EGGS BENEDICT WITH SMOKED HAM, BABY SPINACH & ROASTED TOMATOES
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 truss tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large free-range eggs
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 English muffins, halved and toasted
2 slices smoked ham
½ cup baby spinach
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
Quick hollandaise sauce:
2 free-range egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
125g unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place tomatoes on prepared baking tray, cut side up and drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
For the hollandaise sauce, place egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper together in a small food processor and process until well combined. Slowly add melted butter a little at a time, processing between additions until mixture thickens and becomes glossy.
To poach the eggs, fill a large non-stick saucepan half full of water and add vinegar, which assists the egg white in coagulating. Bring water to a gentle simmer. Break eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and gently tip into water in one motion. Cook for 3 ½ minutes until the egg whites are set and yolks remains soft. Gently remove eggs with a slotted spoon onto baking paper to drain.
To assemble, place two toasted muffin halves on each plate, cut side up. Top each serve with a slice of smoked ham, ¼ cup baby spinach, 2 poached eggs and spoon hollandaise over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
Finally place two roasted tomato halves on each plate and serve.
Note: smoked salmon or smoky bacon are great alternatives to smoked ham and for a vegetarian option, roasted field mushrooms work really well.
INDIVIDUAL BERRY LATTICE PIES
Preparation time: 40 minutes + chilling time
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg glaze
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Sweet shortcrust pastry:
2 cups plain flour
½ cup icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet blueberries
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the pastry, combine flour, sugar and butter together in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk, water and vanilla bean paste pulsing until mixture starts coming together.
On a lightly floured surface gently knead pastry dough until smooth, Shape into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Lightly grease and line 6 x 10cm round by 2cm high individual tart tins.
For the filling, place the raspberries in a small bowl and gently crush them a little, to help release juices. Add blueberries, cornflour, sugar and zest, stirring until combined.
On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a thickness of 5mm thick. Cut out 6 x 13cm rounds and carefully line each of the prepared tart tins. Evenly divide the filling mixture between the six pies. With the remaining pastry, reroll on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 5mm thick. Cut 1cm wide strips of pastry for the lattice top. Using the egg glaze, brush the ends of 6 strips for each pie, to help secure the lattice strips to the pastry edges of each pie. Brush the lattice tops with egg glaze and sprinkle with raw sugar. Place pies on a baking tray and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place pies on baking tray in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and cook for a further 15 minutes or until pies are golden and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tart tins for 10 minutes before serving with clotted cream.
Note: if you don’t have time to make pastry from scratch, there are great frozen products available in the frozen aisle of your supermarket, for example Carême vanilla bean sweet shortcrust pastry.
HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 sticks celery, peeled and diced
4 vine tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced
1 large Desiree potato, diced
1 ½ litres vegetable stock
400g tin four bean mix, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup soup pasta
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, shredded
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, paprika, carrots and celery, stirring until well coated. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, capsicum, potato and stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add bean mix and soup pasta and cook for a further 5 minutes or until pasta is cooked through. Add parsley, basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, sprinkle parmesan over the top.
Note: to add extra flavour to the soup, add the rind of a parmesan, when adding the tomatoes.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
1 lime, halved and quartered
2 teaspoons ginger cordial
8 large mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 shots (60ml) vodka
375ml guava sparkling drink
Lime slices, to serve
In a cocktail shaker or a tall glass, add lime, cordial and mint together. Using a muddler or the end of a rolling pin, crush the mixture together, which helps release the lime juice, lime oils from the skin and oils in the mint.
Add the vodka and guava sparking drink and strain into two glasses filled with ice. Finish with a slice of lime.