Archive for the 'Breakfast' Category

Automatic for the porridge


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mp4 video

I’m pretty anal (can I say that in the international blogosphere?) about my breakfast routine. Rarely do I break it. I have two staples that I alternate daily. The first: two slices of toast, one with grilled cheddar, the other with quality marmalade (or, occasionally, Vegemite, and, it almost goes without saying, butter). The second: porridge cooked with chopped apple, topped with banana, milk and honey (and, occasionally, summer fruits). No sugar. No salt. Always with a pot of weak black tea (Loose. Leaf. Only.), in a proper teacup, with a saucer and a tea strainer.

So when Waz decided to experiment with a slow cooker (crock pot to many of us, though that is really a brand name) that our mates Shaun and Jeanette gave us when they left London for Australia, I was very sceptical when he told me he wanted one of the experiments to feature my tried-and-tested porridge. Continue reading ‘Automatic for the porridge’

Project Benedict


Windows video
QuickTime video

You’ve had eggs benedict – but what about eggs benedict on a fresh, home-made muffin with handcrafted hollandaise sauce? And what if your hollandaise “splits” in the middle of the cooking process? Can it be retrieved, or should you bin it and start again?

These and other questions answered in this marathon episode.

Strictly speaking, eggs benny is made with ham, but in our experience smoked salmon has become synonymous with the dish. Continue reading ‘Project Benedict’

Pulling a rarebit out of the hat


Windows video
QuickTime video

“Welsh rarebit” or “Welsh rabbit” was one of those dishes I’d always wondered about, along with “toad in the hole”, before moving to the UK.

Apparently its name is originally a bit of a slight on the Welsh – who were (many years ago, I’m sure) considered so inept they couldn’t catch a rabbit for dinner, so they had to settle for cheese on toast. In an early example of political correctness the name was adjusted to “rarebit”, supposedly taking a bit of the sting out of the insult.

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There’s more to good rarebit than just slices of cheddar plopped on bread and stuck under the grill (broiler, if you prefer). The recipes vary, but common elements seem to be a good cheddar, some Worcestershire sauce and either beer or milk. Continue reading ‘Pulling a rarebit out of the hat’

Froth my milk up: cappuccino foam and how to get it right

One of my pet hates is a cappuccino without good froth, especially one for which I’ve forked out my hard-earned readies.

After I dropped many a hint, Lenny gave me an espresso machine for Christmas. Determined not to replicate the work of dud baristas who have been fleecing me for donkeys’ years, I went to work quickly to perfect my frothing technique. Now Crash Test Kitchen is ready to go public with the cappuccino tips you’ll find in this episode.

Too many of the coffee chains get away with selling fraudulently priced beverages with coarsely bubbled, over-aerated scum on top that has absolutely no body to it. Carry a coffee like this across the room, or up the street to your job, and you’ll find the foam has burst its bubbles and collapsed into plain old milk again. Really, really bad foam will discombobulate under the weight of the mandatory chocolate powder or flakes alone. Continue reading ‘Froth my milk up: cappuccino foam and how to get it right’

Canada Day Souffle, Part 2

Click here to view the videoTechnically, Canada Day, July 1, celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation called Canada. This all took place in 1868. These days, it’s mostly a day for fireworks, lots of drinking and another excuse for a big family gathering.

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It was great to spend Canada Day with the most Canadian of families out at the L’Hirondelle ancestral property in Sturgeon County. We even participated in a good-ol’ game of horseshoes, eh. I got a “ringer” and a “point” in one go, for a score of four points – very impressive for a first-time horseshoer. Unfortunately I and my teammate Scott were knocked out by veterans Terry and Sue. I was consoled, however, by the fact the “souffle” turned out a treat! Continue reading ‘Canada Day Souffle, Part 2’

O Canada, we make souffle for thee

Click here to view the videoIt’s Canada Day! We’re Aussies, but we’re in Canada, so any excuse for a party. This afternoon we’re off to our mate Tom’s place for a real Canada Day bash with his family. Last night we were up late preparing French toast souffle as our contribution.

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It’s a sinful amalgam of bread, creamed cheese, eggs, butter, maple syrup and a few other delicious elements. Extremely tasty, and not a true “souffle”, so you don’t have to tiptoe around the kitchen while it’s cooking. Being “French toast souffle” we feel it’s a nod to Canada’s Francophone influences, while the maple syrup makes it true-blue Canuck tucker. Sure to get the patriotic blood flowing, if all the wicked creaminess doesn’t give you a coronary. Continue reading ‘O Canada, we make souffle for thee’

The great crepe debate

Click here to VIEW THE VIDEORule number one of crepe making: there’s NO SHAME if the first one’s a failure. Rule number two: when the crepes hit the table, GET IN QUICK!

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For years, I’d made my “pancakes” according to a simple recipe: one cup of flour, one egg, one cup of milk. Lenny and my friends thought they were pretty good. But I suspected the results were a bit heavy, a bit tough. Not what you could really call crepes.

Then, while we were in the UK, I grabbed one of Delia Smith’s recipe books off a friend’s shelf. Or maybe I saw her cook crepes on her TV show. Anyway, dear old Delia turned my world upside down. My basic ratio went out the window, butter was added, and the result was a much lighter, much more delicate pancake than I had ever produced – something that could truly be called a crepe. Continue reading ‘The great crepe debate’