingredients you may choose to add, like cooked bacon bits or finely diced boiled potatoes. Add a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

5. Add the other tablespoon of butter, add eggs and scramble until egg is cooked to your liking.

6. Toast bread and pile on booji, garnish with coriander and enjoy!

#Kimchi Beef “power” #bowls

These are a delicious new favourite on our dinner list. Caramelising the kimchi is genius…definitely “Damn Delicious …slightly tweaked to include lightly pickled grated carrot, to add another layer of sweetness.

Damn delicious KimchI Beef Power Bowl

Here’s the link to the recipe. https://damndelicious.net/2019/07/13/korean-beef-power-bowls/

Brown the beef
Mix the sauce ingredients
Add sauce to beef and cook until dark brown and crunchy
Fry kimchi with brown sugar to caramelise
Salad with endamame added
Cooked farro
Compose bowls with farro and salads as base
Delicious with avocado and sriracha mayonaise

Durban-style Fish and Potato #Samosas #crispy

Fish filled samosas are a great alternative to Mince and Pea Samosas.

This recipe teams white fish fillets with finely diced potato and herbs for a delicious light filling, that truly shines when dipped in a zesty mint, garlic and chilli sauce.

Fish and potato samosas with zesty lime dipping sauce

The crispy pastry, using spring roll pastry, which is substantially different to the thicker crusty version of Indian samosas is light and adds just the right amount of crunch to these delicious taste parcels.

Ensuring the triangles are firmly sealed with no “gaps” or “holes” to prevent the hot oil to be absorbed into the parcels, then shallow frying rather than deep frying makes for the least oily version possible.

These samosas freeze really well, so you can make ahead and impress guests when they arrive or have a stash to treat yourselves at your pleasing.

Prep time: 2 hours (including making filling) Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 -10 sheets spring roll pastry (thawed to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 200 g white fish fillets such as flathead, diced into small chunks
  • 1 small potato diced finely
  • 1 onion very finely diced
  • handful of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger pounded to a paste
  • 1-2 small red chillies finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and then 1 cup of vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon and 2 pinches Salt
  • 1/2 cup or so of water
  • Handful of mint, coriander, 1 cloves garlic and 2 chillies
  • Juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Method

1. Boil finely diced potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 5 minutes

2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan. Add mustard seed, fennel seeds and curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

3. Add onion and cook slowly until transparent.

4. Add ginger and garlic paste add mix through onions, then add fish, salt and white pepper and 1/4 cup water.

5. Simmer until water has totally evaporated and the fish is sealed, just turning white.

6. Remove from heat add potato, chilli and coriander and mix through, slightly break up potatoes and fish as you do, but do not mash. Taste to see if extra salt required.

7. Allow mixture to cool.

8. Mix flour in a small bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of water, adding slowly to create a thick flour “glue”.

9. Take 2 sheets of the spring roll pastry, keeping rest between dampened tea towel to avoid drying out. I have discovered that using a double layer of the pastry creates a more robust case and crispier casing for these samosas.

10. Place each sheet neatly aligned on top of each other, then cut into 3 even strips.

11. Starting at one end, place 1-1.5 teaspoons of mixture on the pastry and then turn pastry over to create a neat triangle. Ensure there are no gaps when you turn the pastry – use the glue to seal openings or gaps between the 2 sheets of pastry as you go. This will ensure the oil doesn’t enter the package when you fry it and make your samosas less oily.

Making fish and potato samosas with spring roll pastry

12. Repeat process until all mixture is used up. Makes about 12-15 samosas.

13. Samosas can be frozen at this point and shallow fried directly from the freezer when you require. They freeze really well.

14. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan over high heat, add 3-4 samosas, allowing oil to come back to temperature, then lower heat to medium and cook until samosas are golden and filling is hot.

15. Finely dice mint, coriander, garlic and chilli – I used a mandolin. Place in a small bowl. Add healthy pinch of salt, add lime juice a dash of oil to create a zesty dipping sauce.

16.serve samosas with lime dipping sauce and other sauces as suits.

Happy New Year #2022 #NY2022 #cheesecake

Happy new year from Sydney and thank you all for following and supporting freespiritfood.net since I started my blog so many years ago.

Mini baked cheesecake with hints of ginger

How the world has changed in the last two years? Rather than being able to travel the world, or even go to restaurants and places in Australia, I have been relying on my foodie memories and experiences to inspire my cooking at home.

I hope you have enjoyed my attempts to try new recipes and create different dishes. As with the rest of life, some ideas have worked better than others!

To finish the year for desert tonight I created these mini baked cheesecakes, made in a muffin tin, with a ginger biscuit base and shavings of uncrystallised ginger on top. Made in just 3 hours from start to finish, they have been given a tick of approval by our family.

I will post the full recipe but wanted to share a small foodie experience with you from the last day of 2021!!

Jimmy Buffett might say “there’s a little bit of fruitcake in all of us”, but I prefer “a little bit of this cheesecake”!! 😀

#NYE #Tequila #Blackbeans #salsa #salad

Made to go with our Buttermilk Brined & Fried Chicken, in the spirit of beans and lentils being traditionally lucky foods in many cultures.

Tequila Blackbean Salsa or Salad?

Couldn’t find canned black eye peas, so used black beans instead to create this delicious concoction steeped in tequila and spices first, then freshen up with the addition of some finely sliced and diced coriander, capsicum and spring onion.

I slow cooked some finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil, added 2 tins drained cans of black beans, a finely diced red chilli, 1 teaspoon good smoked paprika, salt , 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, a good slug of tequila bubbling away until alcohol reduced the added a cup of water and simmered for about 10 minutes until the water had been absorbed and bean were soft and flavoursome. Then mixed in fresh finely sliced and diced white of 2 spring onions, a handful of coriander and half a small red capsicum.

Adding a good slug of tequila
Simmer until water is absorbed by beans

This was really delicious in its own right but also a great accompaniment to our fried chicken and an excellent vegetarian option for our picnic.

“Freshened” up and adding crunch with spring onion, capsicum and coriander.

#Buttermilk Brined and Fried Chicken #southernstyle #juicy

Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken

After the inspiration of Charles Raymond’s Buttermilk Cereal Chicken I investigated some recipe options and made up my own version, which turned out well and proved to be a hit at our NYE lunch picnic in Sydney’s beautiful Centennial Park.

Centennial Park, Sydney

Served with Japanese Coleslaw from our local Charcoal Charlie’s chicken shop and my newly created Tequila Black Bean Salsa Saladand crusty soft rolls from Taste Providore in Woollahra, who sell some of the best bread in the Eastern Suburbs. A fabulous combination! Way better than KFC if I say so myself, but staying on the treats list rather than becoming a staple.

The brining of the chicken in the buttermilk tenderises and marinates the chicken and then acts as a brilliant “glue” for the spice crust.

Adding Panko breadcrumbs into the flour mixture makes the crust more crispy and “craggy” making for a delicious outer layer.

By putting the fried chicken in the oven, dried the crust and allows excess oil to leech off. Or so I found. Obviously you need to play around to ensure the first batch and last batch ge5 around the same time in the oven.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Black Bean Salsa Salad

Prep time including “brining”: 6-8 hours. Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Buttermilk “Brine”
  • 300ml carton of buttermilk
  • 14 “mini” chicken drumsticks (the drumettes of chicken wings” or small chicken thigh cutlets, skin on
  • 1 teaspoon good quality paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chicken spice (I use Robertson’s South African spice mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Spice Crust:

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • Wok or deep frying pan

1. Place chicken in large bowl, then add all the spices and mix well. Then cover with buttermilk and mix well again. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 6 hours.

After 6 hours of brining in buttermilk and spices

2. Put Spice Crust ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees Celsius.

3. Heat oil until shimmering. I used a wok as it creates a well for semi-deep frying without having to use as much oil.

4. Drop a few dollops of the buttermilk brining mixture into the flour mixture. This will create some clumps of flour and bread crumbs to create more “cragginess” on the chicken coating.

5. Add 3-4 chicken drumsticks to the spice crust mixture and coat thickly. This will be easy as the buttermilk coating on the chicken acts like a glue for the flour breadcrumb crust mixture

6. Put battered chicken into oil and fry on each side side for 3-4 minutes, lowering heat a little to enable chicken to cook through and the crust to go golden brown rather than burn.

7. Place first batch of fried chicken on baking paper lined oven tray and put into oven whilst you batter and fry the rest. Repeat steps 5-7 for rest of the chicken., frying the last batch slightly longer as the6 won’t have as much time in the oven.

8. Remove chicken from oven 3-4 minutes after the last batch is fried. You can remove first tow batches earlier if you like so they don’t get overcooked

9. Serve immediately with salads or wrap in foil to transport to picnic after allowing to cool slightly so crust doesn’t become soggy.