Mashed Potato & Bacon Fritters

As a household of just two now, I have learnt to cook enough for a meal without having a load of leftovers.

But when it comes to potatoes,  I still work with the ‘one for the pot’ as my mum did when I was a kid. Needless to say, there are leftovers these days without a teenage boy to feed!

These Mashed Potato & Bacon Fritters make an amazing side dish or a brunch or lunch! They are perfect for using up leftover potatoes and there are so many  flavour combinations you can reinvent them often!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion,  chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons fresh herbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Now let’s put those ingredients altogether and cook:

Cook the bacon until crisp and drown well on a paper towel until cool.

Add the chopped onion to the pan, and cook over a medium heat until soft, and clear in colour – nothing much worse than crunchy onions!

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, with the exception of the butter.

IMG_0310Clean out the pan with a paper towel, and add the butter, melting in a medium heat.

Take about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and roll it into a ball shape.

Place it in the pan and flatten it out with a spatula. Cook for about 3 minutes each side until they are lightly golden brown. IMG_0309Always best served with a hot and crispy with a dollop of sour cream or tomato sauce!

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You can get creative with the seasonings and the additional ingredients. Pretty much anything in your fridge works…..add your favourite mix of spices and herbs, and whatever vegetables you have on hand!

A few ideas for you for next time:

  • ham, cheese, capsicum, a little dijon mustard
  • sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and basil, grated mozzarella cheese
  • leftover savoury mince, corn and cheese
  • chopped spinach, crumbled feta and fresh herbs
  • any other leftovers in your fridge!

They can be topped with sour cream, extra bacon, sauce, a fried egg, or as a side to a sausage!

Next time you have potatoes on the menu, pop an extra on in the pot so you have some leftovers to try out this easy and easy recipe.

Happy leftovers xx

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Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a fancy (and hard name to say) French provincial stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice.

This vegetable stew is tasty and substantial, and carefully  seasoned just before it finishes cooking brings out the flavours.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1-2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 cups diced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup light Olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped and peeled tomatoes, substitute canned for fresh in the winter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried basil or oregano
  • salt, pepper and sugar
  • chopped parsley

Take a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic in oil until just coloured very slightly.

Add the zucchini and peppers. Cook over a moderate heat, turning the vegetables,  from time to time, for about 5-10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from the pan and brown the eggplant in the second measure of oil. Add the partly cooked vegetables, along with the tomatoes.

Cover pan with a lid, after adding basil or oregano. Cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

**I add a dash of black sauce for a little bit of heat

**If serving hot, thicken with a little cornflour paste

**Quantities of vegetables may vary, and zucchini, peppers or eggplant can be left out (not all of them though :))

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Now I love Ratatouille as a side dish with grilled or poached chicken…last nights supper below.

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And it makes a super delicious breakfast with a poached egg – that’s my breakfast sorted for tomorrow!

Super tasty with a grilled sausage, poached fish, or room temperature as a salad. Give it a try especially now when eggplants are so inexpensive – $.99 cents at my local green grocer this weekend.

If you enjoyed this eggplant dish try Eggplant Parmesan – another favourite!

Happy healthy cooking xx

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French Toast Waffles

French Toast Waffles

Okay, my latest burning question in the world of cooking was “could my waffle machine make quick work of French toast?”.

I very pleased to report the answer to this burning question was a resounding YES!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 slices of bread

Pre heat your waffle maker.

Meanwhile, whisk all of the ingredients in a flat-bottomed bowl. Dip the bread slices in one at a time, both sides, and lay on a sheet of baking paper to let the eggy mixture really get soaked into the bread.

Spray your waffle plates lightly to ensure the total non-stick of the plates.

Place the bread in the preheated waffle maker. Close the lid and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Voila! You are done.

I had some leftover blueberry sauce, and added a butter-cooked banana to the plate with the obligatory low-fat yoghurt 🙂

Oh my goodness, I know it’s a new year and one should really be thinking about that diet, but really….is there anything more delicious than french toast?

There is always next week to start that diet!

Happy brunching xx

Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles

Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles

Last weekend I ventured into the exciting new world of waffles after purchasing my very first waffle maker. Blueberry Waffles were my first attempt and they were a big success with the chief tester.

These airy, delicate and crisp-edged waffles were so fabulous, yet so simple to throw together, that they are destined to become part of our weekend breakfast routine. You can freeze leftovers, if you have any, and serve them during the week. You can pop them in the toaster to reheat (use a light setting) and they come out nearly as well as freshly made, maybe even slightly crunchier.

During the week I had considered what other ingredients I could use to make a different type of waffle. I had mentioned sweet potato, or Kumara, as we know it in New Zealand, and cauliflower as a couple of thoughts.

Late last year the cauliflower rice ‘fad’ hit the news and I climbed onboard that train with many others. It’s light and fluffy, like couscous, but totally healthy – and very simple to make.

There are two the techniques for making cauliflower rice. You can either use a grater traditionally used for cheese, or a food processor with the grate blade to blitz it into small pieces.  With both techniques you’re aiming for little pieces.

One you have your cauliflower rice, it’s super easy to cook! Simply sauté in a large pan over a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Use the lid to cover so the cauliflower steams and becomes tender.  Cook for 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally, then season to your taste.

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Anyway, I made a recipe that used cauliflower rice and ended up with leftover blitzed cauliflower so I popped it into a ziplock bag and out it in the freezer.  When I got up on Saturday morning thinking about my next great waffle, I grabbed the frozen cauliflower rice rom the freezer and this became my base for my first savoury waffle.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (or grated colby if you don’t have mozzarella cheese)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • fresh parsley

Heat the waffle maker until ready. Mix all of the ingredients together well in a large bowl. Add approx. 1 1/4 cups of the batter to the griddle. Set your timer to 4-6 minutes, and check at about the 4 minute mark. If the waffle maker sticks, let cook slightly longer. Remove once cooked, and allow to cool on plate.

These crispy waffles with a side of bacon and an egg made the most delicious brunch and got the thumbs up from the chief tester!

*I did find the mix got a little wet as the cauliflower rice defrosted waiting to be the second batch so I add 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. This did not have a negative impact on the flavour profile but does add gluten to what is otherwise a gluten-free recipe)

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If you have only gone sweet with your waffles, do give this savoury version an opportunity.  Without the flour it is gluten-free; and only the cook will know it is made with the cauliflower rice.

I’m thinking I will add spinach to this next time, and perhaps sundries tomatoes to really jazz up my Cheesy Cauliflower Waffles.  The options are really limitless and I’m looking forward to next weekend and something different again. Watch this space

Happy waffling xx

Blueberry Waffles for Brunch

Blueberry Waffles 30th July 2017

I have hankered after a waffle maker for some time now – and this weekend I finally bought one!

I did my due diligence online before heading to a store in; yes I could have ordered it to be delivered to my front door – but where is the fun in that! A girl has to look at it, feel it, chat to the shop assistant to hear about any feedback on the product and happily pack it in the car. 🙂

The waffle maker of my choice has a set of flat plates that can be switched in to toast a sandwich so I felt more than a little satisfied with my purchase; it really is two in one! Doesn't that make this a smarter purchase? Well that is my story for the hubby and I'm sticking to it!

For my first foray into waffles I decided to go with a basic recipe. I had spent the day before at the Auckland Food Show and brought home a jar of Heilala Vanilla paste so this was the inspiration. I love using vanilla paste and value the exceptional taste this adds to any baking I do.

Here's the list of ingredients and instructions on making your first sweet waffle…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or Heilala Vanilla paste)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

Place ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine until well mixed and smooth. Let batter rest for 5 minutes.

Pour 1 cup batter onto the centre of the waffle pan, spreading out the batter evenly with a spatula.

Close the cover of the waffle maker and set your timer for 4 minutes.

Open cover and gently remove the gorgeous deliciousness baked waffle!

Top with blueberry sauce (see recipe below), Greek yoghurt and a dusting of icing sugar.

Blueberry Sauce
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

Add all of the ingredients into a small pan over a low heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, let it gently boil for about 1 minute stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 minutes. And that's it 🙂

I served the waffles with my home made blueberry sauce and a dollop of Greek yoghurt on the side – and on a breakfast tray in bed!

My husband was surprised when I exclaimed how delicious my first ever waffle tasted; you see I had never ever eaten one before. Deprived of this deliciousness for all my life 🙂

But armed with some ideas on how to make Cauliflower rice waffles, and Kumara waffles I am going to ensure waffles are on the menu very regularly now – healthy options that is…although I have to say the sweet version was pretty good the next day too.

Heat the leftover waffles in the toaster the next day mmmmm……just about as good as same day freshness.

Happy waffle days ahead xx