In Search of Brunch and Beyond

There has never been a better time to get into the kitchen.

Yesterday, Fico made the difficult decision to take their annual leave early closing the restaurant for a month from 23 March 2020.

In their statement, Federica and Oskar said, ‘It is our belief that prevention is better than cure and after seeing the devastating effects to our friends and family in Europe, we feel it is our duty to our staff and customers to stay ahead of current events.”

We’re living in uncertain times and while reducing unnecessary social contact may feel unsettling, it also makes sense if we’re going to slow transmissions of COVID-19.

Instead of paying $20 for poached egg and avocado or pancakes, spend some time trawling through online recipes rather than menus.

Personally, I was going through a cooking slump and now I’m feeling inspired.

This is the first post from my home cooking exploits over the recent long weekend. It’s a series of meals based on the seasonal produce we had on #Blissfarm, what was in the pantry and what I fancied eating.

Action cures fear. Home cooking can be as enjoyable as going out so get thee into the kitchen!

Breakfast Burritos

I’m a big fan of New Mexican/Mexican/South Western cuisine so Saturday’s brunch was burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs and refried beans, rancheros sauce, goats and cheddar cheeses.

I had a can of refried beans in the pantry which needed to be used and that’s what I did. Normally I would soak, boil and process the equivalent of can of pinto beans with a diced clove of garlic, a half to one teaspoon of cumin powder and a teaspoon of salt or to taste, then fry up. Turning my back on tradition again, I tried a different rancheros sauce recipe I found on line. I usually turn to a rancheros sauce recipe in a Santa Fe cookbook back I bought back from New Mexico years ago. I discovered I didn’t have all the powdered chilli varieties called for in the recipe so I threw in what I had instead and blew my head off. Winning!

  1. Make the ranchero sauce (link to recipe below).
  2. Grate cheese (I used pre-grated because it’s a time saver. I usually have a bag in the freezer).
  3. Lightly warm tortillas on a griddle and keep wrapped in foil or a clean tea towel, or don’t bother and microwave them when you’re ready to roll.
  4. Heat the refried beans.
  5. Scramble eggs but keep them wet. I always add a tablespoon or two of water to my eggs and seasoning before scrambling.
  6. Place a tablespoon or so of beans in the middle of each tortilla followed by two tablespoons of egg.
  7. Top with a spoonful of sauce and a scattering of each of the cheeses.
  8. Fold in sides and roll up into a little parcel.
  9. Place side by side cosy-like in a baking dish and bake in a moderate oven until heated through.
  10. Served cut in half to expose the innards with a little extra of the sauce on the side or for a more substantial meal add guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, Mexican-style fried rice or roast potatoes (yum).

I used #Blissfarm eggs and tomatoes for the sauce.

Tips – use the largest tortillas you can source for burritos. I didn’t. The standard size are not great for making parcels. I’ve also got enough left over pintos and rancheros sauce in the freezer to make this again soon with little effort. I have no standard approach to making guacamole, it’s always based on how much effort I want to expend. This one was mushed up avocados, seasonings, lime juice, yoghurt and a diced tomato.

Recipe for ranchero sauce – Chili Pepper  Madness

Persian red lentil soup

I went for a lighter dinner meal after a big breakfast. This recipe makes more than your garden-variety lentil soup. The addition of the tahini and yoghurt sauce, the beetroot and fried mint makes it next level. It’s delicious, healthy and beautiful to look at it with its myriad of colours.

Also, soup is super easy.

Recipe from Gourmet Traveller.

I used #Blissfarm eggs, mint and tomatoes and I make my own chicken stock.

Tips – I make double the recipe and freeze in portions large enough for dinner and lunch the next day. I had enough ripe cherry tomatoes and used those instead of shop-bought passata.

I served it with bread I had in the freezer but a great alternative is to mix equal parts of flour and yoghurt, kneed gently and roll out into small pita breads. Fry them until browned up in olive oil and scatter with sea salt.

The burritos and soup were delicious meals that didn’t require stacks of work and offered a little somethin somethin to the week’s menu.

What recipe has inspired you to stay home and cook lately?


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