30 July 2014

Mexican Omelette

I love breakfast. I’m with Pooh on this one.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.” 

Whether raiding the fridge & throwing together whatever I find in there in to a frittata for a few ready to go breakfasts or scrambling some eggs to go with some toasted Vogels or a favourite of mine perfectly soft boiled eggs, a good sprinkling of salt & pepper & of course soldiers I must have breakfast.  I just can’t really function with out it. My brain just doesn’t work & hanger is likely to set in which is never good!

If it’s the weekend I like to take a little time to concoct something a little different but there is usually still eggs.  Maybe some of these green pancakes with chilli lime butter, but I warn you the chilli lime butter is seriously addictive.  If pancakes not your thing then perhaps Emma’s kumara & kale latkes with poached egg or a herby omelette with spinach & feta salad or some of these chard & saffron omelettes from the wonderful Ottolenghi. All are something a little delicious & something a little different for your breakfast if you have a little time.  And for me a little lazy kitchen time on the weekend is the perfect start to a day.

This is another that is worth the effort & it’s really not too much of an effort, a little chopping, a little mixing, a little whisking & frying & rolling...there is just so much flavour! Chilli, lime, cheese! And this amazing avocado dressing.  The filling itself would be a delicious Mexican twist on coleslaw. So I won’t keep you in suspense any longer...here are some omelettes with a Mexican twist from Jamie.

Mexican Omelette, from jamieoliver.com

Serves 4

Or just reduce for 2 or 1. And if you like heat add more chilli. Love coriander, same just add more.


1 ripe avocado 
3 limes 
Bunch fresh coriander 
3 tbsp natural yoghurt 
Olive oil 
1 small onion 
1 carrot 
½ white or green cabbage 
1 fresh red chilli 
8 large free-range eggs 
60g cheddar cheese


Squeeze the avocado flesh into a blender, throw away the stone & skin. Add the lime juice, coriander stalks, yoghurt & just a splash of oil. Whiz until smooth, taste & season with salt & pepper.

Peel the onion & carrot. Grate the onion & carrot & finely slice the cabbage.*
Very finely slice the chilli & throw everything into a large bowl. Add most of the coriander leaves & pour over the avocado dressing. Gently toss everything together. Taste & season with salt & pepper, if needed. 

*Loving my mandolin & highly recommend this little gadget. Perfectly thin slices in a jiffy. Just careful of those fingers.

Whisk all the eggs together in a large bowl & add a splash of water & a good pinch of salt & pepper. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat & once fairly hot add a little drizzle of oil followed by a quarter of the egg mixture. Swirl the eggs all around the pan & grate over a quarter of the cheese & let it melt.   Cook the omelette gently without colouring it or just under 2 minutes. You only need to cook one side as it’s so thin. Slide it gently on to a plate, spoon over a quarter of the avocado slaw & carefully fold up the sides & roll it over. Serve with a wedge of lime, a few coriander leaves & some freshly sliced chilli if you like a spicy little kick. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, serving them up as you go as these are best eaten straight away.

Bright, fresh, zesty, spicy...what a great way to waken up your taste buds!


20 July 2014

Leek & Potato Soup

It’s winter here & oh boy has it been chilly, well chilly for us Aucklanders. We’re not so hardy & any days that don’t reach double digits are deemed freezing & this week we have been down to 2s, 3s & 4s!  Chilly indeed but a great excuse to rug up with jumpers, scarves & gloves.

The cold weather & a bunch of leeks led to this soup & warming me up over a few lunches this past week.

Good fresh leeks will have bright white root & dirt attached, they should after all just have come out the ground! Cut off the the roots & just give the leeks a good wash to get rid of any sand & dirt. Don’t throw the roots way, add them to some stock & they’ll in turn add some flavour.

Friends of the leek: butter, olive oil, cream, creme fraiche, Parmesan, goat cheese, Gruyere, cheddar, eggs, capers, olives, mustard, lemon, thyme, parsley, potatoes, fennel.

Leek & Potato Soup

Based on Heston’s with slightly less exactness with the measurements it’s soup after all!  Plus I think his leeks must be way smaller than ours here in NZ!  He suggest 750g is approx. 15 leeks!  Here 15 leeks would be a proverbial leek mountain & more in the vicinity of 2-3 kgs of leeks!!

My new favourite gadget is my mandolin.  If you have one use it to speedily & perfectly thinly slice those potatoes, onions & leeks.  Just be careful of fingers!

Serves 6


2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled & finely sliced*
120g unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
4 leeks, washed to remove any dirt & thinly sliced
1 bouquet garnet**
1 ltr vegetable or chicken stock, homemade or good quality low sodium store bought stock
100 ml double cream
50 ml trim / semi-skimmed milk
Chives & creme fraiche to serve

*Rinse the potatoes under cold water to remove the starch & you’ll avoid gluggy gluey soup.

**Bouquet garnet; a few sprigs of thyme, celery leaves & parsley tied together with a strip of leak or some kitchen string. (Just not blue string a la Bridget Jones if you wish to avoid bright blue soup!)


Melt the butter in a large saucepan & add the potatoes & onions.  Sweat them over a medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add the leek* & cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the bouquet garnet & the warmed stock, bring to the boil & reduce to a simmer.  Add the cream & the milk & simmer for 10 minutes more until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the bouquet garnet & liquidize the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. If you want super super smooth soup you can then pass the soup through a very fine sieve. If the soup is too thick just add a little more stock. Taste & season with salt & taste until you have it as you like it. I found it took a good few pinches of salt, but then I love salt!

*Heston’s tip: the leeks add the flavour to this soup but if you cook them for longer then 10 minutes they will lose colour & flavour. So slice them as thinly as possible to cook them as quickly as possible to hold on to all that flavour.

Pour in to bowls, add a dollop of creme fraiche & scatter over a few chopped chives & serve.  Crusty bread slathered in butter on the side would not go amiss.

This feels like quite a decadent soup, the cream just adding a wonderful level of velvety silky luxuriousness. It’s a bowl of indulgence, yet packed with vegetables & perfect for warming you on a particularly chilly Winter’s day.


12 July 2014

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons & Olives

This is one I cooked up while I was at home in Scotland last month for a Friday night dinner party, it was bright & fresh & perfect for Summer but at the same time it actually wouldn’t be out of place as warming & comforting dinner here in the midst of our Kiwi winter, in fact it would most definitely brighten up a winter’s evening, which is probably just as well given the wet, wild & windy weather we’ve been on the receiving end of.  Some days the rain is just interminable; an endless downpour.

Having had an amazing endless Summer here in New Zealand & then a second helping of long sunny summer days back in the mother country I am struggling  a little with these shorter, colder wilder & wetter days! Please Spring hurry up but in the mean time I can have some Moroccan chicken to warm my soul & transport to warmer climes, at least in my head anyway.

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons & Olives


4 chicken thighs & 4 chicken breasts
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped, deseeded if you like less heat
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Pinch saffron strands
700ml water
Juice of one lemon
1 cup green olives
1 preserved lemons, flesh removed & finely chopped
Bunch coriander, chopped
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Salt & pepper


Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish or tagine & brown the chicken in batches until golden brown all over & set aside. Don’t overcrowd the chicken as then it will steam & rather than go wonderfully tasty & golden. 

Add the onion & garlic to the frying pan & sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Add the chilli, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric & saffron. Sauté for a couple of minutes & then return the chicken to the casserole dish & stir it around to coat the chicken in the onion mixture. 

Pour in 700ml water, cover & bring to the boil. Reduce the heat & leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Lift the chicken onto a plate & cover with foil to keep it warm.

Add the lemon juice to the sauce & increase the heat. Simmer until the sauce is thickened & return the chicken to the casserole. Add the olives & preserved lemon, cover & simmer for 20 minutes more.  Life the chicken out & place it on a platter.  Stir the coriander & parsley in to the sauce & spoon it over the chicken & serve.

If you like this you might like this Roast Chicken with Hazelnuts, Honey & Saffron
Four years ago Supper Club #2


07 July 2014

Roasted Pumpkin , Kumura & Quinoa Salad

With all the trips & travelling I my four year blog-iversary completely passed me by.  Not that I really mark it, it’s just it’s hard to believe I’ve been posting here on Toast or 4 years...that’s a lot of cooking & recipes & photos. Not to mention eating.  In some ways it seems I’ve been doing this forever & others it’s like I just got here. It’s certainly been a fun, food filled adventure that’s for sure. Lots of delicious along the way & even better all the other food loving people I have met. So here’s to many more years of good food & great friendships.

This tasty salad could be a meal in itself; quinoa - keen-wa! - packed with roasted pumpkin & kumara. It’s also bursting with flavour from fresh herbs, grilled spring onions, a splash of lime, feta & a little hit of chilli for nice little hit of  heat.

For a little healthy yet satisfying living post 4 weeks of holidays this salad is the way to go with the quinoa packing a hefty protein punch along with calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B & vitamin E...a veritable powerhouse all   on its own.

Roasted Pumpkin , Kumura & Quinoa Salad

Serves 2-4 or more as a side

1 cup pumpkin, chopped in to bite sized pieces
1 cup kumura, chopped in to bite sized pieces
1 red chilli diced, deseeded if you like less heat
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 spring onion
1 cup (185g) quinoa
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water
Juice of two limes
Bunch of coriander leaves
Bunch of mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled


Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F. 

Place the pumpkin & kumara in to a baking tray & add the chilli, coriander, brown sugar & olive oil.  Season with salt & pepper & toss everything together.  Pop the tray in the oven & roast for 25-30 minutes until golden & roasted. Remove from the oven & set aside to cool.

While the pumpkin & kumara are roasting give the quinoa a good rinse.  Bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan & add the quinoa.  Pop the lid on & turn the heat down to a simmer & cook for 10-12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa.  Remove from the heat & let it steam for 5 or so minutes & then fluff with a fork.

Grill the spring onions in a griddle pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little until cool enough to handle & slice.

Place the quinoa, pumpkin, kumara & spring onion in a large bowl & toss to combine. Add the lime juice, coriander & mint leaves, red pepper & feta & gently mix it all together. Taste & add a little salt & pepper if need be.

Pile the salad on a platter & serve.

Full of flavours & textures I think you’ll like this salad.  Perfect with a Summer BBQ for those of you enjoying the summer sun in the northern hemisphere or as a satisfying salad in the cooler months for us in the depths of winter down here in the south.

Three years ago Potato & Celeriac Gratin

Four years ago Supper Club #2

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...