All posts filed under: brunch

Pancetta wrapped prawns with watermelon, mint and feta salad

Recently discovered wrapping prawns in pancetta before frying them. The pancetta adds a layer of crispy saltiness which goes brilliantly with the sweetness of the watermelon in this salad. I also made it while I was in Bali with pomelo and watermelon salad which was also delicious but pomelos aren’t as easy to find in Australia. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 12 green prawns peeled with tails left on 12 thinly slices of pancetta 2 cups watermelon cut in cubes 3-4 cups of Rocket leaves for salad base 1 cup mint leaves roughly torn 1/2 cup of Persian marinated feta Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 tablespoons olive oil for dressing 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying prawns Salt and pepper Method Prepare salad base by scattering watermelon, and mint on top of rocket leaves, then sprinkling with bits of feta and dressing with dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste Wrap each prawn in a slice of pancetta Heat oil in non-stick pan and fry prawns …

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Orange and date salad with pistachio yoghurt and mint

Inspired by an Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine recipe, I decided this salad would be a great accompaniment to the Christmas Roast Turkey with my traditional Christmas Turkey Stuffing. I didn’t have any muslin cloth so I used a new piece of Chux superwipes (!!) with the holes in it to “hang” the yoghurt. For extra Christmassy flavour I added a few cloves to the syrup mixture and then freshened up the salad by adding fresh mint leaves. It was delicious and simple despite requiring a bit of prep the night before. Prep time: 8 hours/overnight Ingredients: 240g Greek-style yoghurt 50g brown sugar Piece of muslin or new piece of Chux superwipe cloth 1 cup caster sugar 1.5 cups water 1 cinnamon quill 3 cloves 2 pieces each lemon and orange peel, removed with a peeler 1 tsp rosewater 2 oranges, thinly sliced 4 dates, pitted and sliced into strips 1/2 cup pistachio kernels Handful of fresh mint leaves Method: 1. Line a small sieve with muslin or Chux superwipe and place over a deep bowl. …

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Baked Italian Sausages with red capsicum and onions

As the cooler days approach here in Sydney, this is a quintessential comfort food dish which will warm your heart and soul in true Italian style. Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1.5 hours (including grilling capsicum) Ingredients 6-8 Italian spicy sausages or merguez sausages 2 red capsciums 2 large onions cut into thickish slices 3-4 tablespoons Olive oil 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped 3 red chillies sliced lengthwise (optional) Handful of fresh basil and parsley Crusty bread Method Heat oven to 150 degrees celcius Place whole red capsicums on roasting tray and place in oven for 35-45 minutes until skin is black and blistering, turn during cooking process to evenly blacken capsicum Meanwhile slice onions, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and cook onions slowly until just golden Remove capsicum from oven and place in plastic bag, tying up ends of bag. Allow capsicum to sweat inside plastic bag for 5 minutes which will loosen skin. Increase oven heat to 180 degrees celcius. Place sausages in a baking tray, …

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Prawn, fennel and coriander Gow Gee – steamed dumplings

I created these little treats because I was searching for a light, healthy but hot appetiser that would complement an Indian dinner without filling guests up too much. Steaming these dumplings is easy and quick and you can do this just before or as guests arrive which if you want to use these as canapés which works well. The ready made “gow  gee” pastry is easy to find in Asian food store refrigerator section and very simple to work with. You will also need a steaming basket or steamer. I used fennel, ginger, cummin, fresh coriander and ginger to add subtle Indian flavours to the prawn filling. Most steamed dumplings recipes don’t require you to cook the filling beforehand but I decided to so I could roast the fennel seeds and use cooked onion. I didn’t use any chilli in these as I planned to serve with chilli oil on the side. Ingredients 8 large, green or uncooked prawns – shelled, deveined and chopped into medium dice 1/2 onion very finely diced 1 tablespoon vegetable …

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Mild Potato Curry

This mild potato curry is quick and easy to make. Recently on a rainy Sydney day we were in the mood for an Indian breakfast, or more accurately brunch, so I made this accompanied by my Red Lentil Dhal, Easy Wholemeal Roti and Coconut Sambal. The resulting meal took us straight back to the streets of India  where these types of vegetarian combinations are favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Potato Curry is also a good staple side dish that can be whipped up quickly and is particularly nice with grilled fish. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes peeled and cut into smallish cubes 1 onion diced 1 tomato cut into large chunks 8 curry leaves (optional) 2 cloves garlic and same amount of ginger crushed into paste 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 1 stick cinnamon 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup of water coriander to garnish Method Boil potatoes first …

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Homemade Borlotti Baked Beans

My six year old neighbour Martin is coming over for lunch today. A few months ago Martin popped in to say hi and I had just taken my homemade baked beans out of the oven. Martin was astounded to find out that baked beans don’t just come out of a can. He was even more intrigued when I showed him the actual raw beans. “They are like nuts”, he said. I gave Martin a small taste of the freshly cooked beans and he loved them. Since then whenever I see him he talks about the baked beans,so I thought it only appropriate that I should make a batch for lunch. Whilst they take time to make, due to having to soak the beans, then twice cook them, the results are so much better than using beans out of a can and the cooking process gives you the opportunity to use herbs and spices to your taste in the sauce. I use Borlotti beans for this recipe, but you can also use white beans or cannellini …

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Durban-style mince and pea Samosas with spring roll pastry

These crispy mince and pea pastry triangles are very different to the more commonly found “Indian” version which has a thick crusty pastry. I am not sure what the origin of this style of pastry is other than this is how they are made by the Indian community in Durban, South Africa and this is how I grew up eating them. Back then in South Africa with larger households often with dedicated cooks,hours were spent making the crispy pastry from scratch and creating these delicious appetisers for special events or just afternoon tea. When we moved to Australia my mum, Tilly, found the ideal replacement pastry to be spring roll pastry initially found in Chinese and Asian specialty shops but now readily available in mainstream supermarkets. Fillings can vary between fish, potato and peas, chicken mince curry…but my favouite remains the lamb mince and peas. All my friends loved coming over to Tilly’s for her freshly made samosas and she has actually been called upon for lessons by some samosa addicts! Here’s the recipe with …

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Best Chicken Rice at Loy Kee, Singapore

After extensive research into where to get the best chicken rice in Singapore, we settled on Loy Kee in Balestier Road. Established in 1953, Loy Kee has been dishing up the famed Hainan chicken rice for more than sixty years to loyal fans. A bonus is that Loy Kee opens at 9.30am so it’s perfect for a late breakfast or brunch. It is also a great option if you don’t feel like eating at a Hawker’s Centre with table service, menus and atmospheric surrounds. The menu features special sets with bok Choy, beautiful satiny chicken broth, 3 delicious sauces – ginger, light chilli and soy, the chicken rice itself and either poached or roast chicken. We chose to try both versions of chicken to taste the contrast and loved both. The poached chicken was the most silky and tender I have ever eaten and the chicken rice was perfectly cooked and flavoured with chickeny goodness. The roast chicken was also delicious but slightly drier than the poached version, with a layer of crispy roasted chicken …

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Carrot cake and more at Zion Rd Hawker Centre, Singapore

We had heard about carrot cake from our son Nick who is currently living in Singapore. This is not carrot cake as we know it but a pancake made with diced daikon radish, flour, scallions/spring onion cooked in plain, sweet or savoury style and can be made into an omelette when fried with eggs. Intrigued by this description we went to the Zion Road Hawker Centre which claims one of the best carrot cake stalls. Situated alongside the river at the end of Zion Road, in River Valley, this food centre is a smaller, spotlessly clean traditional eating venue with about 25 stalls. On Saturday morning when we visited the centre was filled with locals enjoying early lunch. As with most hawker centres, each stall has a speciality which it is usually renowned amongst locals for. We headed directly to the Lau Goh carrot cake stall, quickly followed by the stall for Chicken Rice and Bak Kut Teh(pork rib broth). Friendly stall holders helped us with our orders and soon we were tucking in to …

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Top Thai with views in Singapore

We are in Singapore visiting our son Nick who has been posted here for work since earlier this year. Now living the life of an ex-pat, Nick is being a great tour guide during our stay. Last night we went down for a walk along Boat Quay along the river. The Quay is a bustling tourist destination with a range of restaurants from Lebanese and French to Indian and Singapore Seafood. We chose Lanna Thai for dinner after drinks at the Red Spot Brewery further down the Quay. We were greeted warmly by the waiter and given a lovely table right on the riverside with views of the stunning Marina Bay Sands building, Fullerton Hotel and passing boats in the background. After ordering drinks, which are expensive, we decided to start with some Thai standards – mix satay of chicken, beef and mutton and Thai fishcakes. The satays came with a delicious satay sauce in which you could taste the freshly roasted and crushed peanuts. The Thai fishcakes were super authentic achieving that elastic texture …

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Easy Spicy Sweet Corn Fritters with onion

These easy and quick to make sweet corn fritters have a spicy twist through the addition of “Slap Your Mamma” New Orleans Spice mix and slow fried onions for an extra touch of sweetness. Served with bacon and rocket and herbs for brunch/breakfast or good for a lunchbox snack, these fritters also pair well with avocado and sour cream. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 6 minutes Ingredients 1 small can (310g) sweet corn kernels 1 egg beaten 1/2 onion sliced finely and slowly fried until slightly caramelised 1/2 cup wholemeal or plain flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp Slap Your Mama or other spice mix to your taste Method Slice 1/2 an onion and slow fry until translucent and slightly caramelised Whizz 3/4 of the sweet corn in a small food processor to form a creamy paste Transfer sweet corn paste to mixing bowl, add remaining corn kernels, egg, spice mix, onions and flour and mix well Mixture should be firm but moist, add more flour as required if too runny Heat frying …

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