I love going out to eat and discovering new restaurants as much as the next girl, but it can get pricey. I like to make going out to eat an event to share with my favorite people and I also love to cook at home, which makes saving restaurant exploring for the weekend the perfect compromise.
This week’s food adventuring (fooxploring? No. foodventuring?…I’ll work on it.) involved one of my favorite weekend pastimes: brunch!
While I miss the bottomless boozy brunches of my New York days, nothing beats a beautiful, sunny day brunch by the beach. On Saturday we tried out Brown Sugar on Curlewis Street for our first brunch expedition as Bondi residents. Now, I’m a newbie when it comes to the whole Sydney Dining Scene, so I had not heard the buzz around the breakfast here until afterward, but the menu did the talking. Mr. F ordered the banana bread with caramelized bananas, fresh strawberries and yogurt and I ordered the Moroccan Eggs. I cannot resist stewed tomatoes and melting poached eggy goodness before noon. I just can’t. It was delicious. But I must say, the banana bread was sinfully good in its own right. (Picking leftover crusts off of your dining partner’s plate kind of good.)
Afterward we did a loop through the Bondi Farmer’s Market and collected all sorts of exciting gems. Purple kale, a box of figs, dandelion greens, fresh herbs, a fantastic multigrain sourdough loaf and a remarkable stringybark honey from Tamworth.
I used the figs, herbs and dandelion greens on pizzas later that night (along with olive oil, prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, roasted garlic, caramelized onions and Taste’s pizza dough).
I used the kale for seasoned kale chips – lightly sprayed with olive oil on either side and seasoned with salt&pepper, cumin and chilli flakes and baked for 10 minutes. They may sound a little on the healthy side, and they are, but the flavor and light/flaky/crunchy texture should be celebrated for just being a quality snack. I also threw the rest of the kale, along with their bright purple stems, into a barley, lentil and vegetable soup I made yesterday.
My favorite dish of this weekend, however, was surprisingly a condiment. I recreated Heidi Swanson’s (of 101Cookbooks.com) Magic Sauce. I did not have a bay leaf or fresh oregano on hand and I added two roasted garlic cloves (in addition to the two fresh) into the mix, but it still came out that sexy, paprika-stained color and it tastes fabulous. So far I have had it with a vegetable frittata, on salad and as a marinade for pan-grilled zucchini and carrot. My cooking this week will heavily feature foods that I can pour this elixir onto.
And that beautiful ricotta from last week’s visit to Harris Farms was the gift that kept giving. While writing this post (I tend to get hungry while writing), I polished the rest it off on top of a toasted slice of multigrain sourdough with honey and cinnamon stewed pear and a dash of sea salt. Hand held perfection.