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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Feaster

  And so another full-moon-after-the-equinox has passed, leaving in its wake a deluge of chocolate eggs, random pieces of foil, empty Hot Cross Bun bags (I didn’t get around to baking any this year – for shame!) and a few unwanted kilos (or is that just me??). Regular readers will note that the four-day long weekend is traditionally a time for The Making of Fabulous Breakfasts; though I seemed to have missed writing about it last year. For those of you playing along at home,  I do remember making a Smashed Pea Bruschetta (with goats cheese and egg, from Donna Hay “Simple Dinners"), which will be getting a revisit when all of the peas Hubby has planted around the place over the last few weeks start producing (he was inspired by Verge Gardening, and our car port now has little pots and stakes all around the place); as well as Huevos Rancheros, which was a Mexican tomato-capsicum stew concoction, into which you cracked a couple of eggs which cooked in the mix. Quite tasty but don’t try and freeze the leftovers to reuse at a later stage; thawing is not its friend.

 This year’s Feaster started on Good Friday with “Baked Egg Cups” (from Delicious magazine) which were like a deconstructed egg and bacon pie: a blind baked mini tart case lined with prosciutto and filled with egg and baked in the oven. It was supposed to be finished with a drizzle of truffle oil, but although I had sourced it at my local gourmet grocer, I hadn’t gotten back to buy it! (there was no way I was going to the shops on the day before Good Friday!). And I hadn't decided whether black or white, or australian or French truffle oil would be best (decisions decisions!!).  So I served it will a bit of aioli on the side; which is my stand-by condiment for everything these days! For the record, the only thing it hasn’t improved was quesadillas (I had forgotten the sour cream – despicable!)

 This recipe was quite easy to make but was a little bit time consuming, it lost points for not being able to roll out of bed and have it on the table in 10 minutes: I got up and got the sheet of pastry out of the freezer, went for a walk while it defrosted, then blind baked the pastry while I was in the shower, and baked the filling while getting table set and such. If you really wanted the extra sleep you could probably bake the pastry the night before and put it together in the morning; which I will probably do next time as it was quite delicious (and looked quite cool) – Son 2 was also a fan!
 Easter Saturday missed out on Cooked Breakfast as I have a gym class on Saturday mornings so it’s more like Brunch by the time I get back. I did try a variation on my blueberry quinoa porridge (I was too hungry to wait the 15 minute simmering time) using rolled oats in the microwave. Which didn’t work. Which is good to know!

 Easter Sunday was “Fetta Fritters with Roast Capsicum and Tomato Salad” (Delicious Mag again) – you’ve got to love a title that leaves nothing to the imagination. This was definitely not a roll-out-of bed and throw it on the table breakfast option! Firstly you had to roast the tomatoes for an hour (which I did the night before), grill the capsicum so you could peel it, and double-crumb your fetta (with a 15 minute chill period). But it wasn’t too fiddly, just time consuming. And very yummy.

The fetta fritters were really tasty; and I imagine haloumi done the same way would be equally as delicious. The salad was really light and I am planning on making this again but as more of a bruschetta brunch; adding more basil and some red onion to the salad, and then having smaller bite-sized fetta fritters on the top – mmmmmm.

 By Easter Monday I had just about gone through my stash of To Cook breakfast receipes, and I thought that by this stage I would be a bit over preparing and fiddling first thing in the morning. So I stuck to an old favourite, “Smoky Ham, Egg and Jarlesberg sandwiches” (another detailed title!). This was from a receipe book called (strangely enough) “Breakfast” (from Marie Claire) that I got for Mother’s Day about 5-6 years ago. Hubby was a bit sheepish in giving it as he felt it was asking me to make breakfast for him, on the day when I should have got breakfast in bed. But he of course was wrong, I loved it and I have used it many times over the ensuing years. It has given us “Scrambled eggs with salmon on croissants” (or with ham for me, the non-smoked salmon eater), and “Fried haloumi, rocket and tomato sandwiches”, as well as classics such as Eggs Benedict, Croque Monsieur and many variations of pancakes. But this was a favourite, mostly due to its simplicity, plus the fact that I usually had all the ingredients in the fridge. I do try to have a nice solid bread such as pasta dura, and after frying an egg and putting it all together (with a slurp of Dijon mustard,) it gets toasted in the sandwich maker and voila !

 So before I sign off I’ll just let you know about another awesome breakfast that came my way via the " Hot Food” section of Epicure (in The Age) – F.A.T, which stands for Fetta, Avocado and Tomato. This delightful combo was one I had been moving towards over the past few years;  I had replaced butter with avocado as a spread on salad sandwiches a few years ago, and a BLT was always my meal of choice when working at Johnny Rockets (with Red Red sauce of course!). The combo of salty, creamy and tangy works so well. Our preferred method of F.A.T ingestion is to smash up an avocado, add some S&P and basil or mint, pop that on a piece of toast, crumble over some fetta (Greek or Persian, whatever you have handy) and top with chopped cherry tomatoes (and a bit of onion if you feel like it) – divine, no cook and healthy (ish) breakfast in less than 10 minutes

Happy breakfasting!

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