Brinner | Pea + Ricotta Fritters

Nothing pleases me more than the world realising what we’ve always known: No one breakfasts better than Australia. But while Sydney and Melbourne get all the glory, make no mistake – Perth is no slouch on the brunch front.

When my beloved Bitchez Who Brunch posted this beauty from Sayers Sister, it was an instant yes moment – everything I was craving in one go. Except, it was 4pm on a Tuesday, and who can wait until the weekend?

Enter: Brinner.

(brin-ner) adj. breakfast eaten at the time in which you eat dinner.
download

This dish is full of spring goodness, and hits all the flavour points – sweet, salty, creamy and sharp, with plenty of green for smug. Perfect for your weekend’s brekky with the girls, or you know, tonight’s dinner. I’m not going to judge.

Pea + Ricotta Stacks with Prosciutto and Parmesan

Adapted from Donna Hay

400g fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons self raising flour
2 egg whites
3/4 cup frozen peas
8 slices prosciutto
Handful shaved Parmesan
Handful rocket leaves
2-4 eggs (depending on the number of people/how hungry you are)

In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the prosciutto until crispy, a couple of minutes each side. Set aside.

For the fritters, mix together the ricotta, flour, and mint in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the eggs into the ricotta mixture until just combined.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan (non stick, if you can, they’re sticky bastards), and spoon a couple of tablespoons into the pan and cook for 3 minutes each side until golden.

While the fritters cook, poach your eggs to the required doneness (if you need help).

Stack as follows: Fritter, prosciutto, rocket, Parmesan and repeat. I went 4 fritters high, and topped with a runny poached egg.

For extra fancy, I also drizzled with basil oil (recipe here), but that’s up to you.

Advertisements

What I Love | eatmeetswest edition

This is the last post for 2014!

I’d like to take a second to thank every single one of you for stopping by and lending me your ears. Or eyes. I’m not sure how this works.

In the interest of reflection, here are the things I’m particularly grateful for in 2014:

  • The email I got from my blog-host thing (I don’t really sure how that works either) informs me that I’m read in 90 countries, which might have made me cry a little bit. I can’t even name 90 countries, so this blows my mind.
  • I’m grateful to have had the chance to travel to Brisbane for Eat Drink Blog this year (where I followed Sarah from The Sugar Hit around like a creep and she was very nice about it), where I got to eat some really cool stuff and hang out with my blogger buddies. Always a great time.
  • Also super grateful to my beautiful friend Natalie for letting me use her home in Melbourne as a base while I stalked the city for doughnuts.
  • Those of you who visited Jus Burgers to try my Cubano burger! There will be a post next year with the recipe, if you want to make them yourselves. Thank you Laura for teeing it up x
  • Friends, family, and anyone who’s prepared to share a meal with me (and lets me sneak photos in even though they’re starving). You let me do what I do.
  • You. Yes, you. You’re looking particularly smashing today, just in case no one has told you. Keep that up.

 

So, I guess it’s time for me to answer the questions I put to so many others this year! Whelp.

What I Love – eatmeetswest edition

FullSizeRender

Who are you/what do you do?
I’m Bri and I write this here blog. eatmeetswest is three(!!!) years old, which blows my mind a little bit.
I also sling crumpets for Mr Drummond’s Foods at the Subi Farmers Markets on a Saturday morning, where I’m also responsible for Hole Food Doughnuts.
 
IMG_1897

My Cubano at Jus Burgers

Why Perth?
Oh my god, why not? Perth is almost unrecognisable to what is was 5 years ago. There’s room for improvement, as there is anywhere, but I’m so proud of how far it’s come and the badass people who are making things happen here.
I love Perth’s beaches and laid back atmosphere, and that those things probably go hand in hand.
I love that if you drive 3 hours in any direction, you’re almost in another universe.
definitely love our world class produce (and that I get to eat it).
I love the pelicans that sit on top of the street lights on the freeway when I drive home to Freo. They make me happy.
I think it’s fantastic that we call our sea breeze The Doctor, because it makes everything better on a hot day.
I love that so many activities around town are dog friendly, because it means I get to cuddle puppies. A LOT.
IMG_1515

CBD Sunsets

 What inspires you?
I know that this is something that everyone says, but I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded with extraordinary people, determined to make a change, or just showcase the amazing things that WA has to offer that we’ve simply overlooked.

On a personal level, I’m particularly inspired on the regular by Jacqui, Ai-LingMax VeenhuyzenMax Brearley and David; their passion for the things they do is nothing short of incredible, and I can’t believe they even know my name.

I’m also one of those people who spends waaaay too much time on The Internet. That helps with the inspiring and distracting in equal measure. If it wasn’t for the internet, how would I know about Katherine Sabbath?
IMG_1296

Sophie Zalokar at the launch of her book, Food of the Southern Forrests


Your dream food day?
For starters, it probably kicks off at 11am, because I like a bit of a sleep in!
Breakfast would be either banana crepes from Toast in East Perth, or breakfast panna cotta from Mrs S in Mayland.
Morning tea would be Mac-clairs from The Flour Factory, nursed by coffee from Addison & Steele (the espresso tonic is spectacular. Thanks Toby and Michael!).
Lunch is definitely dim sum at Northbridge Chinese Restaurant, because I would eat xiao long bao until the end of days. I LOVE DUMPLINGS. I’d probably need a nap after that.
Dinner would be a home-cooked affair. I have some friends who are seriously talented with a smoker, so it’s likely to be a Texas barbecue style thing, lost of ribs and slow cooked meats, a lot of sharing. I’d offer to do the dishes, being as how I didn’t cook!
If it’s a dream food day, then I’m probably heading back to Singapore’s 2am Dessert Bar for another hit of their dish Yellow, which was made up of corn, in 5 different ways. It was amazing. If you’re out that way, I definitely recommend you visit!
IMG_1660

Cocktails at Darling Supper Club

What’s the best thing you ate recently?
 I’m pretty crazy about Gusto Gelato in Leederville right now. I was all for the Gutso (peanut butter), but I’ve just discovered the Brittle Sweet Symphony, which is almond brittle and honey gelato, and I can’t get enough of it. I fucking love ice cream.
IMG_1052

Ice cream in Brisbane

Where do you love to go to eat? 
There’s no bad day that dinner at Lalla Rookh can’t fit with bone marrow and pasta. This is a scientific fact.
My ultimate comfort food is BBQ pork wanton noodle soup from Viet Hoa in Northbridge. Cheap, fast and more food than I can comfortably eat (though I do it anyway).
My favourite, super low-key breakfast can be found at Ley St Cafe. I first heard about Adam’s milkshakes on Reddit, and can confirm (as a milkshake junkie) that they’re some of the best in Perth. Adam makes all of his own flavours from scratch, no bought syrups here! Also, the maple bacon and eggs on today are consistently fantastic.
Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Where do you love to hang out?

Varnish on King. I love a whisky sour almost as much as I love manager Jamie Passmore’s dance moves. Also the bar’s mascot is a stuffed beaver named Justin, of which the jokes just write themselves.

My girlfriends and I recently had our pre-Christmas catch up at The Flour Factory, where I drank 3 of their lemony cocktails, and I’d quite happily drink 300 more.

Freo always calls to me when I want to be somewhere that feels like home. This year, I loved The Banker, Lenny the Ox, Little Lefroys, The Mantle and Bread in Common.

IMG_0139

Scott Bridger, head chef at Bib & Tucker

What’s your favourite thing right now?
 Netflix. What?! I’m a girl of simple pleasures. Those simple pleasures include watching Stephen Amell do chin-ups on Arrow.
I love paddle boarding. I’m pretty keen to get out on the water again, who wants to come?
IMG_1818
What are you looking forward to?

I just bought Mr Hong, which is a bit of a must-have cook book for lovers of dude food or the Australian food scene. My first goal for next year is to master one of his signature dishes, Stoner’s Delight, so, you know, God help me.

The Perth Fringe World Festival!

Getting down south to visit Taste of Balingup (Katrina Lane is a genius) and Foragers Kitchen (so is Sophie).

More doughnuts. Always more doughnuts.

IMG_1950

Kane at Dapper Jack

Thank you again for all of your support this year, and I can’t wait to make you fried cheese pie in 2015!

Stay safe, happy and awesome xx

Don’t forget, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Say hey!

Slow decent into madness| Pollo Con Salsa

And so begins the slow decent into end-of-year madness. There’s people to see, parties to attend, shopping to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it all. Why do we do it to ourselves?!

How do you handle this time of year?
Are you a list person?
Did you start buying Christmas presents in June?
Do you promise yourself every year that this will be the one where you’re organised, only to find yourself 3 days out from the big day having a meltdown in Myer? Yeah, no, me neither.

With all the demands on your time that come with this time of year, you’re going to want some recipes that aren’t too taxing on the effort front, right? Right.

This recipe comes from one of my favourite books this year – The Feast Goes On, from The Monday Morning Cooking Club. If you see it, pick up a copy. It’s so full of really comforting recipes, kind of like a food hug, that it will be a book that you go back to again and again. I’m waiting for an excuse to make the insanely magical but also filthy fried cheese pie.

You heard me.

Fried.

Cheese.

Pie.

But until that day, there’s this. A great, family friendly dinner, that’s ready in an hour. This is the kind of thing you’ll find yourself eating weekly for it’s sheer simplicity and adaptability. Throw in whatever’s in your fridge, you can’t go wrong. You’re welcome.

 

Pollo Con Salsa

From The Monday Morning Cooking Club

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red capsicum, thinly sliced
8 skinless chicken thighs
500ml chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

 

Heat the oil over medium heat. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the onion and cook until soft, stirring, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and capsicum and continue to stir for a further 5 minutes, until the capsicum softens. Scrape from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan and brown well on both sides.

Add the onion and capsicum back to the pan, then add the stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, season, then cook for another 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

IMG_0366

Serve with your favourite carb.

IMG_0364

This would be great with rice or mash, but I couldn’t say no to Israeli couscous.

IMG_0367

The French. Is there anything the can’t do?

Is it any wonder that the rest of the world is in love with the French?

They own the term champagne. If you put ‘French’ in front of a product description, you can charge 700% for it (French butter? TAKE MY MONEY). Their accent is the stuff of dreams/fantasies. They don’t diet or need face-lifts (apparently), their children simultaneously eat everything and nothing (how else do you stay skinny?!), and if you believe the internet, French women basically invented style. Look, I may have to conceded that last point, I do own at least six Breton striped tops. That’s normal, right?

If none of that impresses you, the French are also responsible for the framework of modern cooking, so, you know, there’s that. I’m not going to lie to you, traditional French cooking isn’t something I know a hell of a lot about. It’s never been my scene, though I respectfully acknowledge its contribution to food.

However, when you live with someone who is all about all things Paris and it is their birthday (Happy birthday Lou!), you shut up and pull out Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Soupe à l’Oignon is a pretty excellent entry into French cooking. The recipe for French Onion soup is relatively effortless, but is still chic enough to serve at a dinner party. Impressionnant, non?

My advice to you, is this: as always with recipes with so few ingredients, the strength of your dish depends on the quality of those ingredients. Buy the best you can afford. and you can’t go wrong.
I also advise you to get your hands on a mandolin, because it will take you forever to thinly slice all those onions without one, unless you’re a pro with impeccable knife skills. They’re a pretty cheap bit of kit, and worth having in the cupboard for times like these. Make sure you buy one with a safety guard!

Also, even with a mandolin, I cried the whole time. Stupid onions.

20140708-214222-78142705.jpg

 

Soupe à l’Oignon (French Onion Soup)

From Smitten Kitchen

680 grams thinly sliced yellow onions (I sliced up 6 large onions)
42 grams unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
8 cups or 2 litres beef stock
1/2 cup (118 ml) dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

To finish (Optional)
1 to 2 cups grated cheese (I used Gruyere)
Thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard (2/3 toasts per person)

 

In a large, heavy based saucepan, melt the oil and butter together over low heat. Add the sliced onions and gently stir until coated in oil. Put the lid on the pot, and allow to gently cook for 15 minutes.

20140708-214221-78141182.jpg

Once this is done, ditch the lid, stir in the sugar and salt and raise the temperature ever so slightly. For the next 40 minutes, stir the onions frequently until they are a deep golden brown. This caramelisation process builds the soup’s flavour, so make sure you take care!

Once the onions are golden, add the flour and continue to stir for 3 minutes. Add the wine to the pot and scrape any delicious brown bits from the bottom. Add the first litre for stock, a little bit at a time, continuing to stir. Then add the second, and season with salt and pepper. If you’re adding the cheese later, go easy on the salt – it’s easier to add more at the end, but you can’t make it less salty if you add too much now! Add in the brandy or cognac and stir.

To finish, cover the toasted French rounds with Gruyere, and grill until golden and bubbly. Stir any leftover cheese into the soup, taste and season accordingly. Divide soup between bowls, and serve with toasts.

20140708-214223-78143964.jpg

 

Idle hands and duck ragu

According to Bunnings commercials, long weekends are the perfect time to get things done around the house. I wholeheartedly agree, if by ‘get things done’, you mean ‘take a nap every day, eat cupcakes and watch a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy’. That’s how these things work, right?

With a very busy week under my belt and a flu-ravaged boyfriend, a quiet weekend was in order. Except it turns out, there’s only so much nothing you can do. After two solid days of couch time and the relentless screams of whoever it was Blair was killing in Battlefield 4, I went a little stir-crazy. Kitchen therapy was the only way to go – obviously – and I wanted something worthy. I wanted something special. 

The deal was sealed having never cooked with duck, and knowing the result was going to be rich and comforting. Fear not, the recipe is still easy, you’re just slow cooking meat. There’s no real technique required (oh god, I have to stop watching MasterChef); and if cutting up a duck is out of your range, use one duck breast per person, which is totally what I did. Because, who has two thumbs up and didn’t know that you can’t just buy a whole duck on a public holiday Monday? This chick.

What are you loving now that the winter weather has kicked in? Do you have a favourite recipe for when you’ve got some time up your sleeve?

Duck Ragu

From Taste Magazine

1.8kg duck
100g diced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
250ml pinot noir
2x 400g diced tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
3 rosemary sprigs
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
110g pitted green olives, chopped
Cooked pappardelle pasta, to serve
Shredded parmesan, to serve

 

Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the duck’s backbone, and discard. Quarter the duck, and season with salt. In a flame and oven proof dish, cook the duck in batches, skin side down over high heat until golden, around five minutes. Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes, then transfer to a place.

20140606-184507-67507093.jpg

Heat the oven to 130*C. Cook the pancetta, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaves for 8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.

20140606-184529-67529011.jpg

Add the wine and stir, scraping and brown bits from the bottom.  Add the duck, tomato, stock, rosemary and Chinese five spice. Cover, place in the oven and bake for 2 – 3 hours or until the duck is tender.

20140606-184511-67511465.jpg

Once cooked, remove the duck and set aside on a plate. Simmer the liquid over medium heat for 20 minutes or until thickened and reduced by a third. Carefully remove and discard the duck bones. Shred the meat and return to the sauce with the olives. Season to taste. Serve with pasta and parmesan.

20140606-184510-67510415.jpg

The cure to all your problems

It took no more than 3 days after Perth’s cold weather kicked in for one of my housemates to come down ill.

The Plauge Man-flu is as merciless as it is swift and incapacitating. The sniffles and aches, headaches and sneezing; it’s truly a wonder that health organisations don’t take it more seriously. There is, of course, only one known cure for man-flu – the magic of chicken soup.

Now, before you tell me that’s an old wives’ tale, science has my back (thanks, science!) on this one. With its anti-inflammatory properties and congestion clearing super-powers, getting a big bowl of this into your belly is probably the best life choice you can make when curled up on the couch with a box of Kleenex and 6 seasons of Sons of Anarchy.

I loved this recipe because it’s packed with vegetables for nutrition, pasta to fill you up, and plenty of juicy chicken, which is everyone’s favourite part. The stock base for the soup can even be made in advance and frozen if you’re a little short on time.

So, as soon as man-flu kicked in, a pot of this went on the stove, because there’s nothing in this world that is more comforting than this soup. Promise.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

4 carrot
4 sticks celery
3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
sea salt
4 whole peppercorns
1 free range chicken (see note)
1 large knob butter
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
200g fresh egg pasta
200g baby spinach
1 lemon

 

Roughly chop 2 carrots and celery sticks, then add to a large pot over medium heat with the chicken carcass, 2 diced onions, bay leaves, peppercorns and a big pinch of salt. Cover the chicken completely with water – roughly 1.5 litres. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour.

 

20140516-211634.jpg

While the stock simmers, dice the remaining carrots and celery into even pieces. In another large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat; add the garlic, remaining onion and parsley and gently cook until soft but not brown. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes.

When the stock is done, remove the chicken and shred the meat, setting it aside. Discard the carcass. Strain the stock, reserving the liquid and discarding the vegetables.

Add the stock to your second pot. Bring the soup base to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the egg pasta, baby spinach and shredded chicken and simmer for a further couple of minutes until the pasta is cooked. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a really good piece of sourdough slathered in butter. Seriously.

 

20140516-211700.jpg

 

 

NOTE:
So, in terms of the chicken you use, you can go two ways.
1) If you use a whole, raw chicken, you can break it down into parts following a video like this one. Breaking it down makes the chicken easier to handle once it’s cooked.
2) If raw chicken freaks you out, you can simply use a roasted chicken from the supermarket. Pull roughly 2/3 of the meat off the bones, shred it, then leave it in the fridge until a few minutes before serving – stir it though and simmer for a couple of minutes to warm it up. Add the carcass and remaining meat to make the stock in the first step.

Dinner in a brisket

I’m going through a phase. We all go through them. Sometimes it’s a black lipstick and creeper shoes-wearing thing. Or bad boys with leather jackets and motorbikes. Scuba diving. Knitting. Dance classes, because you marathoned all of the Step Up movies in a weekend, and you can totally do that.

At the moment, I’m obsessed with Jewish cook books. The transition into winter is probably the catalyst, following on from all the Lent-inspired recipes. Jewish cooking looks so comforting. If any kind of food felt like a warm hug, it’s definitely this. A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Monday Morning Cooking Club: The Feast Goes on. I liked it so much, I immediately picked up their other book. We’re going to come back and talk about this another day, but the important thing to note is: brisket. These books love brisket. I was immediately inspired.

Brisket, if you’ve never come across it before, is cut from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. It’s a tough piece of meat which benefits from some super slow cooking to render it tender and melty. I picked mine up from the magical team at Gingin Beef at the Subi Farmers Markets. Ask your local butcher for it, because you won’t find it at Coles or Woolies.

Diagram-Of-Cuts-Of-Beef

Now I know what you’re thinking. This looks like a lot of work. I mean, brisket sounds fancy and complicated. But fear not! It’s incredibly simple, I promise. Would I lie to you?

The barbecue sauce is made up from stuff that you’ve probably got in your pantry. The spice rub is super easy to throw together, but if you’ve got a pre-made rub in the back of the cupboard, feel free to use it. Mac and cheese can be thrown together is 10 minutes. The recipe can even be doubled, or tripled, and divided up and frozen for future can’t-be-assed-cooking nights – and with the impending cold weather, we all know there are plenty of those comin’.

Now. The recipe that follows serves 6-8 people, so feel free to halve it all. The piece of brisket I used was 900g, which was a touch small for 4 people, so maybe aim for 1.2kg for 4 people.

Beef Brisket and Mac and Cheese

From Daily Life

Beef Brisket

A piece of brisket, about 5kg

Barbecue Sauce
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500ml tomato sauce
100ml Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp malt vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp chopped thyme
Spice Rub
2 tbsp each chilli powder and mustard powder
1 tbsp each paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, ground black pepper, castor sugar
1 bay leaf, crushed

To make the barbecue sauce, cook the onion and garlic in the oil, in a large fan over medium heat. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and blend with a food processor to form a smooth puree.

20140430-165451.jpg
Heat the oven to 150*c. Mix all of the spice rub ingredients together with a good pinch of salt, then rub all over the brisket.

20140430-165635.jpg

Add the sauce and two cups of water to a roasting tray, pop in the brisket, then cover tightly with baking paper and then foil. Place in the oven and roast for at least 4 hours (maybe 5 if it’s a big piece), until it’s fork-tender.

20140430-165510.jpg
Once it’s done in the oven, grill the brisket in a hot frypan for a couple of minutes each side, until lightly charred. Cut into thick slices and serve.

 

Mac and Cheese

500g macaroni
olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
600ml cream
150g grated aged cheddar
350g grated gruyere
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp seeded Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
100g  breadcrumbs

Place the pasta in a large pot boiling salted water, and cook according to packet instructions until al-dente. Drain well and set aside.

20140430-165500.jpg
Heat some oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then cool the onion and bacon until the onion is soft and the bacon is golden. Remove from the pan and leave to drain on a paper towel. Return the pan to high heat and add the cream, brining to a boil. Lower the heat and add the garlic, mustard, paprika and cheese.

20140430-165641.jpg

Simmer for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and sauce thickens. Return the onion and bacon to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
In a large baking dish, add the pasta and sauce, stir until the pasta is coated, then top with the breadcrumbs and parsley. If you’re prepping the mac and cheese in advance, refrigerate until the brisket comes out of the oven, turn up the heat to 200* and cook until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes.

20140430-165534.jpg

In the interest of your arteries, serve with some kind of token salad. It definitely cancels out.