Mushy Peas: The Best Way to Use Frozen Peas?

mushy peas

My affection for all things British runs deep.

As a kid with an excessive imagination, I found British history to be far superior to that of any other country – it was somehow more exciting and romantic to my small brain. And for most of my life, I considered British best. From classic rock bands, to history, to comedy.

London was my one and only choice of city to study abroad in, and I soaked up every bit of it I could. I walked everywhere and anywhere, became a regular at museums and pubs, and fell intensely in love with the city. Even its food.

What all of this nostalgic babbling is getting at is a little side dish called mushy peas.

Continue reading

Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Food 2013 056

Food 2013 065

A perfect grilled cheese sandwich is one of my happiest foods. It’s probably one of the first things I learned how to cook, and one of the first things I learned how to cook well.

Grilled cheese is all about nostalgia, comfort, and turning the already amazing components of bread and cheese into a crunchy, toasted, melted, gooey and buttery sandwich.

Today I bring you a breakfast version of one of my most beloved meals. It’s a breakfast version because there’s an egg involved and I ate it for breakfast, but it’s the type of grilled cheese that’s acceptable at any time of the day.

Serve it up on a Sunday morning/early afternoon (girl, you deserve a sleep in!) with a big cup of coffee, some fruit salad and the paper. You won’t regret it.

Continue reading

About these ads

Simple Shakshuka

voraciousvander//tomato eggs
I’ve had a busy two weeks since starting my new job.
At the end of each day, my brain is near exhaustion from just trying to remember names, learn new systems and commuting on crowded trains. Stimulation overload!
By the time I get into the kitchen, even the concept of inspiration is foreign to me. I’ve been falling back on easy and tried and true methods like roasting and sauteing for nearly all of my meals. And when all else fails, there are eggs.
shakshouka
So this is what you could call Shaksuka. Which is pretty much a fancy way of saying eggs poached in a rich tomato and pepper sauce.
A simplified version of just tomatoes, garlic and chili used to be my go-to when I was cooking just for myself after work. And I’m bringing it back! Here, there are a few extras like onion, peppers, paprika and cumin – to add some depth and smokiness.
This dish is a hug made of food.
It’s ease. It’s comfort. It’s perfect for one. Or two, if necessary.

Kale, Pea and Feta Frittata

kale feta frittata #voraciousvader

Look at that.

I made you breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Eggs are my favorite cure-all any time of the day. They make a salad, a piece of toast or leftovers into a meal. In short, eggs are always appropriate. Which is, uh, more than I can say for myself.

We love a good egg around here. Cheap and wholesome, they ensure that a vegetable-based dinner will be satisfying for both Fabes and I. Best of all, a perfectly poached or over-easy egg will take a bowl of creamy polenta, pasta or risotto into decadent-town.

This frittata was a surprising hit. Garlic-y kale, salty feta and the gratifying pop of green peas is super simple, and my kind of perfect. It’s got greens, protein and some excellent flavor.

Continue reading

Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Hash

In Australia, they call the beginning of summer the silly season.

As a general rule, I enjoy silly things. So a whole season of it? Sure, sounds cool to me.

It makes sense – the build up to Christmas and the New Year is filled with parties, long lunches, Christmas hams, champagne and sausage rolls. And to make matters more exciting/distracting, the weather is just starting to get good. I mean, it’s the beginning of summer combined with Christmas. Totes silly, right?

Continue reading

Roasted Vegetable Crust-less Quiche

Let me stop you right there. I KNOW I know I know that a quiche is supposed to have a crust. That buttery, crumbly base is half of what makes it so awesome. But let me hit you with some real talk: a.) making my own pastry dough on a busy weeknight is a near impossibility and b.) store-bought pastry shells kind of depress me/make me feel inadequate. (I blame these feelings on too much Masterchef viewing.)

So! That’s where the crust-less quiche comes in, friends.

Quiches are a great way to use leftover vegetables. I love to roast a bunch of different types at the beginning of the week and find uses for them as I go. They usually find their way into some egg-based dish at some point.

You can make this with leftovers or with vegetables you specifically roasted for this purpose. I really love the fluffy sweet potato cubes, salty feta and caramelized onion hit in here, but you can adapt it to whatever you’ve got. Do your thang.
(Yes, I just said thang.)

It’s a lazy-girl’s quiche. A gluten-intolerant person’s quiche. A leftover-using quiche. A quiche for everyone!

Say quiche again.

Quiche.

Roasted Vegetable and Caramelized Onion Crust-less Quiche
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 small sweet onions sliced thin (or 1 medium yellow onion)
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 medium sweet potato, but into 1-inch/2.5-cm cubes
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs
1 cup cream or half and half
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
butter for greasing the baking pan
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oven to 245C/475 F.
On a baking tray toss sweet potato cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 15- 20 minutes, until soft. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook those onions by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Add onion, a pinch of salt and balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover the pan and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft, deep caramel in color and sweet tasting. Set aside.

Reduce oven to 190 C/375 F and butter a 23 cm/9 inch pie dish.

Assemble cooked sweet potatoes, onions, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese in the pie dish.

In a bowl beat the eggs and stir in the cream. Pour over vegetables and cheese, sprinkle with thyme leaves and another pinch of salt.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Eggplant Egg Sandwiches

I really felt like calling this post: “This Week in Breakfast Sandwiches” because I believe we should be talking about egg sandwiches on a weekly basis.

Like the grilled cheese and the BLT, egg sandwiches are part of the classic warm sandwich elite. They’re simple – but if done with a little extra care and flair, can be a real soul-warmer. And if the combination of sunny eggs, melted cheese and carbohydrates does not warm your soul, then we might not be friends.

Let’s discuss the main components of an egg sandwich, so we can be sure to get this right.

1. The bread. I’m partial to a fresh bread roll. Baguette, English muffin, or a couple of good slices of toast all work nicely too.
2. The eggs. Over-easy, sunny side up or scrabbled are the top cooking methods for sandwich purposes. Whatever your yolk consistency preferences, they MUST be hot upon serving. No one wants cold eggs in this situation.
3. The cheese. Cheddar is a classic. Anything with a good melt-factor and a bit of saltiness gets my vote. This one also goes hand in hand with the egg temperature: it MUST be melted.
4. The extras. Bacon, ham, sausage, tomato, salt, pepper, ketchup, hot sauce. All classics. But sometimes its good to mix it up.

What about the veggie folk (I’m talking vegetarian OR veggie-lover)? Sure, sometimes a little cheese with your eggs is enough – but there are times when you need a bit…more.

Enter the eggplant steak: thick slices of eggplant, cooked in a covered pan until tender and flavorful. These “steaks” are the extra for my new favorite egg sandwich. The key is cooking the eggplant until it’s silky but still maintains its meaty structure.

Eggplant Steaks
- 1 medium eggplant
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– salt and pepper

Slice eggplant into 1-2 inch/2.5-5 cm thick circles.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Place eggplant circles in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and flip. Cover with a lid and bring the heat down to low. Cook for 10-12 minutes covered, flipping occasionally and adding a tablespoon or two of water if the eggplant is burning at all.

By trapping the natural steam from the eggplant, you end up with well-cooked, silky eggplant. You can store the steaks in the fridge for 2 or 3 days and heat up when you’d like to use them again.

My sandwich: fresh multigrain bread roll, split in half + 2 warm scrambled eggs + melted aged Australian cheddar + eggplant steak + sea salt + ground pepper