Delicious Breakfast Pizza

Is it Pizza or Focaccia?

This Breakfast Pizza is thick and chewy and truly a meal in itself- served with an egg, sausage pieces and a tomato sauce flavored with fire-roasted red bell peppers and a jalapeño chile.

I was inspired by this recipe after thumbing through Uri Scheft’s cookbook Breaking Breads. His recipe for focaccia shows the dough being shaped into a small round circle, instead of a large dimpled rectangle. “Hmm, this looks like pizza to me,” I said to myself. This got me thinking, “What is the difference between focaccia and pizza?”

It turns out that the ingredients for focaccia and pizza are basically the same: flour, water, yeast and a bit of olive oil. However, while pizza is usually rolled out into a thin crust, focaccia is pressed into a thick rectangular shape and allowed to rise before baked in the oven. Also, the ingredients for a pizza (pepperoni, etc) are usually placed on top of the crust while ingredients are usually pressed into the dough for focaccia.

For my recipe, I’ve decided to combine the best of both worlds: a pizza that has a thick and chewy dough like focaccia bread, served with a jalapeño- infused tomato sauce on top.  Whatever you call it- focaccia or pizza- you’ll be starting your day off with a delicious breakfast!

Ingredients

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 7 g dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 325 ml (1 1/3 cups) tepid water
  • 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 20 g (3 tbsp) semolina
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30 ml (3 tbsps.) olive oil
  • Black sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnish

Directions:

Dissolve the packet of dry yeast in the tepid water. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, semolina, salt and olive oil. Mix with a large spoon until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead through a stretch and fold technique. First, grab a hold of 1/3 of the dough and stretch it away from you:

Then fold it back towards you so that the ends meet together. Do a quarter turn of the dough and then repeat for several more minutes.

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until the dough doubles in size. While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce (below):

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 can (14 oz) canned tomatoes
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ jalapeno or red chilli pepper, diced
  • 1 fire-roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: 1 egg + sausage slices for each mini pizza

Directions

Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and jalapeño pepper. Add some olive oil to a fry pan and cook over medium heat for several minutes until the veggies become soft. Add the tomatoes and roasted bell pepper strips and salt; cook for around 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

While the sauce is thickening, place a pizza stone on the bottom of a cold oven and pre-heat at 425 F (210 C).

To assemble the pizza:

After the dough has risen, turn it back onto the floured work surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Stretch one piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter.

Spoon some of the sauce onto the dough, leaving a margin of one inch around the edges of the dough. Arrange 5-6 pieces of the sliced sausage in a circle, then crack an egg in the center. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds or poppy seeds around the edge of the mini pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and some coarse salt. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Place one mini pizza onto a floured ‘pizza peel’ and slide onto the pre-heated pizza stone (or you could cook two pizzas at a time). Cook for 10-15 minutes until the dough turns crisp and brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil and course salt.

Note: If you don’t have a pizza stone, place the pizzas on a pizza or baking tray and cook in a pre-heated oven at 425 F.

Thick and Chewy Breakfast Pizza

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Delicious Breakfast Pizza
Serves 6
A thick and chewy breakfast pizza topped with an egg and sausage
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For the Pizza Crust
  1. 7 g dry yeast (1 packet)
  2. 325 ml (1 1/3 cups) tepid water
  3. 500 g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  4. 20 g (3 tbsps) semolina
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 30 ml (3 tbsps.) olive oil
  7. Black sesame seeds or poppy seeds for garnish
For the sauce
  1. 1 can (14 oz) canned tomatoes
  2. ½ onion, chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, diced
  4. ½ jalapeno or red chilli pepper, diced
  5. 1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips
  6. Salt to taste
For the garnish
  1. 1 egg (for each mini pizza)
  2. 5-6 slices of sausage
To make the dough
  1. Dissolve the packet of dry yeast in the tepid water. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, semolina, salt and olive oil. Mix with a large spoon until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Knead the dough for several minutes: first grab a hold of 1/3 of the dough and stretch it away from you, then fold it back over towards you so that the ends meet together. Do a quarter turn of the dough and then repeat for several more minutes.
  2. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until the dough doubles in size.
To make the Sauce
  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves and jalapeno pepper. Cook in a fry pan over medium heat for several minutes until the veggies become soft. Add the tomatoes and roasted bell pepper strips and salt; cook for around 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
  2. While the sauce is thickening, place a pizza stone on the bottom of a cold oven and pre-heat at 425 F (210 C).
To assemble the pizza
  1. After the dough has risen, turn it back onto the floured work surface and cut into 6 equal pieces. Stretch one piece of dough into a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter.
  2. Spoon some of the sauce onto the dough, leaving a margin of one inch around the edges of the dough. Arrange 5-6 pieces of the sliced sausage in a circle, then crack an egg in the center. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds or poppy seeds around the edge of the mini pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and some coarse salt. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  3. Place one mini pizza onto a floured ‘pizza peel’ and slide onto the pre-heated pizza stone (or you could cook two pizzas at a time). Cook for 10-15 minutes until the dough turns crisp and brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil and course salt.
Notes
  1. You can also add or substitute other toppings, such as sliced mushrooms or bacon strips
Adapted from 'Breaking Breads' by Uri Scheft
Adapted from 'Breaking Breads' by Uri Scheft
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Cranberry Nut Bread with Crumb Topping

It’s that time of year when fresh cranberries grace the aisles of American supermarkets.  The growing season for cranberries ends in mid-November, so I thought I’d better grab a few bags for myself before they are all gone. After all, I wouldn’t want to miss out on making my annual fresh cranberry recipe (not to mention all the healthy vitamins that cranberries provide)!

To honor the brief fresh cranberry season, I decided to make Cranberry Nut Bread with chopped pecans. This no-yeast bread is easy to make and is flavored with orange zest and orange juice. But to go that one step further, I made a crunchy topping made of finely diced cranberries, orange peel, pecans and butter/brown sugar mixture- a perfect recipe for Fall!

Cranberry Nut Bread with a crunchy topping
Serves 8
Cranberry nut bread flavored with an undercurrent of orange juice and orange peel- with a crumb topping to give an added crunch.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup sugar
  2. 6 tbsp softened butter
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  5. ½ tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  7. ½ tsp salt
  8. 1 egg
  9. ¾ cup orange juice
  10. 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  11. ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts preferred)
For the crunchy topping
  1. 3 tbsp pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  2. 3 tbsps cranberries, finely chopped
  3. Peel from ½ orange, diced
  4. 2 tbsp flour
  5. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  6. 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into pebble-sized cubes
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cream together the sugar and softened butter using electric beaters. Add the baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, salt, egg and orange juice. Combine until smooth. Coarsely chop the cranberries and nuts either by hand or by food processor (be careful not to over-process), then fold into the mixture. Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled rectangular bread pan.
For the crunchy topping
  1. Finely chop the nuts and cranberries using a food processor. Remove the peel from ½ orange, being careful to avoid the white pithy part, then finely dice. Combine the chopped nuts, cranberries and diced orange peel. Add the flour, brown sugar and cold butter cubes. Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the cranberry bread dough and bake for around 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Flaky Mexican Empanadas

Since I had some dough left over from my previous post Dutch Apple Pie, I decided to make some Mexican Empanadas. These empanadas are flaky, tender and full of flavor- you can use them as a main course, an accompaniment at breakfast time, or for a snack  when you open the fridge bleary-eyed at 1:00 am looking for something to eat.

‘Empanada’ comes from the Spanish word empanar which means ‘coated in bread’, but I think of them as being like a ‘turnover.’ Originating in Spain, empanadas are now served in many countries, including Argentina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Even Australia  has its own version of an empanada with its meat and vegetable-filled pasty. Imagine my embarrassment when I first came to Australia in 1979 and asked for a pastie- I was quickly told that the correct pronunciation is pah-stie!

I’m calling my recipe a ‘Mexican empanada’ because I’ve used ingredients such as Mexican pork (or beef) chorizo, jalapeño peppers, cumin and Mexican chili powder. Mexican pork chorizo is different than Spanish chorizo since it is sold raw in a casing and must be cooked before eating.

Mexican Pork Chorizo

The Process

To assemble the empanada, first roll-out 50 grams (3 tbsps) of dough into a small circle, then place several tablespoons of the meat filling in the middle of the circle.

Next, fold the dough in half, neaten-up the raw edges using a knife and then press the raw edges together firmly. Crimp the ends of the dough either using the tines of a fork or ‘fluting’ the ends like a pie crust.

Or, maybe you are brave enough to try the repulgue technique, which is so pretty:

Finally, brush each empanada with an egg wash and bake at 420 F (215 C) until golden in color. And please let me know how your empanadas turn out- I am dying to know!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog- you give me inspiration to keep on going to explore the fascinating world of food!

Flaky Mexican Empanadas
Yields 12
A flaky and flavorful Mexican 'turnover'- also known as an Empanada
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For the filling
  1. 1-2 tbsps oil
  2. 1 lb lean beef
  3. ¼ lb Mexican pork (or beef) chorizo
  4. ½ onion, diced
  5. 2 garlic cloves
  6. ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  7. jalapeño or red chili pepper, diced
  8. 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Splash of cumin
  11. Splash of Mexican chili powder
For the dough
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white flour
  2. 11 tbsps (150 g) cold butter, cubed
  3. 1 1/2 eggs
  4. 2 - 3 tbsp. cold water
For the egg wash
  1. 1 egg combined with splash of water
To prepare the empanada filling
  1. Over medium-high heat, cook the chopped onion, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper in oil until the veggies turn soft and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add the lean beef and Mexican pork (or beef) chorizo and fry until brown. The chorizo is rather fatty so the mixture will turn rather liquid and ‘bubbly.’ Add the can of diced tomatoes and season with salt, cumin and Mexican chili powder- adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. Let cool completely before adding the filling to the prepared dough.
To prepare the dough
  1. Place flour in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and rub mixture with palms and finger tips until mixture resembles fine sand. Alternatively, place flour and butter in food processor bowl and pulse until mixture resembles texture of fine sand.
  2. Add 1 1/2 eggs and stir until mixture starts to form a ball. If required, add 2-3 tbsps. of ice cold water and mix until dough hangs together in firm ball shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until it forms a firm ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes.
To assemble the empanadas
  1. Remove dough from fridge and divide into balls weighing about 50 grams (3 tbsps) each. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each ball into a circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Add 2-3 tbsps of the filling into the center of each dough circle, fold the dough in half then press the bottom edges of the dough together with your fingers. Crimp the bottom edges together using the tines of a fork or fluting the edges as you would do in making a pie.
  2. Brush each empanada with the egg wash and bake at 420 F (215 C) for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Serve warm with a little tomato sauce or salsa on the side.
Notes
  1. If you can't find Mexican pork (or beef) chorizo in your supermarket, substitute regular pork (or beef) and increase the amount of cumin and Mexican chili powder seasoning in the recipe.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Dutch Apple Pie- from my Grandma’s 1909 diary

I was recently going through some old family papers and found my grandmother’s diary from 1909. The diary wasn’t bound in a fancy book, it was simply 50 loose pages of paper that thankfully stayed in tact after more than 100 years.

Grandma was a farmer’s wife- she and Grandpa lived on a farm in Payne’s Point, Illinois near Rockford. She had a rather hard life, complaining of having to clean the thick grease off the kitchen walls and of the terrible headaches that made her bedridden for days on end. But Grandma played a very important role on her farm, preparing three meals a day for her family and the hungry farmhands who worked at threshing time.

One diary entry describes the amount of food she had to cook for the threshers:

August 11, 1909

Had threshers for dinner. Anna and I worked like dogs all day: 4 Dutch Apple pies, 4 cakes, doughnuts, bread, 4 chickens and 2 kettles of potatoes. Had lots of stuff left, all ready for supper. Had some terrible hot weather the last three weeks, everything dried up and dusty.

One thing that struck me in her food entries was the important role that pie played in her cooking. Pie was a way to provide comfort and happiness to her family and farmhands  at the end of a long day- it also provided a feeling of community and a sense of being home. I can just picture my Grandma’s table over a hundred years ago: spread with chickens, corn cobs, bread, doughnuts, potatoes and vegetables. But it was the pie at the end of the meal that probably sent each person away with a little more happiness.

As Beth Howard says in her book Ms. American Pie:

There is always someone who could use a homemade pie to remind them that life still holds some hope, promise, and a little taste of happiness. And so I get busy baking …

In order to honor the spirit of my grandma’s love of Dutch Apple Pie, I am providing a recipe adapted from Beth Howard’s book. There is nothing better than Dutch Apple pie- if you like apple crisp or apple crumble, you’ll like this pie!

Here are a few helpful hints about making pie:

  • pie is not complicated- if our grandmothers, pilgrims and pioneers could make pies (with no electric stoves or refrigerators available), we can too!
  • don’t be afraid to ‘get you hands dirty’ when making pies- use your bare hands to mold the butter into the flour to make the dough.
  • Be a little flexible and don’t worry about measuring things precisely. If your dough is a little too dry, then try adding a little more cold water, etc.
  • For more tips on pie crust making, refer to my post on Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie.

 

Dutch Apple Pie
Serves 8
Traditional Apple Pie topped with a cinnamon apple crumble that melts in your mouth!
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For the pie crust
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white flour
  2. 11 tbsps (150 g) cold butter, cubed
  3. 1 1/2 eggs
  4. 2 - 3 tbsp. cold water
For the pie filling
  1. 7 to 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (number of apples depends on the size of your pie)
  2. ½ tsp salt
  3. 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
  4. ¾ cup sugar
  5. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  6. ¼ cup corn starch
For the crumble topping
  1. 1 cup (120 g) flour
  2. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into marble-sized chunks
  3. ½ cup brown sugar
  4. ¼ cup pecans, crushed (optional)
To prepare the pie crust
  1. Place flour in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and rub mixture with palms and finger tips until mixture resembles fine sand. Alternatively, place flour and butter in food processor bowl and pulse until mixture resembles texture of fine sand.
  2. Add 1 1/2 eggs and stir until mixture starts to form a ball. If required, add 2-3 tbsps. of ice cold water and mix until dough hangs together in firm ball shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until it forms a firm ball. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it measures about 1.5 inches larger than the dimensions of your pie pan. Trim the dough using kitchen scissors so that 1 inch of dough overhangs the pie pan. Tuck the edges of the dough under at the edges and then form into fluted edges. Set the dough aside.
For the pie filling
  1. Peel, core and slice the apples into pieces about 1 inch long. In a large bowl, combine the apples, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice and corn starch.
For the crumble topping
  1. In a separate bowl, rub the chilled butter, flour, brown sugar and crushed pecans (optional) together with your fingers until the texture resembles marbles. (If the butter becomes too soft, the mixture will become like a ‘melted, sticky glob.’ In this case, place the mixture in the fridge for a few minutes until the butter hardens again).
  2. Pour the apple filling into the prepared pie dough until it reaches the rim of the pie pan. Top with the crumble mixture. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F (220 C) for 10 minutes, then reduce to 375 F (190 C) for another approximate 25 minutes, or until the apples turn soft when inserted with a fork or probe. If the crust starts to burn, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Cool slightly and serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.
Notes
  1. The crushed pecans are optional but they do add a bit of added texture to the crumble topping.
Adapted from Beth Howard's 'Ms. American Pie' recipe book
Adapted from Beth Howard's 'Ms. American Pie' recipe book
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Mixed Berries and Cream Cheese Mug Crumble

Mug crumbles are fast and easy to make. A few ingredients are added to a mug, microwaved then finished off with a crumble on top. Being a non-coffee drinker, I used to eye my husband’s coffee mugs lying around the house with suspicion, now the mug is my new best friend!

This recipe contains some of the ingredients you would use to make a cheese cake, such as cream cheese, fruit and a crumb mixture. But if you want to have your dessert ready in less than 10 minutes, give this method a try instead!

There are many ‘mug recipe’ variations- how about a ‘Pear and Chocolate Mug Crumble’ or ‘Apple and Caramel Mug Crumble’?- the possibilities are endless!

Mug Crumbles require a minimum of equipment and less than 3 minutes in the microwave. To make a successful crumble mixture, rub the ingredients together using your finger tips, rather than using a spoon.

To make my crumb mixture I used Lotus ® biscuits, a light caramelized cookie with a light cinnamon flavor. If you can’t find that brand in your supermarket, you could also use a shortbread or gingersnap cookie instead.

lotus-biscoff-caramelised-biscuits

Mixed Berries and Cream Cheese Mug Crumble
Serves 2
Mixed Berries , lemon-flavored cream cheese and a crumble prepared in a mug- ready in less than 3 minutes in the microwave.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Fruit
  1. 6 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 4 tsp caster sugar
  4. 1 apple, cored and diced
  5. 4 tbsps mixed berries, fresh or frozen
Crumble
  1. ½ inch slice of salted butter (30 g)
  2. 2 tbsps soft brown sugar
  3. 6 Lotus® caramelized biscuits (cookies) or 45 g shortbread cookies, crushed
  4. 2 heaping tbsp. white flour
  5. Zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, 2 tsp of the sugar. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of two mugs. Add the apple slices on top, then the mixed berries; sprinkle 1 tsp sugar each onto the top of the mixture. Cover the mugs with plastic wrap, pierce the wrap several times, then microwave for about 1 minute 15 seconds.
For the crumble
  1. Slice the cold butter into small cubes and transfer to a bowl. Add the brown sugar, crushed biscuits (cookies) flour and lemon zest. Work the mixture with your fingertips to form the dough. Crumble it into the mug and microwave for 1 minute. Let cool for a little before serving.
Adapted from Mug Crumbles by Christelle Huet-Gomez
Adapted from Mug Crumbles by Christelle Huet-Gomez
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Sole Meunière – when Julia Child first came to France

I have always been intrigued with the idea of cooking Sole Meunière, the classic French dish first tasted by Julia Child on her arrival in France in 1948. However, I always thought the dish might be a bit too simple (a piece of fish pan-fried in butter!) and also thought it would be difficult to photograph to look good on the plate.

However, after re-reading my copy of Julia’s book, My Life in France, I realized that this recipe was much too important to pass by. After all, this was the dish that re-awakened her gastronomic senses to transform the experience into “the most exciting meal of my life.” Prior to this meal eaten at Rouen’s La Couronne restaurant, Julia had experienced only mundane fish dishes of “broiled mackerel for Friday dinners and codfish balls with egg sauce.”

However, Sole Meunière became a real epiphany for Julia. As she ate the sole “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top,” she experienced “fish and a dining experience of the highest order than I’d ever had before.” After reading this, I realized that I now had to take the plunge and try this recipe.

In French, a meunière is a miller’s wife, so Sole Meunière literally means sole cooked the way a miller’s wife would prepare it. More prosaically, it refers to fish that has been floured and fried in butter. If you can’t find any sole, you can use other thin fillets such as flounder, John Dory, trout or whiting- I used John Dory fillets.

There are a few tips and variations for this recipe. Julia Child recommends using unsalted clarified butter for frying the fish. This is butter where the milk solids have been removed, thus preventing the butter from burning. You could also use a combination of cooking oil and butter (1:3 ratio) to achieve the same result, although I prefer the clarified butter option.

In order to test whether the fish is cooked, Julia recommends pressing your finger tip against the fish; it should feel ‘springy rather than squashy.’ If it has turned flaky, it is over cooked. She also recommends seasoning the fish with ground white pepper, otherwise it might look like the fish has ‘fly specks.’ You can use black pepper if you wish, but just season the ‘non-presentation side’ to avoid viewing the fly specks.

After you have readied all of your ingredients, this dish is very quick to prepare. The decorative lemon pieces are optional, but I recommend including them; they really dress up the plate. And as for my previous comment about Sole Meunière being too simple a dish to try- this is not true. It turns out that the simpler dishes are often the most delicious!

In order to make this dish, I recommend starting by preparing the decorative lemon slices, using a ‘channeller’ to make grooves in the lemons. First you carve grooves in the lemon going vertically, spacing the grooves about 1/4 inches apart. Then slice the lemon in half horizontally to make ‘star shapes’- then slice these in half.

After preparing the decorative garnish, the rest of the recipe goes quickly. Please note that the recipe says to fry the fish in 3-4 tbsp clarified butter. The amount you use depends on the size of your frying pan and the amount of fish you cook; obviously you would use a smaller amount of butter if using a smaller fry pan, etc. Bon appétit!

 

Sole Meunière
Serves 4
This classic French dish transformed Julia Child from a person who loved to eat into a woman who loved to cook!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
26 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
26 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 – 6 Sole fillets or other thin fish fillets without skin
  2. Salt and white pepper for seasoning
  3. 1 cup or so white flour
  4. 3 – 4 tbsp clarified butter for cooking the fish
  5. 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  6. 4 – 6 tbsp additional butter for the sauce
  7. Juice from ½ lemon for the sauce
  8. 2 lemons to decorate the plate
Instructions
  1. Prepare the decorative lemon slices as illustrated in the photos above.
  2. Season both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate and lightly coat each side of the fish with the flour; shake off any excess.
  3. Over high heat, place enough of the clarified butter in a fry pan to form a thin film about 1/16 inch thick. Heat the butter until it becomes very hot, but not turning brown. Reduce the heat slightly and then fry each fish fillet in the butter for about 2 minutes each side; cook only as many fish at one time that will easily fit into the pan. The fish should feel ‘springy’ to the touch when finished rather than ‘squashy.’ Remove the fish from the pan and keep warm while the remaining fish are cooking.
For the sauce
  1. After all fish have been cooked, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Over high heat, add the 4- 6 tbsp unsalted butter (not clarified) and heat until it bubbles and starts to turn a nut brown color. Be careful the butter does not burn and turn black. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the juice from ½ lemon. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets, sprinkle with the diced parsley and then arrange the lemon slices decoratively around the plate.
Notes
  1. The amount of butter used in the recipe should be adjusted to both the size of your fry pan and also the amount of fish you are using. If you don't want to use clarified butter, then use a combination of 1 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable or olive oil) to 3 tbsp unsalted butter.
Adapted from 'The Way to Cook' by Julia Child
Adapted from 'The Way to Cook' by Julia Child
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Chocolate + Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (akaEasy Chocolate Fondant’) was my very first blog post over three years ago. I keep on coming back to this recipe since it is rather easy (only 5 ingredients) and it’s also awe-despairingly delicious. At that time, I didn’t know much about photography: I just pushed the ‘automatic’ button on the camera and hoped for the best:

My first blog post- February 2013

Chocolate Fondant

To experiment further, I thought, “What would happen if I added a dab of peanut butter to the cake batter?” Well, the ‘molten lava’ continued to flow from the cake, but this time it was even more rich and decadent, with the peanut butter weaving through the flow of chocolate.

To make the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake, the process is the same; first you prepare your molds by brushing the insides with melted butter then dusting with some cocoa powder. The butter and chocolate are then melted together over a pan of simmering water and the eggs and sugar are beaten together until frothy. The flour is then folded into the combined ingredients.

To get the special peanut butter and chocolate lava effect, you first fill each mold halfway with batter, then add a dab of peanut butter, followed by more batter. In other words, the peanut butter is ‘sandwiched’ in the middle.

Note: for my molten lava cakes, I used a rather large mold: about 4 inches wide and 3 inches deep. This helped to create the effect of the center of the cake ‘collapsing’ inward. You could also use the smaller dariole type molds, although the effect will not be as great.

Also, baking time depends on the size of your molds; for my larger molds, I baked them for 13 minutes and only 11 minutes for the smaller dariole molds. To test for ‘doneness’, the center of the cake should spring back when pressed with your finger.

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lava Cake
Serves 8
Chocolate and Peanut Butter lava flowing from a decadent chocolate cake
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
43 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
43 min
Ingredients
  1. Melted butter for greasing – Cocoa powder for dusting the ramekins
  2. 1/2 cup butter (110 grams)
  3. 200 grams (7 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  4. 1/2 cup white sugar (100 grams)
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 4 egg yolks
  7. 1 cup plain flour (110 grams), sifted
  8. 1 tbsp peanut butter for each mold
  9. Thickened cream to serve, icing sugar to dust (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 360 °F (180° C). Grease ramekins (pudding molds) with melted butter and dust insides with cocoa powder. Place on baking tray.
  2. Place a round piece of baking paper to fit the bottom of each ramekin to ensure the fondant lifts out easily after baking.
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate together and place over a saucepan of simmering water- stir until melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, add together 4 eggs and 4 separated egg yolks with the sugar- mix on high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and foamy (but not stiff).
  5. Now gradually add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture, folding in small amounts at a time until glossy and smooth.
  6. Fold in the flour until smooth. Fill each mold half-way with the batter, add 1 tbsp peanut butter, then finish filling the mold almost to the top. Place the molds in fridge for at least 1/2 hour or until ready to serve.
  7. Bake for 11- 13 minutes on a tray – fondants should appear to be cooked on top but do not over-cook. The center of the cake should spring back slightly when touched.
  8. Remove from oven and let stand for several minutes – then run a knife gently around the rim of each mold and turn each fondant out onto a serving plate or bowl.
  9. Sprinkle with white icing sugar; add thick cream on the side if desired, for extra ‘yumminess.’
Notes
  1. This recipe will yield about 5 serves if you use the larger molds and about 8 serves if you use the smaller dariole molds
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Mini Chicken Enchilada Bake

Arriving back last week from tropical Darwin to our home in chilly Adelaide (see my post Darwin Chili Mud Crab), I was ready for something hot and spicy- what better way than to whip up some mini Chicken Enchiladas!

The tomato sauce for the enchiladas is spiced with chili, cumin, Mexican chili powder, corn and an optional splash of white wine. Already I can feel (taste) the heat!

I filled the enchiladas with shredded chicken breast: I normally think chicken breast is too dry for my taste, however after I poached it in water for several minutes, the meat was nice and tender. I used mini-tortillas since they are ‘cute’ and easy to handle.

Mini enchiladas ready to go into the oven

A friend of mine once said that she doesn’t cook Mexican-inspired food at home since “there are already so many Mexican restaurants and fast-food places around.” But it’s ‘game on’ for me- I’ll take the heat anytime!

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Mini Chicken Enchilada Bake
Serves 8
Easy chicken enchiladas made with mini tortillas
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
For the sauce
  1. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  2. 2 garlic cloves, diced
  3. 1 long red or green chili, chopped
  4. 1 tsp cumin
  5. 1 tsp Mexican chili powder
  6. 1 small can of corn
  7. Splash of white wine (optional)
  8. 1 can (14 oz or 400 g) diced tomatoes
For the chicken mixture
  1. 2 cups (280 g) shredded cooked chicken breast
  2. 1/2 cup (115 g) sour cream
  3. 2-3 tbsp of the sauce (from above)
  4. 1 cup grated extra tasty cheddar cheese
  5. 1 fire roasted red pepper (from jar), diced
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 8 mini tortillas
For the garnish
  1. 1 sliced avocado
  2. 1 spring onion, sliced
  3. Coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Add a little olive oil to a fry pan and sauté the onion, garlic and chili over medium-high heat until soft. Add the cumin, Mexican chili powder, can of diced tomatoes, corn and splash of white wine (optional); reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened and set aside.
  2. Prepare the shredded cooked chicken breast (see Notes below). In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken meat, sour cream, 2-3 tbsps. of the sauce, cheddar cheese and chopped fire-roasted red pepper. Add salt to taste.
  3. Place each mini-tortilla onto a flat surface and top with several tablespoons of chicken mixture. Roll up each tortilla and place seam-down into a rectangular baking dish. Add the sauce and then top with the cheddar cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the enchiladas turn golden and are cooked through. To serve, add the sliced spring (green) onion, avocado slices and coriander.
Notes
  1. To cook my chicken breast meat, I first chopped the breast up into 3-4 pieces, then poached the meat for 6-7 minutes in a saucepan filled with water, several pieces of crushed garlic and a splash of white wine and some chicken stock. This made the meat tender and flavorful.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Darwin Chili Mud Crab

Mud Crab

As my plane landed in Darwin on a recent holiday, I couldn’t wait to try making one of the local traditional recipes: Chili Mud Crab. Mud crabs (called “muddies” by locals) are found in the estuaries and mangroves of the Northern Territory and are known for their huge claws, which produce ‘bucket loads’ of tasty meat. The crab that I used for my dish weighed about 2.6 pounds (1.2 kgs). 

Crab

Darwin’s food is highly influenced by Asian flavors due to its proximity to Southeast Asia, therefore giving birth to dishes such as Chili Mud Crab. One interesting fact: during the gold rush of the 1880’s, there were more Chinese living in the Northern Territory than European-born people!

To prepare your Chili Mud Crab (you could also use Blue Swimmer or Dungeness crabs) , you first need to remove the legs and claws from the crab’s body, then crack the claws open at several places to make it easier to eat the meat later on.

Remove legs and claws from crab’s body

Crab (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

Next, place your thumb underneath the triangular-shaped abdominal flap and lift off the bottom part of the crab’s body. You will now see the crab’s spongy lungs; remove these and any of the ‘gooey’ roe.

Remove the spongy lungs from the body

Crab (3 of 3) (1 of 1)

Chop the crab’s body into four sections using a cleaver. Then, chop the onion, chili, garlic and ginger and you’re now ready to assemble the dish in a wok or large pot.

Crab (4 of 4) (1 of 1)

For the final assembly, sauté the veggies in hot oil in the wok or pot, then add the tomato purée, chili sauce and white wine. Pop the crab pieces into the wok, cover with a lid for about 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat until the meat is cooked and the crab shells turn red. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) and prepare to get your fingers a little dirty as you eat!

Crab

I loved visiting Darwin with the balmy tropical air, the Asian influences and the proximity to national parks such as Kakadu and Litchfield. I was sad to leave Darwin and the beautiful sunsets, however I will return again one day to make more dishes using their wonderful mud crabs!

Darwin Sunset

Darwin Sunset

Chili Mud Crab
Huge chunks of luscious crab meat cooked with an Asian influence
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Mud Crab, segmented (or other type of fresh, uncooked crab)
  2. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, diced
  5. 2 tbsp ginger, diced
  6. 1 red chili, seeded and diced
  7. 2 cups (500 ml) tomato purée (passata)
  8. 3-4 tbsp chili sauce
  9. ¼ cup white wine
  10. Coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Separate the crab into pieces; first remove the claws and legs of the crab by twisting and pulling them from the crab’s body. Using a cleaver, separate the claws at the elbow joint then crack them open in several places to reveal the meat.
  2. Lift the abdominal flap on the underside to open the crab’s body; remove the ‘spongy’ lungs and clean the roe from the shell. Using a cleaver, chop the body into quarters. Set all body parts aside.
  3. Set the wok or large pot over high heat; add the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chili several minutes until soft. Reduce heat to medium and add the tomato purée, chilli sauce and white wine; let simmer for several minutes. Add the crab pieces and turn with a spatula until all pieces are fully coated with the sauce. Cover with a lid and let cook for at least ten minutes until the crab meat is fully cooked and infused with the chili sauce. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) - goes well served on a bed of rice.
Notes
  1. Adjust the seasoning to your individual taste- if you like more heat, add more chili or chili sauce to your liking.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Mango and Banana Caramel Tart

 

Tart 10

I could smell the caramel a mile away when making this recipe. This tart has a calypso feel to it- tropical mangoes and bananas steeped in a rich caramel sauce, then ‘baptized’ in a splash of rum and nutmeg and then anchored in a flaky buttery crust. I’m already howling for more!

I came across this recipe while reading a food magazine near Portland, Victoria in Australia. We had just returned from a ½ mile walk to see a colony of seals and a kangaroo had bolted across our path on our return back. What a great way to finish the day- a close encounter with seals, a kangaroo and now a delicious caramel tart recipe!

The recipe is pretty easy. First, you heat sugar and butter in a fry pan to make a caramel flavored with rum, nutmeg and vanilla bean, then let the mangoes and bananas simmer in the sauce until soft.

Then roll out a pastry dough and place it on top of the caramel mixture- bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Final step- place a serving plate on top and then invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm, plain or with a scoop of ice cream.

THE PARTY

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Mango and Banana Caramel Tart
Serves 6
This recipe is like a 'Tarte Tatin' but made with mangoes, bananas and a touch of rum.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Pastry
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. Pinch salt
  4. ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tbsp iced water
Tart Filling
  1. ½ cup caster sugar
  2. 3 tbsp butter
  3. 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped
  5. 1 tbsp dark rum
  6. Pinch nutmeg
  7. 2 bananas, halved, sliced lengthwise
For the Pastry
  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the egg; mix well with spoon or spatula. Add the iced water and continue to mix; turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until mixture holds its shape. Form into ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for one hour.
For the Tart filling
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place the sugar and butter in an oven-proof fry pan (about 9 inches wide). Over high heat, occasionally shake the pan until the mixture starts to bubble and turn brown, forming a caramel. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the mango, vanilla bean, rum and nutmeg; reduce the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and the mango caramelises. Add the banana slices and cook for another 5 minutes, turning the bananas gently to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick, then shape the dough so that it is 1 inch wider than the diameter of the fry pan.
  4. Lay the dough over the fruit mixture in the pan and tuck the ends under a bit. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Place a serving plate over the fry pan and invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm plain or with ice cream.
Adapted from Feast Magazine
Adapted from Feast Magazine
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/