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.

Big Breakfast

Because nothing says weekend like a big breakfast…

Now with Samuel Kabir eating solids our mealtimes have become so much more fun. It’s so entertaining watching him try new things, roll his eyes or smile with glee each time he tries a new food. One thing is for sure the boy loves his food. Who wouldn’t I suppose with foodie parents like us two.

My favourite part of the week has to be cooking and relishing weekend brunches with my family. Recently I decided to make my own spiced breakfast beans and crispy breakfast potatoes. Needless to say there were cheesy scrambled eggs and beautiful crusty grilled sourdough. 

 

While I’m a complete believer in convenience and using canned baked beans would’ve been just fine. Since it’s the question of nutrition for little SammyK I make no compromise. Besides when homemade beans are so easy to make and ready in 15 minutes, why wouldn’t you make them at home.

Ingredients:  18 Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

For the beans

  • One can of reduced salt cannellini beans
  • One small onion, chopped
  • Two medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • Half a teaspoon of rosemary leaves
  • Salt to season 
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil

For the potatoes 

  • Three to four medium-sized potatoes, cubed
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs 
  • Salt to season 

For the eggs

  • Eight eggs
  • Quarter cup of milk
  • Half a cup of grated tasty cheddar
  • Salt to season
  • One teaspoon of olive oil

Begin by rinsing the beans thoroughly to wash off the salts and rind. On the other hand parboil the potatoes until slightly tender.

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Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and onion, cook until aromatic. Now add tomatoes, herbs and spices and let the tomatoes stew on a medium heat for five to seven minutes.

  
Once the tomatoes are soft add the beans and half a cup of water. Mix well and cover the pan, let the beans simmer for 10 minutes.

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In the meantime, heat oil in another pan. Add mixed Italian herbs, once aromatic, add the potatoes. Toss well and cook until potatoes are cooked through and crispy.

  

To make the eggs. Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl. Heat oil in a pan, add the eggs and turn the heat low. Keep folding the eggs in until scrambled and fluffy. Add grated cheddar and mix through. Garnish with cracked pepper. 

Your lip smackingly delicious big breakfast is ready to serve. If you are sharing this with your little one, take out relevant portions for him/her and then add salt for seasoning to the remaining. All the meat lovers feel free to add chorizo in beans or bacon on the side. Or just take my word that you won’t miss the meat if you eat a well cooked vegetarian meal once in a while.

  

So what are you waiting for. Pile it all up on a big plate and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee. Meanwhile in our house SammyK demolished his food and then went on to feed his furbling.

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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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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.