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Savory Baking Recipes

28 July 2009

Bacon & Egg Tarts


Sydney is a breakfast city. It does lunch well and perhaps dinner even better, but breakfast best fits its collective psychology.

When the weekend arrives cafes spill out on to the pavement with hungry customers vying for tables in anticipation of breaking their fast.

While I love going out for weekend brekkies, I can't stand the thought of lining up. It's been over 12 hours since my last meal. It can go one of two ways. One -- I faint. Two -- I turn violent.

For me, and those poor souls around me, hunger and queues are a potentially lethal mix. So the safest bet is to whip up something at home.

Last weekend I made these dainty little bacon and egg tarts spiked with a little Parmigino Reggiano for a sharp bite. The tarts are easy to make and are delicious served hot or cold. They're also quite nice with the addition of little baby spinach or wild rocket (arugula). 

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29 January 2009

Sweet Corn Cornbread


Cornbread, once a means for survival by European settlers of the New World, has evolved from a "sad paste of despair" to a much-loved staple in parts of America. 

In colonial America, the shortage of flour and sugar meant that settlers had to make do with bread made from ground maize, salt and water. Early cornbread went by names such as "pone, ashcakes, hoe-cakes, journey-cakes, johnny-cakes, slapjacks, spoonbreads and dodgers".

Today cornbread recipes vary depending on location baking techniques. In northern America cornbread tends to be made using yellow cornmeal while southern states prefer white.

For my cornbread recipe I use buttermilk, butter, sugar and eggs. The cornmeal is just gritty enough so that the outside of the bread forms a fine crust. It's delicious and I've been eating it for days. The first time I made it, I ate it with a slow-cooked beef and vegetable stew. This time I've been eating it for breakfast with sliced bananas on top. The recipe has just the right amount of sugar in it to pair it well with savory or sweet foods.

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29 December 2008

Parmesan Crisps


With New Year celebrations upon us I thought I'd share a great party appetizer recipe from my recent cooking class at Quince cooking school in Vancouver -- Parmesan crisps with fresh goat's cheese, figs and quince jelly. The jelly is made from quinces picked from chef-owner, Andrea Jefferson's, backyard. 

The lattice crisps are simple to make and can also be used as impressive edible decoration for soups and risottos

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a tonnes of great food in 2009!

Quince - www.quince.ca
1780 W3rd Ave Vancouver
Tel: 604.731.4645

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25 May 2008

The Little Green Puy


The delicate Puy Lentil was an excellent substitute for beef in this cottage pie recipe. While delicate in flavour, Puy lentils are thought by some to be the best of their kind for their ability to keep their shape when cooked over long periods.

Considered the 'pearl of central France", the lentils are cultivated in the Le Puy region where they were introduced from the Mediterranean by the Gauls. So loved are the little lentils that a group of locals established the Confrérie de la Lentille du Puy (The Brotherhood of the Puy Lentil).

The group takes part in annual food events and parades where members don slate-green coloured robes embroidered with lentils and wear lentil-shaped hats. All the while singing songs about little green lentils. If this isn't a testament to their greatness, then I don't know what is!

I threw in whatever ingredients I had handy including squash, okra, carrots, celery and canned Roma tomatoes. I used some parsley and cilantro freshly picked from our windowsill herb garden. I also added a dash of dried chili flakes. The filling was topped with a creamy topping of mash potatoes and Parmesan cheese.

The cottage pie was scrumptious. The lentils soaked up the flavours of the vegetables and herbs while still retaining their distinct pepperiness. While I do love the traditional beef-filled cottage pie or lamb-filled shepherd's pie, I think the little green Puy has a new place in my heart.

I'm submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Cate at Sweetnicks.


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06 December 2007

Kale & Smoked Bacon Quiche


Kale; not only is this winter green high in Vitamins C, A, B6, K, Magnesium and various antioxidants, it is also delicious. In fact, the health benefits of Kale sound pretty incredible. It is touted as reducing the risk of various cancers, reducing the risk of skin and eye diseases, and generally keeping the immune system healthy. Popeye would certainly approve.

So after reading about all these benefits, I raced out and bought me some and made a Kale and Smoked Bacon Quiche. Its dark green, curly leaves have a lovely texture somewhere in between English Spinach and Seaweed. Kale can be eaten in a variety of ways: steamed, raw, in soups or as in this case, sauteed and then baked.

I cheated with the pastry. I didn't make it. Instead I bought it from the A La Mode pie shop at Granville Island Public Market. Their pastry is of course excellent, being a pie shop, and it saves me the hassle of making my own when I want a quick and no-fuss dinner.

I just spent an hour trying to come up with a clever name for this story. I came up with things like 'Hail, Kale!', which I dismissed for its Nazi connotations. Or 'If Popeye was alive today, he'd choose Kale', which is clearly way too long and unwieldy, and lastly 'Kale: health and vitamins' Holy Grail', which, seeing as we are talking about a leafy vegetable, may be overstating things a little.

So after tortuous deliberation, I settled on 'Kale & Smoked Bacon Quiche'. Pretty clever don't you think?

I have submitted this post to Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted this week by Simone of the blog Briciole.



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