Egg Curry and Sydney Dinner With The Barrs

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This was a very quiet week-end in comparison to last! There were three young guys in the house last week-end with the ir parents, visiting us all the way from Toronto. On Sunday morning we all went to the zoo.

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Little C stayed home and baked cakes for dessert and prepped for the dinner party we were having that night at home. What a unique evening.  I kept looking around the room that night, savouring the sight of everyone there. How special that you girls could come and be part of the week-end.  We were TEN under one roof- just amazing! Thank goodness for blow up mattresses I say!

It was an eclectic menu of curry puffs, pork vindaloo (recipe coming one of these days), egg curry, a beautiful big salad made by your cousin, and rice.

I’m glad you enjoyed the egg curry, and it is a receipe that should be on the blog for you both. A nice alternative if you have vegetarian friends to feed. It is quick and easy, not expensive to make  and very satisfying.

The Barrs trip to Sydney was like a dream. I hear the patter of small feet on the floorboards, see the rows of shoes at the bottom of the stairs, and the beach towels hanging out to dry. The days sped by way too quickly.

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Egg Curry

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped fine
  • 1 red chilli chopped fine, or one heaped teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tub tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

  1. Place the eggs in a large pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Boil for five minutes, turn off the heat, and leave the eggs to cool completely.
  3. When eggs are cold, shell them carefully so whites remain smooth.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large fry pan. Add the turmeric powder when the oil is hot.  when the yellow spice sizzles, add the eggs.
  5. Stir around in the hot pan until the eggs are well coated in the turmeric and they begin to turn golden.
  6. Remove the eggs from the pan, and set aside in a dish.
  7. Return the pan to the fire, and add the rest of the oil.
  8. Throw in the cumin seeds and toss for a couple of seconds.
  9. Saute the onion, ginger, chilli and garlic in the oil, until the onion begins to melt.
  10. Add the crushed tomato and stir well, then add the tomato paste, half a cup of water and and the fish sauce.
  11. Bring the sauce to the boil, and then turn the heat down, and simmer for about ten minutes.
  12. Adjust seasoning, and make more spicy by adding more chill flakes if required.
  13. Now cut the eggs in half, and slide them gently into the sauce. Place a lid on the saucepan, and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with chopped coriander or mint.
  15. Serve with white rice or roti.

A Breakfast Casserole from ‘The Rivah’

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The D family had us down to stay at their ‘Rivah’ house all those years ago in Virginia, and CD had made a breakfast casserole the next morning. Every time I make this, I think of this lovely sweet friend who was my walking companion for a while in Windsor Farms.

The past week-end was Easter and it was so wonderful to have four full days to relax. We had lots of friends around including some overseas visitors, and of course there was plenty of food too. We dropped off some eggs to Echo’s household, but I doubt if she’ll get any, no matter how much she begs.

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After some hungry work kayaking in Rose Bay, CD’s casserole seemed like a good and hearty option. CD, it is such a hit every time it gets made, so I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing it here. So easy and tasty, good for breakfast or lunch. Not quite in the swing of Aussie life again, I had left some last minute shopping for Sunday.  Imagine my surprise when I found EVERYTHING tight shut: there was not a single shop open.  So…… the to-be accompanying salad did not get made!

I usually make my casserole with bacon, purple onion, and chopped parsley. Also, I use a combination of parmesan and cheddar. IMG_5145 IMG_5147 IMG_5171 IMG_5100 IMG_5107

Afterwards, a snooze in the garden hammock for a tired visitor: jet lagged, sun infused, and Aussied out!

CD’s Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb sausage, cooked and drained
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 6 slices bread, broken up
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Brown sausage drain and cool
  2. Beat together eggs, milk.  Add salt and dry mustard, beat again, add bread and stir until softened.
  3. Pour in the cheese and sausage.
  4. Pour into a greased 9x 13” glass baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Bake @ 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let stand for a few minutes before cutting.

Optional ingredients:

Minced onion

Diced tomato

Mushrooms

Any omelet ingredients

A salad of substance

Until you causally mentioned it Izzy, it had never occurred to me: Aussies don’t generally eat salads the way Americans do.  What comes to mind for an Australian when you say ‘salad’ is usually the equivalent of an American side salad: mixed greens with a light dressing.

A salad is the most common thing anyone we know in the US eats for lunch these days. But it isn’t just a plate of mixed greens.

In the early days, with the great enthusiasm of making a healthy salad ‘hearty’, American chefs overdid the whole idea: tons of creamy dressing, lots of cheese and chopped egg, meat, and  croutons.

Californians have it down pretty good, we think: there is always a decent ceasar to be had. There are great mexican riffs with black beans, crumbled tacos and jalapeños. Maybe a Chinese chicken salad?  It has asian cabbage cut in a slaw with carrots, shredded chicken and maybe bean sprouts. The dressing is usually honey and soy. A little predictable, but quite delicious.

When you were out with friends, Izzy, it was usually sushi and miso at Taiko in Brentwood Gardens. And if not, it was a salad with warm felafels from the Countrymart, or your favourite chopped salad from California Pizza Kitchen.

Now I quite often make Claudia a hearty salad to take to school for lunch. It consists of a mix of the greens I have in the fridge (baby spinach, arugula, and romaine usually). Toss in some cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, and a handful of whatever fresh herbs you might have. Maybe a handful of edamame, if you have some. Then the ‘hearty’ bit which helps her go the distance in a long school day: some left over chicken curry pieces, or meat. I lift a few pieces out of the sauce it is in, and pull the pieces apart (a shred is much nicer to eat than cubed or chopped meat in a salad). I toss it all together with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. It really does make for a delicious lunch. And satisfying!

The other day we picked up your sister from school and took her down to the Forest Hill shops for lunch. We thought we’d try out the new Café Aroma. I ordered the chickpea salad, and immediately thought I should record the ingredients for you. We all know how much you love chickpeas….

Chickpea salad

  1. 1 can chick peas, drained and washed
  2. ½ cup chopped cucumber
  3. ¼ cup crumbled fetta
  4. ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  5. ¼ cup flat leaf parsley ( I would substitute with fresh mint)
  6. 1 chopped hard boiled egg
  7. a handful of croutons
  8. ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  9. olive oil and lemon juice to taste

Method:

  • Toss all the ingredients together and dress with sparing amounts of olive oil and lemon juice. 
  • If you are making it to eat later, remember to add the dressing at the last minute!


The Lunchtime Omelette

One of the first things you request for lunch when you are home for a visit Izzy, is an omelette.

You love it stuffed with spinach and cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro (coriander) and onion. We both agree that the caramelized onion really makes it.  The addition of chopped green chillis takes it to another level for me, but that’s me.

As this is your favourite omelette recipe, I will record it here exactly how you like it.

But don’t forget you can do so much with the basic recipe: add bell peppers, and other fresh herbs. Flat leaf parsley, and oregano. Basil of course, and mint. You can turn it into a frittata and serve it with a green salad on the side for a satisfying meal to share.  All you do it scatter the ingredients over the whole surface of the egg mixture, rather than on one half.  Instead of flipping one side over to form an omelette ‘envelope’, you reduce the heat, cover with a lid and let it all cook through like a quiche or a pie.  To make it hearty, you could add tiny brocolli or cauliflower florettes, or thin discs of potato.  All variations produce some nice results.

Also, a few tips:

  • use the best eggs you can find. I use free range Rowe Farm, your equivalent in the Southern Hemisphere would be the crazy good Green Eggs.
  • a tablespoon of milk is optional
  • to bulk up your egg, but keep it healthy still, add more egg whites, available in small cartons in the dairy section usually
  • I know you love the cherry tomatoes as an ingredient, but the more juicy little fellers you use, the more watery the mixture becomes, and the egg and tomato juices separate. Not a pretty mess.
  • one should  really use a non-stick fry pan for best results with eggs.  You’ll need a spatula or what’s called in America: an ‘egg flipper ’.
  • when greasing your pan before cooking, make sure there is no excess oil left before pouring in the egg mixture.

So, here, my dear is your original base recipe.

Isabel’s omelette for two

  • 4 eggs beaten well till bubbles form
  • one to two tablespoons of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • half a chopped onion, sautéed till soft and golden, and set aside
  • five cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • a hand full of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  1. With a fork, beat the eggs, add milk, and season to taste (1 teaspoon on salt is usually good). Mixture should be frothy.
  2. Pour into a heated, 20 inch non-stick pan
  3. When the edges start to cook and become firm, scatter the tomato, spinach leaves, cilantro leaves and onion in one half of the egg mixture.
  4. Use the egg flipper to gently coax the edges away from the pan.
  5. Turn the heat down, so it cooks gently
  6. When the liquid mixture is almost all gone, but still a little runny in the middle, gently flip the un-garnished side of the egg over to cover the other half. A little expertise over time will see you flipping the whole ‘envelope’ over to cook evenly on both sides.  Don’t worry if it breaks a little in your first few attempts: it is all in the taste after all.
  7. Another two minutes or so, and you should be able to slide it off onto a waiting plate!