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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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

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

Weekend Brunch for Two – Spanish Eggs!

We have been blessed with another long weekend in New Zealand – Waitangi Day falling on Monday creating this welcome three day break from work 🙂

Now for those of you reading from outside of New Zealand, Waitangi Day is a significant day in our history. On the 6th February 1840, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs signed what is often considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974.

For some people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is the occasion for reflecting on the Treaty. Since the 1970s the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi Day have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern New Zealand.

Waitangi Day is recognised as New Zealand’s national day, and the date is an important marker in the country’s history. Recognition of the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document will continue to encourage leaders, communities and individuals to mark the day in new ways.

So that’s my history lesson for today!

But back to the kitchen where our long weekend began with a late start and a weekend brunch of spicy Spanish eggs. I wish you could smell the aroma of the lovely chorizo sausage as it sizzled quietly in the pan ahead of the other ingredients. It certainly got the ‘Chief Taster’ moving through the shower quickly!

Spanish Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón – a smoked paprika – and salt. For this recipe you need very little of the spicy sausage as a little goes a long way.

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Ingredients:

  •  100-150g chorizo sausage, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 eggs (I use Otaika Valley Organic eggs)
  • Handful of chopped fresh spinach
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes (or use canned)
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced or chopped
  • 1 tbsp Chipotle sauce or to taste
  • Salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Heat the oil gently in the pan and add the chopped chorizo – sizzle gently for a few minutes before adding the sliced onion, red capiscum and chopped tomato.

Next comes the chipotle sauce – and salt & pepper to taste. Let the pan bubble along for a few minutes then taste it before seasoning.

Add the chopped spinach and stir through the tomato base.

Make a small indent with the back of a soup spoon for the eggs –  and crack each one gently into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer gently for 3 minutes.

Today we had cumin & coriander pita breads toasted on the side – any fresh crusty bread is good to soak up the yummy juices to be honest 🙂

Happy ‘brunching’ xx

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Sunday or should I say ‘Monday’ Brunch on a long weekend!

I lay in bed pondering what the day ahead looked like and decided it should start with a nice cooked brunch!  Auckland Anniversary weekend giving most Aucklanders a sleep-in today and as far as I was concerned this called for a celebratory brunch and not the normal tea & toast!

Now a quick shower before slipping into a nice summer dress and heading to a slap-up brunch at any number of great North Shore cafe’s would seem the best way to go however when you are on one income these trips really are a treat reserved for a special occasion – maybe a birthday or Mother’s Day? 

Getting an extra paid day off is certainly a special occasion but let’s be fair not quite birthday material!

I had spied some creamed sweet corn in the pantry leftover from my daughter’s stay over Christmas and I knew there was bacon and eggs in the refrigerator and that signalled a great brunch to me.

Sweet corn fritters are a favourite of mine since childhood and are often seen on breakfast and brunch menus in all the best cafe’s – usually priced between $16.00 and $20.00 too!

Here’s my ‘go-to’ recipe for easy sweet corn fritters which I take straight from the NZ Edmonds Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 440g can cream-style corn
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Cracked black pepper

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt & pepper to take into a bowl. Add egg, mixing to combine. Stir in sweet corn.

Heat oil in a pan; drop 1/4cup of the mixture into the pan and cook until golden. Flip and cook the other side. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Makes 6 nice sized fritters.

Sunday brunch at it’s best…

Drizzle balsamic glaze on your plate; top with a fritter, followed by crispy bacon – another sweet corn fritter with sliced avocado topped with a poached egg. A dollop of hollandaise sauce and a grilled half tomato on the side. That will be $18.50 thanks 🙂

Happy long weekend brunches xx