August 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
Holy Dooley! What are these Cockroaches, Crow Eaters and Cane Toads up to! And you thought nothing was going on in the GAFA. There’s clearly more to an Australian cuisine than a billy and a Dingo’s breakfast (for a translation go to http://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html )
This was the latest in our series of breakfasts from all the countries of the world starting from A and going through to Z.
I decided to dive straight into the heart of Australia for inspiration for this breakfast and typed “Alice Springs breakfast menu” into my search engine. I half expected to discover something suitable for a sheep-wrangler but instead found some rather metropolitan on-trend suggestions from the Alice Springs Convention Centre. Selecting from their breakfast menu I devised this selection of my own:
Vegetarian frittata with sweet potato, peas and oregano tomato
Wattleseed french toast
Pancake with bush honey and crispy bacon
Next problem was where to get hold of the essential wattleseed and bush honey. An internet search led me first of all to Australian native ingredients evangelist Vic Cherikoff’s informative website to http://www.cherikoff.net (some inspiring recipe ideas too). He doesn’t really seem geared up to UK online retail orders though. Fortunately http://www.foodshopaustralia.com/ is a user friendly site with a wide range of stuff both gourmet and tacky. I ended up going a bit mad and ordering native fruit jams (both quandong and rosella), macadamia nut butter, bluegum honey, vegemite and Uncle Toby’s oat cereal as well as my ground wattleseed and to finish things off, a lemon myrtle infusion instead of regular tea. There was great excitement when my stuff arrived 2 weeks later in a distinctive blue hessian sack emblazoned with the Singapore post office logo through which my goods must have passed in-transit.
and here are all the Aussie goodies:
I made the French toast in the usual way but added a couple of teaspoons of Star Kay White chocolate extract to the milk into which I dipped the bread before dipping in the egg. This complemented the chocolate hazelnut flavours of the ground wattleseed. I sprinkled the cooked French toast generously with caster sugar and ground wattleseed and served it with a dollop of quandong jam. This was described as a native peach and was gorgeous, dark and syrupy – a more intense version of apricot jam. Delicious:
I devised my own recipe for the frittata which I give below. Also very successful – I’ve made it again since so I have a new addition to the repertoire. It’s shown here on the plate with the pancakes (again I used my regular breakfast pancake recipe) and some crispy pancetta.
Can I let you into a secret? I haven’t opened the Vegemite yet and maybe as the other stuff is so good I won’t bother…
Recipe for sweet potato, pea and oregano tomato frittata
I devised this based on an authentic Marcella Hazan recipe but with different ingredients and quantities to fit my trusty 10 inch Anolon non-stick frying pan. Serves 2-3 people.
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling and cooking the frittata
Generous handful of shelled peas steamed for 2-3 minutes (or cooked from frozen)
8 oz cherry tomatoes
teaspoon dried oregano
tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil or marjoram
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons freshly grated grana padano cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss the diced sweet potatoes in oil, season and roast on a shallow tray at 180-200 degrees C until cooked through and nicely brown. This takes about 30 minutes. Once these are in the oven prepare the tomatoes by halving, drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with salt, pepper and oregano. Place on another shallow baking tray lined with baking paper and pop into the oven on the shelf below to roast with the sweet potatoes for about 20-25 minutes – they’ll be ready at the same time.
Meanwhile beat the eggs lightly with a fork in a large bowl, add the grated cheese, seasoning and chopped fresh herbs. When the sweet potatoes and tomatoes are ready, tip them into the egg mix straight from the oven along with the cooked peas. Stir to combine.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 inch non stick frying pan over medium heat. When it is hot, pour in the frittata mix and ensure evenly distributed. Turn the heat down as low as possible and cook for 10-15 minutes so that the mixture is set but not browned and only the top is still runny. Flash the top under a hot grill for 30 seconds to set the top. You’re ready to eat! Best served hot rather than warm I think. Also very good cold for lunch later if you don’t eat it all now.