Good Mornings | Coconut + Almond Granola

I’ve perfected just how long I can stay in bed and still be not-unreasonably late to work. As you can imagine, breakfast does not fit into that equation. That’s valuable sleeping time! Instead, I eat breakfast at my desk around 9:30, when I’m semi-awake and finally hungry.

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This granola comes to work with me in its own little Ziploc bag, with a piece of whatever fruit is going in my house. It’s tasty enough on its own but lends beautifully to whatever flavours you like. Add extra nuts, different dried fruits, change up the spices. It’s one of those recipes with ‘good bones’; it won’t fall to pieces if you’ve run out of something or want to change it up.

You know how I feel about repeating recipes. I rarely do it. But this, this is a staple in my pantry, and I’m still not sick of it. If that’s not a glowing recommendation, I don’t know what is.

 

Coconut + Almond Granola

From A Lot on Her Plate by Rosie Birkett

350g traditional oats
1 tsp chia seeds
80g pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
15g sunflower seeds
150g flaked almonds
50g desiccated coconut
1 1/2 tsps each of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp maple syrup
60g sultanas

Heat your oven to 180*C. Line a baking tray (something long and shallow, rather than a roasting dish) with baking paper.

Combine the oats, seeds, almond and spices in a large mixing bowl. If the coconut oil is cold or solid, melt gently in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, then pour over the oat mix and stir until well incorporated.

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Spread the mixture in an even layer in the baking tray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until toasty and golden. Leave to cool completely, then add the sultanas. Keeps beautifully in an air-tight container for 4 weeks.

I like mine with cocoa nibs, Greek yoghurt, sliced fruits and a little bit of honey. Or poached pears! Or roasted strawberries. Yeeeeees, the roasted strawberries are amazing. Do that.



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Breaking Bread

So, this is Christmas. And what have you done? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been run off your feet with Christmas parties, shopping, wrapping, planning, cooking, shopping, drinking more shopping (what is with all these little last minute presents?!) and a million catch-ups.

It’s well documented that I’m a grinch, however, I can’t hate everything about this time of year. I mean, it’s the best time to get out and try all the places that you never got to during the year, under the guise of merriment and quality time with friends and family!

The one place I still haven’t gotten to is Fremantle’s Bread in Common. The brain child of Nic Trimboli (you might of heard of him – his other ventures include Balthazar, Duende, Gordon St Garage – oh, and a little place called Little Creatures) is buzzing on Packenham Street, away from the myriad of fairly average cappuccino and pizza/pasta tourist pleasers that has rendered Fremantle a culinary wasteland for far too long.

The hero dish (aside from the bread) that I’m dying to try are the mint lamb ribs with black garlic; there is nothing about that dish that doesn’t sound amazing to me. Luckily, I happened across the recipe in the current Delicious Magazine, and was ecstatic that I don’t have to wait to try them!

Lamb ribs are all kinds of fantastic. They’ve been living in the shadows of the more popular pork and beef ribs; but are increasingly taking centre stage on restaurant menus. The good news is, lamb ribs are a ridiculously cheap cut of meat (unlike pork and beef), and you can buy a kilo of ribs for around $10, making this a great dish to make for a group of people, or maybe even leave out for Santa! Actually, don’t do that. If you leave meat out overnight for Santa, you might just kill him.

Black Garlic & Herb Lamb Ribs

From Delicious Magazine

1.2kg Macabee Dorper lamb ribs
3tbsp peanut oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1tbsp chopped thyme and rosemary
375ml white wine
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
6 cloves black garlic
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
Coriander leaves, to serve
Marinade
1/2 bunch each of mint, rosemary and flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 long green chillies
2 tsp each coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and whole black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
Blitz the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor with 2 tsp salt until coarsely chopped.

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Rub the marinade into the ribs, then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight if time allows.

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Heat your oven to 140*C. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat in a roasting pan. Add the carrot and onion to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the ribs, thyme, rosemary and wine to the pan, then add enough hot water to cover the ribs. Bring the pan to a simmer, then remove from heat and cover with baking paper and foil and place in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is tender.

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For the dressing, mix together mint, black garlic, chilli, sugar, vinegar and last 2 tbsp oil until combined.
Remove the ribs from the roasting pan, and discard the liquid. Season the ribs and char-grill in a pan over high heat, for 6 minutes or until golden.

Place the ribs on a plate and serve with dressing and coriander.

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Black garlic can be bought in tubs from supermarkets, and is simply fermented garlic cloves. They’re sweeter, less pungent than regular garlic and the dramatic colour adds interest to the plate. If you can’t find it, substitute roasted garlic cloves.

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Here comes the meat sweats…

At some point, I don’t remember when, I decided that having a meat party was a great idea. I mean, there’s nothing more beautiful than bring together people you love, to break bread and share experiences over food. That bond can only be made deeper by meat sweats.

The invitations went out to my usual suspects – Pantry in Suburbia, The Skinny Perth, Lipstick Honey, Beers and Sympathy and our favourite taste tester cousins and partners. It was turning into one hell of a meaty pot-luck dinner. Look, I’m not going to lie to you, having food bloggers for friends is a tiny bit handy at times like these: roast lamb in all its glory, the most out-of-this-world buffalo wings and chorizo (because who doesn’t love chorizo?!) wrapped in flaky pastry. There might have been salads, for balance. I wouldn’t know, I didn’t eat them. I came here to party.

As with most events in my life, it was structured around a recipe. As in, I’d found one and wanted to make it so badly that I organised a dinner party just so I could. Is that a really girl thing to do? Am I the only person that’s bought a new dress/shoes/jewellery for no reason at all, then created a party/night out/breakfast just to show it off?Anyone?

Oh. Never mind, forget I brought it up.

Back to meat.

I know I posted a pulled pork recipe this year already. But it was over 6 months ago, so it doesn’t count. Plus, if I’m honest, I like this one better. It’s kind of simpler, in that there’s no brining, it’s less cooking time and a little less having to be organised. It’s certainly not a 30 minute meal by any means… But it’s worth every single second. I know the sauce looks like it’s a lot of ingredients, but 90% of it is stuff in your pantry. For the chipotle sauce, I used the sauce from a tin of chipotles in adobo sauce which I picked up from Fresh Provisions in Mount Lawley. If you see them, grab a couple of tins because they go beautifully in Mexican cooking. YUM. I used a couple of tablespoons, because it turns out I imagined the chili flakes in my pantry, and when I went to use them, they weren’t there. Clever me.

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All jokes aside, I absolutely love having a group of friends around to eat. There’s something really special about cooking for those you love, having them enjoy something you’ve brought to the table. You sit back and ask yourself why you don’t do these kinds of things more often (the answer is the bajillion dishes that took me an hour to wash the next day), but at that moment in time… It’s the definition of happiness. Good times, good food, good people. And if that’s not the meaning of life, I don’t know what is.

 Chipotle Pulled Pork Burgers

From What Katie Ate

2kg pork shoulder, bone in
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulled pork sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, very finely diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, very finely diced
2 sticks celery, very finely diced
1 long red chilli, finely diced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons treacle (I used golden syrup, honey is ok too)
2 tablespoons mustard powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup (125ml) white vinegar
1 litre chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce
1½ teaspoons cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water

Heat the oven to 160*c.

Place the pork in a roasting pan, and season really well with salt and pepper. My pork didn’t have skin, but if yours does, make sure the skin is facing upwards, then cover with foil and place in the oven for 5 – 6 hours. I left mine in for 6, and it weighted a little less than 2 kilos. Check the pork at the 3 hour mark, and if it’s looking a little dry add some water (I threw in 1/2 a cup, just to be on the safe side). Once it’s done, set the pork aside to cool a little bit, then shred using a couple of forks or your hands – it literally falls apart. It’s amazing.

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At the 4 hour mark of the pork cooking, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until soft. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and chilli and cook until they soften, about 10 minutes. Chuck in everything else except for the cornflour paste and let simmer for 2 hours uncovered until it’s reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and then pass the sauce through a sieve to remove any chunks. Return the sauce to the pan, discarding what remains in the sieve, then add the cornflour paste and stir to combine.

Add the sauce to the shredded pork and stir to combine thoroughly.

Serve on fluffy white burger buns with coleslaw (the link has a great recipe, if you need one).

I’m sorry there isn’t more/better pictures, but it honestly didn’t last long enough to take any!

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Lezbehonest. Joey just gets it.

What makes food taste better than good?

There are things you can do that makes food taste better. I mean, better than normal.

Slow cooking, for one thing. Having someone else cook for you. MSG and salt. Being hungry – have you ever noticed that everything tastes AMAZING when you’re starving?

I’m personally of the opinion that eating with your hands goes firmly on that list. Think about it! How good are burgers, or pizza? Picnics! Hotdogs! CAKE, BECAUSE CUTLERY BE DAMNED.

Of course, Mexican and it’s various subsidiaries fall into this category too. It’s fun on three levels:

  1. Most of the names are ridiculous to pronounce. Quesadilla what?
  2. Eating with your hands is pretty much mandatory
  3. You get to make it up as you go! Personally, I like cheese and hate guac.

The other thing that’s awesome about Mexican, is that it’s stupidly quick and, if you make it yourself, fresh. Done in 30 minutes or less, this dish wastes absolutely no time getting on your dinner table, leaving you with more time for the important stuff. Like stuffing your face.

Coriander chicken with pico de gallo

Adapted from Good Taste

3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 fresh jalapeño chillies, finely chopped
80ml lime juice
2 tbs olive oil
800g chicken breasts
4 tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Tortillas, warmed

Place cumin, ground coriander, oregano, salt, 1/2 cup chopped coriander, 3 garlic cloves and half the chili in a mortar or blender, and blitz until it forms a paste.

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Add half of the olive oil and lime juice. Season with pepper to taste. Pour the marinade into a bowl, then add the chicken, rubbing the marinade in well. Set aside for 10 minutes.

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Toss together the tomato, onion and what’s left of the garlic, coriander, chili, lime juice and oil in a bowl; set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan on high, then add the chicken and cook for a few minutes each side until cooked through. Slice thinly, then serve with the tortillas and pico de gallo.

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I might be wrong, so please correct me if I am, but I’m pretty sure you could even blitz up the marinade, coat the chicken and then throw it into ziploc bags to be frozen.

Did I just make this super easy dinner even easier? Uh, I think I did. YOU’RE WELCOME.

My favourite sin

There seems to be a direct link between the declining temperature, and my willingness to do stuff. In short, it gets cold, I become a sloth.

It’s not my fault, really. I mean, what incentive is there to break free from the incredible cosy warmth of my bed/fort and endless tv, to venture out into the cold harsh world? There is none.

(Yes, I’m aware that Real Winter doesn’t start until next month. I’m a sook, ok?)

Necessity is the mother of invention, and it is with this that I’ve discovered the genius of slow cooking. You toss everything into a pan, throw it in the oven for a couple of hours, and once you wake up from your nap – DINNER! How good is that?!

This recipe went straight to the top of my to-do list. With its wholesome, filling lentils, delicious wintery vegetables (which I chopped in a blender because I was feeling really lazy) and beef that honestly, literally falls off the bone; it’s the perfect Sunday recipe.

Sloth + Gluttony = Happy Bri, even if it makes me a sinner. Hell will totally be worth it.

I used beef ribs from Gingin Beef, because look at that picture. Can you see that marbled fat? That my friend, is a very, very good thing. When slow cooking, fat is your friend, adding flavour and preventing the meat from drying out. Embrace it.

Braised beef short rib with moghrabieh and green lentils

From Delicious Magazine

1tbs olive oil
2.5kg beef short ribs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup red wine
1L beef stock
5 cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1 cinnamon quill
5 cloves
1 cup moghrabieh (pearl or giant couscous)
1 cup green lentils
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 170*C. Heat the oil in a roasting pan, then add the ribs, browning thoroughly on all sides. Set aside.

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Over medium heat, add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan and stir for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and continue to stir until fragrant. Add the wine to the pan and cook until the wine reduces by half, 3-4 minutes. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and stock, then simmer.

Nestle the ribs back in the pan, cover with baking paper and the foil. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove the ribs, shred the meat and discard the bones. Reserve the juices from the pan.

Cook the lentils and the moghrabieh in separate pans of salted water. Each pan should take around 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Over medium heat, skim the fat from the roasting pan and then cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes or so. Combine all the ingredients, and serve with yoghurt.


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Turns out, I didn’t have all of those whole spices like I thought I did. Overzealous pantry cleaning, coupled with a forgetful brain. Always replace the stuff you throw out, kids. I used 1/2 tsp of ground cloves, and 1 tsp ground cardamom instead. Also, I only had 1.8kg of ribs, and it all worked beautifully.

All killer, no filler

As I’m typing, it’s raining. This makes me extraordinarily happy. I might have wasted absolutely no time wriggling into a pair of track pants and a hoodie, though I’m having a little trouble finding my knitted socks. All in good time, I suppose. Of course, with the sudden influx of wet and cold comes the need for wintery foods. Cravings wait for no man, and I wasn’t really surprised when I discovered no less than 4 friends delving into soup territory in this same afternoon. Beetroot, pumpkin, pea and ham… My contribution to the souptivities, was carrot.

I know. Carrots, right? Possibly the least exciting of all the vegetables. They’re filler veggies, to bulk up salad or add colour, but not distract from the hero of the dish, whatever it may be. Who goes out of their way for carrots? No one. Why would you?

Here’s what happened. The downside to living in a share house is the double ups. Wade peered into the fridge last week and noted that between the three of us, we’d accumulated 3 kilos of carrots.  What the hell  do you do with three kilos of carrots? Admittedly, he made some amazing carrot muffins, but that only knocked it down to 2.5 kilos. Juicing? That got us down to 1.5 kilos. Hummus dippers took care of half a kilo. And so here we are. Sunday, and soup. Waste not, want not, right?

I know I ask you to trust me regularly. And you’re still here, so thank you for humoring me so far. But for old times sake, trust me on this. I know it looks like baby food, and probably as appetizing. Holy jeebus, this is really, really tasty. Cumin, turmeric and coriander are regularly seen kicking about in Indian recipes and they really shine here. The addition of chorizo is inspired, because who doesn’t love chorizo? All in all, you might just be looking at your new favourite winter soup. Yeah, I went there.

Carrot & Chorizo Soup

From Delicious Magazine

30g unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp cumin seeds
1kg carrots, chopped
1.25L (5 cups) chicken stock
1 tbs lemon juice
150g chorizo, finely chopped
Handful of coriander leaves, to serve
 

Preheat your oven to 220*c. Roughly chop the carrots to even sized chunks. Place in a roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes until softened.

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In a large saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter and oil together. Gently cook the onion and garlic until soft, then add the ground coriander, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds until fragrant.

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Add the carrot to the pot, stirring to coat with the spices. Pop on the lid and soften for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrot is soft.

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Once cooled slightly, blend with a stick blender. Stir in the lemon juice.

In a frying pan, add the chorizo and last of the cumin seeds, stirring until crisp. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the lemon while cooking.

Split the soup between bowls and top with chorizo and coriander.

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As an FYI, you don’t have to roast the carrots first, you can just throw them in raw if you don’t have time. But I like the sweeter flavour that you get from roasting first.

Pulling up pork

I don’t exactly remember how it happened. I lost a bet, or generally offended my Non Foodie Friend, and the short version of the story is, amends needed to be made in the form of food.

I love the challenge of cooking for people; no two guests are the same. There are allergies and food phobias to juggle, budgets and time constraints. Hell, I’ve even thrown a dinner party simply because I had a new cookbook to play with. Actually, that’s probably my favourite reason to do anything.

I had been seriously hankering for an excuse to make pulled pork. It’s everywhere at the moment, part and parcel with the Mexican wave we’re riding. My Non Foodie Friend is not a huge fan of pork, however he does love simple, meaty fare – lasagna, pastas, burritos, that kind of thing. So, making pulled pork enchiladas was the perfect marriage of ‘showing off cooking’ and the simple, high-impact flavours that NFF loves.

Here’s the deal. I started this on a Saturday morning, for dinner on Sunday night. I promise you, pulled pork is almost effortless. It does take a LOT of time, though; being organised is key. But once you have that… One long nap, and pulled pork goodness is yours.

Visit your local butcher, ask them to remove any bones, skin and ligaments – that’s most of the hard work done for you. Winning! I used a kilo of pork, and that gave me a lot of leftovers. Luckily, there are also a lot of uses for them – Google is your friend.

Pulled Pork

From Juji Chews

Pork shoulder –  I used a kilo piece, Juji used a pieces between 3 and 4 kilos. Whatever suits your needs, really.

Brining solution
1/3 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1.5 l cold water
Bay leaves (about six)
1 tbsp dry rub
1 large (really large) ziploc freezer bag 

In a large saucepan, add the water, salt and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Throw in the bay leaves (I only had dried leaves) and the dry rub.

Put the pork into the ziploc bag, then pour in the brine. Sloosh around to coat, then seal the bag, put it into the roasting pan (it catches up any leaks) and into the fridge for at least 10 hours – though its fine to leave it as long as you need – just not less. The brine stops the pork from drying out while it cooks.

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When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 100*c – I cooked mine overnight, while I was sleeping. 

Take the pork out of the fridge, drain the brine pat it dry with a towel. Rub the pork all over generously with the dry rub, getting into all the folds.

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Place the pork in a roasting pan, and then into the oven.  Take a nap (it’s totally part of the instructions) or go about your day – just don’t open the oven, and don’t turn up the temperature. Set an alarm for 11 hours. When it goes off, turn off the oven and then cover the pork with foil. Put the pork back in the oven, and let it cool for another 2 hours.

Once it’s cool, the pork will come apart into threads with your hands, and it’s free to use as you wish. I made it into enchiladas, using the recipe here.

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Oh, and one more thing – the dry rub. If you’ve got some in the pantry, feel free to use it instead. The more spice, the merrier. If you’ve got plenty of stuff in your spice cabinet at home, you can make your own!

Dry rub

1 tb ground cumin
1 tb dried oregano
1/2 tb dried thyme
2 tb garlic powder
2 tb onion powder or flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tb cayenne pepper
2 tb salt
1 tb ground pepper
3 tb paprika
1 tb smoked paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix the dry rub ingredients together in an air tight container or ziploc bag. It lasts for months, so make more than you need here if you like, it’s great on all kinds of meat.

And then whoopm, there it is. Enchiladas.