Shakshouka 

Put on an eggstravganza for your Mumma…


There is no gift you can give to the one who gave you the gift of life. Yet the only gift she would ever want is your time and your smile. Tomorrow we celebrate Mother’s Day here in Australia. All you babies and Daddies get up and do something extravagant for that special woman in your life.

The day should begin with a sleep in, followed by breakfast in bed. Hope SammyK, Viktor and Jesse ji are reading this.


Ingredients: 10 Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four eggs
  • 400 ml of tomato pureè 
  • One medium onion, thinly sliced
  • Half a teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • Half a teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes 
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to season 
  • Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and cook until lightly caramelised.

Now add tomato pureè and all the spices. Feel free to add more than suggested quantities to match your taste. Let the tomato sauce simmer on medium heat for 15 – 20minutes.

Crack the eggs one by one straight into the pan. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and cook the eggs until the egg white fully set.

Serve alongside toasted crusted sourdough bread. A lip smackingly delicious start to the day for that special lady in your life.

Winter Shakshuka

Shake a leg or two with a Shakshuka…

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Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli breakfast dish, which in the west we popularly know as baked eggs. Gooey, runny eggs cooked in an utterly flavour packed tomato sauce full of herbs and spices, lets be honest what’s not to love about it! I have previously made a harissa spiced Shakshuka, you can find the recipe here

While traditionally a Shakshuka is always made in a tomato sauce, I decided to change things up a bit. Today’s Shakshuka recipe is an ode to a chilled winter morning where all your heart yearns for is a pan full of comfort, flavour and indulgence. Butter, cream, leeks, peas and eggs these ingredients scream winter with a passion and you can most certainly guarantee that you are in for treat when these flavours combine together.

So what are you waiting for checkout the recipe below

Ingredients:  12   Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four free range eggs
  • One leek (white part only), finely chopped
  • 200 gms of peas (I used frozen)
  • 200 gms of spinach (I used frozen)
  • One small brown onion, finely chopped
  • Half a bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 10 to 12 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 100 ml light cooking cream
  • One tablespoon of butter
  • One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season
  • Quarter teaspoon of smoked paprika

In a skillet melt butter and add the chopped onion and leek. Cook until leeks are soft and aromatic.

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Now add peas, spinach, parsley and mint. Give all the ingredients a good stir, once they a mixed well add cooking cream and olive oil. Season with salt as required and let the sauce simmer on a low heat for five to seven minutes.

Before cracking the eggs you can blend the ingredients into a smooth sauce, but since I love the different textures and prefer the sauce to be rustic, so I have not blended it.

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Crack the eggs into the sauce, leaving space between them. Lower the heat, cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the egg whites are cooked. The whole point of a Shakshuka is that the eggs should be runny, but if you don’t like runny eggs you can continue to cook the eggs until they are the consistency of soft-boiled eggs. Note, if you cook the eggs past this point you rather not make this dish at all because a hard-cooked egg is really not worth a Shakshuka. 

Lastly sprinkle some smoked paprika on each of the egg, this gives them a little extra flavour boost and makes them look really pretty too.

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You can serve this dish with warmed up Lebanese bread, chargrilled sourdough, Indian flat breads and if you are utterly health conscious then serve this dish with a simple green side salad.

One bite will give you a taste of nirvana. So don’t wait and try this recipe for your next weekend family brunch and remember to shake a leg or two with a Shakshuka.

Tomato Pea and Basil Frittata

Frittatas are always an eggcellent idea…

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Ahhhhh!!! Eggs!!! I remember my favourite TV commercial as a child was the one about eggs, even to date I remember their ad jingle – Sunday ho ya Monday roz khaao ande (Be it Sunday or Monday, eat eggs everyday). Eggs are so versatile. Boil them, poach them, scramble them, bake them, eat them by themselves or mixed up with other tasty ingredients, they never disappoint!

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While poached and baked eggs are my top two favourite ways of eating eggs, from time to time I do enjoy a good omelet or frittata. In the strictest sense, the difference between an omelet and frittata boils down to a matter of folding in a filling rather than mixing it in. Omelets traditionally have the egg mixture cooked and folded around a filling, while a frittata just mixes it all up, cooked in a mishmash combination all at once. Frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect for brunches or larger groups.

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Today’s frittata recipe is inspired by the Australian spring. Even though we are currently in the middle of winter, this recipe creates an illusion with its aromas whereby I can almost smell and feel the freshness of spring. Tangy tomatoes, sweet peas and aromas of basil are enough to allure even the harshest frittata critic and convert them to a lover.

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Ingredients: 10  Cooking time:25 mins

Serves: 4

  • Six eggs, lightly beaten
  • One medium red onion, finely sliced
  • Half cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Half cup of peas
  • Eight to ten basil leaves
  • Two tablespoons of goats cheese or feta (optional)
  • One red chilli, sliced
  • One green chilli, sliced
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Lightly beat the eggs and season them with a pinch of salt and keep aside.

Heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add sliced onions and chillies, cook until onion is translucent.Roughly tear up the basil leaves and add them to the onion mixture, this will ensure that beautiful basil aroma permeates through the dish.

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Now add the peas and tomatoes and cook for seven to ten minutes on medium heat. 

Take the pan off the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Crumble goats cheese on top. Place the pan back on low heat for five to seven minutes until the eggs have set.

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Finally place the pan in the hot oven for ten to fifteen minutes or until the frittata is golden and risen.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes.

You can serve the frittata with a fresh salad or charred toast. Enjoy this lip smackingly delicious meal on days where you want to eat something tasty but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

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Spicy Coconut Egg Curry

Spice up your life…

You would have noticed the recent round of recipes has had a flavour of the subcontinent, they show my love for Indian food and the ease with which these lip smackingly delicious curries can be made. The flavours are so distinct and robust one simply can’t have enough.

I have previously showcased an egg curry recipe, it can be found here. However today’s spicy coconut egg curry is very different to the previous one. It is inspired by southern Indian flavours of curry leaves, mustard seeds and delicately flavoured coconut. The curry has a dash of spice, the chilli uplifts it to a whole new level.

You can devour this curry with light, flaky savoury parathas (recipe can be found here) or simply on a bed of steamed basmati rice. 

Ingredients: 11   Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four eggs, hard-boiled
  • One onion, chopped
  • Two tomatoes, chopped
  • 400 ml light coconut milk
  • Four-five green chillies, chopped
  • Six-eight curry leaves
  • 1.5 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons oil ( I used mustard oil)

Heat oil in a saucepan, I use mustard oil which really enhances the flavour of the curry. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Now add curry leaves and once they crackle add chopped onion. Cook the onion until translucent.

Add tomatoes, followed by turmeric powder. Cook the onion-tomato mixture for about five to seven minutes until the tomatoes are soft.

Now add coconut milk and one cup of water. Season with salt and sugar. Cover the saucepan and let the gravy simmer on a medium heat for seven to ten minutes, until the gravy has thickened.

Using a fork prick the eggs all over gently (this will allow the curry flavours to seep into the egg when you drop it into the curry). Gently drop the boiled eggs into the curry one by one. 

Your spicy coconut egg curry is ready to be devoured. Enjoy!

Smashed Peas with Poached Eggs and Avocado

Smashed avocado is so yesterday…Smashed Peas are here to stay…

As a devout foodie I can tell you nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than breakfast. Particularly on a Saturday morning after a wonderful sleep in, what could be better than a delicious breakfast plate waiting for you. My husband and I love surprising each other with breakfast in bed every now and then, believe me it’s a great old trick among others to keep that spark alive.

The other day we were still laying in bed at 11:00am, after all it was a Saturday. I said to my husband you know what I had a dream, where you brought me this delicious plate of green goodness for breakfast. He indulged me and asked what was on the plate, without any hesitation I began to describe – avocado, peas, fresh herbs, eggs and toast with lots of butter. Ha! yes I do recall my food dreams vividly, after all that’s how I get most of my cooking inspiration. Anyway so my husband just chuckled and continued to play on his phone and for some reason I fell back to sleep.

The next thing I know I was woken up by my dream, but this time it was a reality. My plate of green goodness was right in front of me and behind it all was my gorgeous husband. I know right – LUCKY ME!

Today’s breakfast/brunch is my dream on a plate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ingredients: 8   Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four free range eggs
  • One avocado, sliced
  • Two cups of frozen peas
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A nice loaf of sourdough bread
  • Half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to season

Everywhere around Melbourne, smashed avocado seems to be a raging breakfast sensation. I say honey your days are over because smashed peas are here to stay! This recipe is built on a bed of smashed peas flavoured with mint, extra virgin olive oil and lemon – a combination that will simply knock your jocks off. LOL!

Steam the peas for about five to seven minutes, until soft. In a bowl add the steamed peas, fresh mint leaves, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive, juice of half a lemon and salt as per taste. Using a stick blender coarsely blend all the ingredients. Your smashed mint peas are ready!

For poached eggs – the first step for perfect poached eggs is to use the freshest eggs. The next step is to get yourself a wide casserole type pan and bring water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Once the water has boiled let it simmer. Crack each egg in a small bowl drop them in the pan one by one, you’ll see them begin to cook immediately. Depending on your pan, a really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the eggs and whether you’re using them straight from the fridge). To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle shake. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back and give the eggs a little longer in the water to firm up. Once the eggs are cooked remove them on to kitchen paper and dry off.

While the eggs are poaching get your toasts ready, it is essential to use really good bread with this recipe because life is too short to eat bad bread.

To plate up – make a bed of smashed peas, surround it with avocado slices, top it up with toast and poached eggs. I added some of the leftover smashed peas on the top too, because I just can’t get enough. Finally season with some cracked pepper, dig in and get ready to fall in a food coma.

Cretan Omlette

One bite and you may find yourself in Greece…

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During my travels around Greece I was completely floored by the fresh ingredients, simple flavours and effortless cooking of the locals. The Mediterranean diet is definitely one to reckon with, principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Today’s recipe comes from the island of Crete in Greece. I relished this beautiful dish almost everyday for brunch while I was in Crete. This beautiful omelette is a perfect dish for weekend brunches or mid week dinners, easy to make and so full of flavour – you may just be teleported to Greece with one bite.

Ingredients: 7   Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Six eggs
  • One zucchini, finely sliced
  • One onion, finely sliced
  • Two green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta or goats cheese
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season

In a bowl whisk the eggs and keep aside.

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Heat olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the onions and green chillies and cook the onions until they are translucent. Now add the sliced zucchini and cook until soft.

Transfer the onion zucchini mix into the bowl with the beaten eggs and give the eggs a good whisk.

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Add the egg mixture back into the pan, rotate the pan in a circular motion to spread the eggs evenly. Lastly, add the crumbled feta or goats cheese.

Cook on a low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes until the omelette is cooked. I like my omelette a bit runny but you may choose to cook it through completely.

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If you are serving this omelette for brunch you can serve it with a side of some crusty bread and if you are serving it with dinner, a simple green salad will be a great accompaniment.

I hope you enjoy this dish, I find myself teleported to Greece just writing this recipe up for you.

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Parsley and Onion Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Crack, Whisk, Pour and Fold…

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There is a certain charm about simple everyday breakfast meals, especially when you have been eating out a lot. Thanks to our travels around North America we have been eating around the clock, all the food has been fantastic and on most occasions really rich.

There is such little time and so much eat, but nothing replaces the comfort and flavour of home cooked food. We were on the last leg of our trip and staying with our dear friends in the heart of Vancouver city. Seeing an open kitchen, I couldn’t help myself and one morning decided to make breakfast in bed for my husband. 

The key to make perfect scrambled eggs is the four steps rule – crack the eggs, whisk them well, pour them in the pan and fold them instead of constantly stirring. To glamourise the eggs you can add some everyday ingredients like onions, herbs available in your fridge and tasty cheese. 

Ingredients:  7    Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four to six free range eggs (depending on size)
  • One medium sized onion finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of grated tasty cheddar cheese
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl crack the eggs, whisk them well.  Now add the grated cheese, whisk the eggs again and keep aside.

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In a frying pan add the extra virgin olive oil and let it heat. Then add the onions, cook them on a medium heat for about five minutes until translucent. Now add the chopped parsley, chilli flakes and give the onion mix a good stir.

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Pour in the egg mixture and lower the flame. Gently fold in the eggs as opposed to stirring them to get the perfect scrambled. Cook the eggs for about five minutes, until soft and fluffy. 

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Serve with a side of toast or crusty bread. 

The Breadfree Breakfast

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast”…

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We have all heard how important a good breakfast meal is to start our day right! While exotic, cooked breakfast meals would be great to indulge in everyday, unfortunately during the week you would be lucky if you could scoff a piece of toast or a fruit on the run.

The weekend ushers in the leisure of time and the opportunity to really cook up a delicious breakfast. I have had the luxury of enjoying some beautiful breakfast meals at local cafes in Melbourne! People in Melbourne really get their food and this why I love this place so much, but eating out all the time isn’t my thing.

The breakfast dish I am about to share with you is made up of different textures and flavours I have relished in my culinary adventures across Melbourne. Couple this dish with your beverage of choice and indulge yourself this weekend.

Ingredients: 12         Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
  • 250 gms of uncooked instant polenta (or semolina)
  • 1/2 cup of creamed corn (if using semolina)
  • Four eggs
  • One sliced avocado
  • One cup of baby kale leaves
  • One cup of shelled blanched broad beans (or peas)
  • One sliced onion
  • Two chopped green chillies
  • One teaspoon of vinegar
  • One tablespoon of chilli flavoured olive oil
  • Crumbled goats cheese for garnish
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • Crispy shallots for garnish

In a saucepan bring three cups of water to a boil. Slowly stream in the polenta continuously whisking it. Once its mixed, continue to stir it for about 15 minutes. Your polenta is now cooked. 

If you cant find polenta you can use semolina and cook it the same way as the polenta. The only additional step is that you add the creamed corn to the boiling water the same time as you add the semolina. This will give the semolina that delicious corn meal flavour.

To give the polenta a boost of flavour, in another saucepan add a tablespoon of olive oil and sautee the sliced onion and green chillies.  Let the onion mix caramelise and now add the cooked polenta and give it all a good stir and keep aside.

Lets make the kale chips now! Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees, lightly grease a baking dish with some olive oil and add the kale leaves and spray them with some olive oil and put them in the oven. In about five to seven minutes the kale will be crispy.

Next, chilli broad beans – if you are using already shelled broad beans simply blanch them in hot water for two minutes. This will make their outer shell really soft and easy to peal, remember you only want the beautiful green bean. You can use baby peas if you cant find broad beans, again blanch them for two minutes. Once blanched strain the beans in cold water and add them to a bowl with some chilli flavoured olive oil (or some chilli flakes and olive oil)

No breakfast is complete without eggs! We are going to poach the eggs for this dish, a perfectly cooked poached egg is one of the most brilliant things in the world.

First step to making the perfect poached eggs is to use freshest eggs. The next step is to get yourself a wide casserole type pan and bring water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Once the water has boiled let it simmer. Crack the eggs in the pan one by one and you’ll see them begin to cook immediately. Depending on your pan, a really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the eggs and whether you’re using them straight from the fridge). To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle shake. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back and give the eggs a little longer in the water to firm up. Once the eggs are cooked remove them on to kitchen paper and dry off.

Now comes the fun part – Assembling this breakfast of champions!

Scoop the polenta on a plate, this will be the base of our dish. Top this with the crispy kale chips and the poached eggs. Add the chilli broad beans (or peas) around the polenta base. Garnish with avocado slices, crumbled goats cheese, crispy shallots and fresh parsley.

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LSD Baked eggs

One pot wonder and a cultural fusion…

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Baked eggs seem to be a raging phenomenon in cafes across Melbourne and why not, it is such an incredible dish. With that said I still haven’t found a baked eggs dish to reckon with, until one day I decided to make my own. I know, I know, time to show some modesty. How about I let you try this recipe and judge it for yourself.

As you would have realised by now, I am an experimental cook. I love finding new spices, herbs and cooking techniques to use in my kitchen. This baked eggs recipe was inspired by the beautiful harrisa paste I discovered in the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Harrisa is called the ‘National Condiment of Tunisia’, there’s a little bit of trivia for you.  The paste is a hot chilli pepper paste whose main ingredients are roasted red peppers, serrano peppers, other hot chilli peppers and a mix of spices such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic paste and some oil  and lemon juice for preservation.

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If you are game enough you can make your Harrisa paste, but I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel so I chose to buy it. This is actually the key to quick cooking find a grocer or two that you trust, then you know that you will always get fresh, authentic and delicious produce. You won’t need to worry about making the pastes and spice mixes from scratch and this will really assist you in making quick meals.

Back to baked eggs, I call these baked eggs a cultural fusion because they have the heat from the North African harrisa paste, smokiness from the Spanish smoked paprika and flavour sensation from Indian spices and Italian herbs. Without further ado here’s the recipe.

Ingredients: 12         Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Four free range eggs
  • One can of crushed tinned tomatoes
  • One sliced brown or red onion
  • One or two chopped green chillies (depends on how hot you like it)
  • One tablespoon harrisa paste
  • One teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • One teaspoon of cumin powder
  • One teaspoon of rosemary
  • One teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh parsley and goats cheese (optional) to garnish

In a pan (that you can use in the oven too) add extra virgin olive oil and let it heat. Pre-heat your over to a 180 degrees. Add the sliced onion and chopped green chillies. To take the punch of the onions cook the mix until the onions are translucent or even slightly caramelised.

Now add the crushed tomatoes, followed by harrisa paste, smoked paprika, cumin powder and rosemary. Stir the delicious tomato sauce and do a quick taste test, if you can handle the heat great if not add one teaspoon of brown sugar  and stir again. Season with salt as required.

The best way to take the acidity out of tinned tomatoes is to let them cook, you will know the tomatoes are cooked once the oil surfaces to the top. Now crack the eggs making sure you leave enough space between each egg as the eggwhite will spreadout.

Place the pan in the pre-heated oven for about five to seven minutes, until the eggwhite is cooked and the best way to check that is to take the pan out and try shake it if the eggwhite isn’t gooey and is stable its all good. It is a fine balance to have the eggwhite cooked and the yoke still runny and my only tip is keep an eye on the egg.

Take the pan out and let it rest while you toast your bread or make a green salad. Chop the parsley and crumble the goats cheese (about one tablespoon worth) for the garnish.

Once the toast or salad is ready, garnish the baked eggs with parsley and goats cheese and serve hot. This melting pan of cultural fusion and unbeatable flavour will knock your socks off…

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