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Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

I never usually buy commercial bread products. Mine are so much tastier and a darn sight better for me! Nevertheless, I have succumbed and bought a packet of English Breakfast Muffins. The reason behind this is to understand the texture and taste of them because I think my sourdough adventures will lead to a tastier home-made version sometime soon.

So my experiments begin. I must seek awesome ways of eating this delightful muffin. Is this awesome cleverly disguised as a breakfast dish? Id say so, but I may be biased.

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $5 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 English muffins
100g turkey breast
2 organic free ranged eggs
1 tomato, sliced
2 cheese slices
handful baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cranberry jelly
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Slice all the ingredients ready for construction while the muffin is hot.
  2. Split the muffins in half at the join line and toast lightly.
  3. While the muffin is toasting, lightly scramble one egg in a bowl and pop it in the microwave oven for 30 – 40 seconds until cooked. 

    Quick method for light fluffy eggs

  4. Once the muffin has been toasted, spread mayonnaise on one half and cranberry jelly on the other. On the mayonnaise side, add the baby spinach, tomato, salt and pepper, turkey, cheese, egg and more salt and pepper. 

    Construction of a master piece.

  5. Devour immediately.

So yummy

Observations

  • This was so tasty and filling. Much happiness comes from such a complete breakfast!
  • A note about seasoning. If you noticed, I seasoned the muffin twice; on the tomatoes and on the eggs. I believe both require adequate seasoning to enhance their flavours. Do a blind taste test on a piece of tomato and a bit of egg both seasoned and unseasoned and you will understand my rationale behind this.
  • I’ve heard and read a lot of things both for and against microwaved proteins. I hardly ever use my microwave, but this 30 – 40 second zap for one egg produces light, fluffy eggs that are otherwise time-consuming and require a lot of clean up. My only word of caution is to not over cook the eggs in the microwave, unless you want rubber fighting weapons for comic skits.
  • Want a vegetarian version? Just leave the turkey off and perhaps substitute a lentil patty!
  • Diabetic Note: One of these muffins is within my carbohydrate budget. The protein from the turkey, cheese and egg (particularly the egg) keeps me full for hours. While you may be pushing the fats friendship from the egg content and cheese, all in all this is a pretty balanced and awesome breakfast!
  • Ethical Note: I used tomatoes from my garden. YAY! And with any luck, next time I write to you about English Muffins, it will be about my own home made sourdough version. Fingers crossed!
 

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Lamb Calzone with Mint Yoghurt Sauce

O. M. G!

Perfection has been achieved. No, seriously… perfection. Flavourful, light, flaky, crunchy, smooth and possibly a gift from the gods type perfection. This was a lot of work but was an award winner. Let me share it with you (or Narf77 may kill me)!

[  Serves: 4  |  TIME: <10 HOURS  |  COST: $8  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 5  / 5  |  MY RATING: 5  / 5  |  Brittanys Rating:  5  /  5  ]

Ingredients

Filling

500 g lamb mince
1 bunch spinach
1 red onion
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
2 cups cheese (feta, tasty, pecorino)
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Dough: Adapted from A Bread a Day

1 ½ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cups wholemeal flour
2 cups white flour
1 cup sourdough starter

Sauce: Copied From Recipe Tips

1 cup plain yoghurt
½  cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove small garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. To prepare the dough, mix ¾ of the flour and water together until to difficult to stir. Turn out and knead until the dough is sticky and elastic. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap, and add the oil, salt, remaining flour, and starter.  Mix. If the dough looks very wet, add more flour by tablespoons only as needed.  Once desired consistency has been reached, continue knead until dough has been kneaded for a total of 5 to 6 minutes. Place the dough out into a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 – 4 hours.
  3. After resting, remove plastic wrap, slide a large spatula under one side of the dough, and gently fold it over the centre.  Do the same for the opposite side (imagine you’re folding a letter into thirds).  Then, turn the bowl 90º, and fold the dough in half over itself (as though you’re folding the letter in half).  Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 – 4 hours or so.
  4. While your dough is proofing, prepare your fillings. Carefully cut the stems from the spinach leaves. The stems are too hard for this dish, so just use the green leafy parts. Lightly boil it until wilted – just a few minutes. Drain it and gently squeeze the water from the leaves.
  5. In a frying pan, sauté the onions, garlic and rosemary until fragrant. Add the lamb mince and cook until brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
  6. After the dough has had enough time to proof, divide dough into 4 sections, covering the pieces not being used.  Depending on the consistency of your dough, you may or may not be able to roll these crusts out.  If you can, form dough into balls, and roll each out on lightly floured surface to a 9 inch circle.  If your dough is too loose and sticky to roll, simply press and stretch each piece into a rough 9 inch circle.  Either way is fine.  Carefully transfer dough rounds onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. On one half of the dough circle, layer your ingredients leaving a 3cm border around the outside. Carefully spread the spinach first, then layer the lamb mixture on top. Finish by adding cherry tomatoes and some cheese. Fold the other half over, and use your hands to fold the sides to seal the ingredients like a pocket. Use a knife point to place a few slices into the calzone to allow the steam to escape.
  8. Bake calzones in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, or until well-browned.
  9. While the calzones are cooking, make y our yoghurt sauce. Finely shred the mint leaves and mix all ingredients.
  10. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Observations

  • This was so good. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve made in a long time. When I said I was going to share it with you, I lied! There were actually fights about who got the last one! (For the record, Joe and I shared it.)
  • We all loved this mint sauce. It was soooo very good, and so simple to make. Don’t go to all this work and cut corners on this delightful sauce!
  • When you serve it, give it a good squeeze of lemon juice to freshen it up and enhance the lamb flavours.
  • We all had different cheeses which definitely put in different flavours. I had  Nimbin Valley Dairys Lillian Goats Feta. Joe had some Romano Pecorino from  Bangalow Cheese Co. Brittany had regular tasty cheese. The cheese was always generously applied.
  • Diabetic Note: I must admit I didn’t check my blood glucose levels after this meal, but I anticipate that they were slightly elevated or ok. Although its pastry, look how thin I roll it.
  • Ethical Note: Lamb is a much better option for the environment when compared to beef or fish.
 

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Savoury Zucchini Muffins – Gourmet Garden Blogoff

Day two of the great Gourmet Garden Cook off / Blog off is here! Today I’ve decided to make a family favourite savoury muffin using the Gourmet Garden range of spices.

My regular readers will know I am a big fan of chia seeds and zucchini and good quality cheeses. This delightful muffin has all the above and more! Let me introduce you to the champion of savoury muffins, adapted from this recipe at Netplaces.

[  SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 25 MIN  |  COST: <$3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4.5 / 5  |  MY RATING: 4.5 / 5 ]

INGREDIENTS

1½ cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup zucchini, grated and drained
2 free ranged eggs, beaten
½ cup cheese, grated
½ cup onions, diced finely
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup fresh parsley, shredded
¼ cup olive oil
1¼ tablespoon Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Thyme Paste
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grate the zucchini and squeeze it well to remove all the fluids from the pulp. Chop the onion finely and shred the parsley.
  2. In a frying pan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until caramelising. Remove from heat and allow to cool in a large mixing bowl for about 20 minutes.
  3. Once onion mixture is cool, add the oil, buttermilk, eggs and zucchini. Mix well.
  4. Add both types of flour, baking powder and soda, chia seeds, thyme, and parsley, mixing gently until all ingredients are incorporated. Add the cheese and pepper to the mix, gently mixing through.
  5. To a greased muffin tray, add batter until muffin cups are ¾ full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and set. Remove from cups and serve immediately.

Observations

  • These muffins can be eaten hot as a light lunch, cold as a snack, or as an accompaniment for a main meal such as a soup. Either way, they are delicious!
  • We have discussed previously how wonderful chia seeds are for us. These muffins are an excellent way of incorporating more into our diet!
  • These muffins will keep in an air tight container for a few days.
  • These muffins are very savoury, and the use of Romano Pecorino Cheese really lifts this dish a lot. If you can’t get pecorino, try Parmesan for a similar taste and result.
  • Diabetic Note: A medium size muffin is around 15 g of carbohydrates, so they are great for morning or afternoon tea snacks. Keep in mind that adding butter or other toppings will be yummy but naughty! Watch your serving sizes.
  • Ethical Note 1: Ahh, how I love my local cheese maker cause this Pecorino rocks! As I mentioned last week, I chose to use free ranged goat cheeses and / or locally produced cheeses.
  • Ethical Note 2: Zucchini is currently in season, and are cheap as chips at the farmers markets. Using seasonal and local produce is a great way of lowering your carbon footprint.
  • Ethical Note 3: I’ve said it before and Ill say it again; free ranged eggs make a world of difference in terms of flavour and environmentally and ethical awareness. Where possible, insist on free ranged.
 

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Stuffed Vegetables

Tonight’s meal is a weird comedy of errors that turned out half decent. The story started 35 years ago in Malta. When I was little, my grandmother would make stuffed marrows. (For the uninitiated, marrows are similar to a zucchini in texture, but are round and mostly hollow.) She would hollow them out and stuff them with pork mince, vegetables, cheese and bread. Sometimes she would even make a soup out of it.

I have been trying for more than 10 years to buy marrows. When I was a child, they were in plentiful supply as my grandfather would grow them in the yard. They are not so easy to source here, and as a result, my desire to emulate my grandmothers master piece has been left on the back burner. Until recently. By chance, I noticed some over sized squash which I think MAY do the trick (kind of). Lets just say that this was error number one.

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fig and goat cheese tart

You may have noticed my discrete love affair with figs lately. There was figs with mascarpone, chocolate and wine and figs poached in galliano. Well, fearing the fig season is coming to an end and panicked. I snapped up some delicious looking ripe specimens this week at shopping. The idea was to use them in some delightful way when our friend Kat came on her regular visit.

You may remember my recent trip to the Byron Bay Farmers Markets? I picked up some delightful Nimbin Valley Dairys Lemon Billy goats cheese. My mind raced with possibilities – it had to be a marriage of biblical proportions, right? Then I stumbled across this gem by Donna Hay. The rest, as they say, is a delicious memory of savoury delight.

[  SERVES: 6  |  TIME: 15 MIN  |  COST: <$5 – 6  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4/5  |  MY RATING:  4.5/5 |  Kats’ RATING:  4.5/5]

Ingredients

Methods

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Spray your tart tins with cooking oil. Cut the pastry sheets in quarters or in half (depending on size) to line your tart tins. Trim the excess from the edges and pierce the base of the tarts with a fork.
  3. Cut the figs in half, and place half of a fig in the centre of each tart. Crumble some goat cheese around the fig.
  4. In a bowl, combine the eggs, grated cheese, chives, and salt and pepper. Whisk well until well incorporated and aerated. Pour mixture carefully into around the figs.
  5. Bake the tarts for 25 minutes or until the cream & egg mixture has set and the pastry is cooked.
  6. Delicious hot or cold. nom nom

Observations

  • There is a sophistication to this dish that can not be overstated. It is flavourful, delightfully surprising and is quite more’ish. It would make a sensational appetizer for a dinner party, or just a special treat for guests. It would be beautiful served with a fresh salad of greens on the side.
  • The cheese I used today was marinated with lemon myrtle, busy pepper and roasted garlic. It gave a delightful subtle lemony flavour to the entire dish.
  • We all felt that the punch of the goats cheese was a little too subtle. Next time, Id definitely add more goats cheese than stated above.
  • Diabetic Note: Oh dear…….. lets just not worry about that, shall we?
  • Ethical Note: Local produce once again with a low carbon footprint make this meal even more special.


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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Food: Ethical Eating, Food: Vegetarian

 

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Figs poached in Galliano

Ahhh figs! You like em, I like em – We all like em! Right now (for the Aussies at least) they are in season, and at their most spectacular awesomeness. You may have remembered me talking the other day about dessert wine, figs, chocolate and mascarpone cheese? Well it was a little ironic that the girls turned up with figs, as I had some in the fridge already! And tonight was their night to shine.

[  SERVES: 4  |  TIME: 15 MIN  |  COST: <$5 – 8  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4/5  |  MY RATING:  4/5 |  BRITTANYS’ RATING:  2.5/5]

Ingredients

4 fresh figs
1 cup galliano liqueur (we used vanilla flavoured galliano)
4 scoops ice cream
2 star anise
toasted pine nuts to garnish

Method

  1. Cut a X shape into the bottom of each fig that goes about half way into the fig.
  2. In a very small saucepan, carefully place the figs so they are sitting up. Pour in the liqueur and add the star anise. Put it on a moderate heat – You want to achieve a rolling simmer, not a rapid boil.
  3. When the liquid has reduced by about a half and started to thicken, remove from heat.
  4. Serve with a little ice cream, and a drizzle of reduced galliano sauce. Garnish and devour immediately.

Observations

  • O. M. G!! That is one dessert that we will remember for quite some time! Joe and I loved it, but the galliano flavour was a bit much for Brittany.
  • It is rich, so be warned. The ice cream helps to cut back some of the intensity. It could also be served with some vanilla infused ricotta or mascarpone cheese.
  • Diabetic note: To be honest, I haven’t looked. I am going to assume that the galliano is very high in sugars as it is a liqueur. As a result, I just had a small drizzle, and a tiny bit of ice cream. It is definitely a treat food, rather than a staple. Enjoy it by all means, (and please, take my guilt……. I’ve got enough for two!)
  • Ethical Note: Please know the source of your produce. Shop locally where possible, and avoid the nasty supermarket chains!

 

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